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The Business Magazine July 2024
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One million pounds 'Dragon's Den' competition to launch in West Midlands

The Business Magazine article image for: One million pounds 'Dragon's Den' competition to launch in West Midlands
12 June 2024

A ground-breaking £1 million pitch competition is launching in the West Midlands. Aimed at uncovering the region's most promising start-up business, One to Win is spearheaded by The Rigby Group, SCC, Hatch, and the West Midlands Co-Invest Fund (delivered through Midven, part of Future Planet Capital), and boasts, say the companies, the largest single prize for any pitch competition in the UK.

The new One to Win competition was launched within London Tech Week by TechWM and a cohort of leading stakeholders, at the Mathys and Squire LLP offices in The Shard, London. Applications open on the 1st of July: shortlisted candidates will have the opportunity to pitch for the prize during Birmingham Tech Week on Wednesday 23 October with the winner announced two days later on Friday 25 October.

Powered by TechWM, One to Win aims to showcase the region's thriving tech sector on the national stage. The unprecedented £1 million cash injection prize money will be awarded to a West Midlands business that’s demonstrating game-changing innovation and is on track for further impressive growth.

The initiative will also support those from the region which don’t meet the entry criteria, offering alternative support: including opportunities for trade missions; investor connections; access to mentors and workshops;  guidance on accelerators and incubators; and links to corporate innovation programmes.

Backed by leading investors, stakeholders, and key tech players, the pitch competition demonstrates the belief in the region’s ability to become a global tech superpower.

Yiannis Maos MBE, CEO of TechWM said: “The One to Win is the culmination of everything we’re doing to nurture, platform, and develop the fantastic tech scene here in the West Midlands. All parties involved share the belief that the region is the sleeping giant of the tech landscape, and we’ve been working incredibly hard to let the world know what it has to offer.

“Groundbreaking initiatives and competitions like One to Win are brilliant opportunities to further showcase the wonderful work going on in the region, and thanks to the generous backing of our fantastic stakeholders, partners, and sponsors, we’re able to give one talented start-up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to receive the biggest pitch competition prize in the UK – an incredible step forward for both the worthy winner and the region as a whole.”

Steve Rigby, Co CEO of Rigby Group added: "We are innovators and entrepreneurs by our very nature and nowhere is that more prevalent than here in our region.

"The technology sector in the West Midlands is one of the fastest growing in the UK. It employs 76,000 people, and is expected to boost the national economy by almost £3 billion in the coming years.

“Founded by my father nearly 50 years ago, Rigby Group is the largest private sector investor in technology in Europe. As an organisation, we have never forgotten our roots here in the Midlands and are proud to support the One to Win competition to find game-changing innovation and ambition.  

"The ripple effect of this prize pot is enormous. Whilst the winning business will clearly benefit, the knock on effect will create more jobs for the local community, increase our region’s economic activity and importantly, shine a light on our home grown tech talent."

The One to Win competition is open for expressions of interest from 12 June and opens for applications on 1 July. To express you interest and to find out more, visit


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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