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Barnsley teenager shines in national business competitions with her Barmy pitch

Barnsley teenager Eve Lodge just loves pitching her bunting business – and it has seen her reach the final of one national competition and book a semi-final place in another – within the space of a few days.

Seventeen-years-old Eve, who started Barmy when she was 14 and at Horizon Community College, has continued a highly successful 2015 by reaching the final of The Pitch – the UK’s biggest small business competition.

After pitching at a full-day ‘bootcamp’ in London,  Eve (pictured making her presentation) and her Barmy company was among the 30 businesses – out of the top 100 – who were rewarded with a place in the final, in Bristol, on Thursday, November 12.

And just days after that news filtered through, Eve was notified that she has also reached the semi-final of the 2015 Varsity Pitch Competition, run by NACUE (National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs) in partnership with Tata, and will pitch her business to judges at the Google Campus in Shoreditch, London on Thursday (November 5).

Said Eve: “I’m absolutely gob-smacked to have gone so far. The London bootcamp for The Pitch was a brilliant experience, and I met some fantastic people and companies. I was amazed and very honoured to get into the top 100, never mind the final 30!

“And then I was informed that I had reached the semi-final of the NACUE competition as well! I can’t wait to pitch my Barmy business! The event is on Bonfire day so hopefully I’ll let off a few Barmy fireworks and impress the judges!”

The Pitch has been running since 2008 – a competition established to help spotlight ‘fantastic entrepreneurial talent’.

Said a Pitch spokesperson: “Over the past seven years we’ve met some incredible small businesses, a lot of whom have gone on to do great things.

“With our inspiring programme of awesome advice, ideas and events, we want to educate and empower entrepreneurs and early stage startups to succeed in business.

“The entrepreneurs received intensive training at the two bootcamps in Manchester and London before pitching on stage.

“From that, 30 were selected to compete at The Pitch Final in Bristol on November 12 where the champion will win prizes worth thousands.”

Here are the 30 businesses who have reached The Pitch final:

Meanwhile, the Varsity Pitch competition, invites innovative young business owners to submit their pitches for the chance to win £10,000 to help fund their business idea.

The semi-finals will see Eve and her Barmy business compete against five other start-ups in their category, pitching live to a panel of expert judges.

Eve is in the Young Founder (16-19 years) category.

If successful, she will go forward to the final pitch on November 21 at the China Exchange in central London.

Previous winners of the NACUE Varsity Pitch Competition include Wyre, a bitcoin payments app and Blaze, an innovative cycling company that has recently partnered with Santander Cycles in London.

NACUE Chief Executive Johnny Luk said: “The NACUE Varsity Pitch competition gives students and graduates an invaluable opportunity to get their ideas in front of the people that matter.

“This is why it continues to attract a huge variety of applications, with over 400 last year.”

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