Upcoming companies hoped to secure lifechanging opportunities by impressing three business giant “Bulls” when they entered the BullRing, Birmingham’s answer to popular TV shows Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank.

The interactive sessions, co-ordinated by business development specialists Rockfine Group, saw exciting companies out for growth pitch their ventures in front of a panel of leading commercial figures during an online event on Thursday (March 16).

The experts ran the rule over the three companies, offering feedback on their presentations as well as their progress. Audience members then had the chance to vote on whether the proposals were worthy of financial backing.

Each startup seeking investment was allowed five minutes to pitch to the three experienced investors for feedback and honing.

Tech experience

The “Bulls” panel included Chris Deering, an ex-president at Sony Europe; professional investor and entrepreneur Rupert Lyle, who has 30 years’ experience in venture capital; and Alan Clayton of venture capital firm SOSV, which provides funding to startups in the technology sector.

The first business pitch was led by Dejan Mitrovic, who co-founded reusable packaging startup Moree. His business aims to make it easy for food brands to offer their products in reusable packaging.

Also pitching were Joshua Okusi, Alex Reid and Zain Mobarik of Butterfly, a university-exclusive social media platform designed to bring people together in the real world.

The third company to take part was Cambridge Spectacle Co. Company CEO Ahmed Ejaz led a pitch explaining how the spectacle manufacturer is bringing together passion and expertise to deliver quality eye care.

More than half of attendees voted each company worthy of financial backing. Cambridge Spectacle Co. was voted the best pitch overall.

Rockfine Director B.D. Dalton, who hosts each BullRing, said the latest session had been a great success. He commented: “The event saw some really powerful presentations that generated high levels of interest and intrigue from the experts.

“It was fantastic to give three highly promising companies the unique opportunity to gain constructive feedback from first-class business leaders and make great introductions that could lead to future deals.

“All of the business founders really took on board the feedback from the bulls, which will help them perfect their pitches to future investors, clients and business partners.”

As preparation, two weeks before the BullRing showcase, the three founders attended a workshop to pitch their business idea to the other companies and a BullRing team of experts, who shared top tips and best practice.

Companies which have seen their BullRing appearance become a springboard to investing opportunities include media production company Wotch.io from Coventry, Birmingham-based virtual assistant mobile hair and beauty app producers Niyo Group and sports data collection and analytics platform Sportable.

The BullRing team have had a higher than industry average of people get investment through their process and network, says B.D.

Professional support

He adds: “Our professional preparation process ensures the BullRing boasts a fantastic show-like atmosphere, proving to be entertaining as well and educational. The aim is to offer the opportunity to network and prepare for greater success.”

Previous “Bulls” to take part include Spencer Crossley, a founding member of Warner Bros Entertainment, Poundland founder Steve Smith and Alan Barratt, the founder of protein brand Grenade. Bulls Spencer Crossley and Chris Deering have gone on to become non-executive directors of companies which presented at the BullRing.

Click here to watch the May BullRing on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0KrJe4bTgE

The next BullRing session is due to take place on May 18. You can register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-bullring-entrepreneurs-pitching-showcase-tickets-592459090087

More information on BullRing events can be found at www.thebullring.club.