The co-founder of propertECO, a Bath company that tests buildings for radon gas which causes over 1,000 deaths a year from lung cancer, has been crowned champion of an entrepreneurial competition.
Bath-based Rebecca Coates was of one of 30 shortlisted entrepreneurs who pitched in front of an audience of more than 200 during an 11 hour entrepreneurial extravaganza at Paintworks in Bristol, organised by BusinessZone.co.uk and UK Business Forums in association with AVG.
The contestants made it to The Pitch 2014 Final after 1,000 applications from across the UK were submitted, of which 100 were shortlisted to attend two intensive training boot camps in September before being whittled down to 30.
Founded in Bristol in 2008, The Pitch is one of Britain’s longest running small business competitions.It is also supported by ICAEW, Constant Contact, .uk, Microsoft Devices and Xero.
Founded in 2011 by Coates and her business partner Martin Freeman, propertECO is one of the few UK firms involved in testing buildings for radon and installing specialist ventilation systems to reduce concentrations if high levels are detected.
The company provides inexpensive test kits for homeowners and also checks commercial buildings.
In her final pitch, Coates, who receives a package of business support worth thousands of pounds, stressed that as well as being a successful business, the work that propertECO carries out will ultimately save lives.
As the second leading cause of lung cancer, radon exposure is responsible for more than 1,000 deaths every year in the UK. Coates said that she wanted the company to win The Pitch 2014 “to spread awareness of radon to a wide audience”.
The propertECO commercial director was one of five pitching entrepreneurs selected by judges Judith Bitterli, serial entrepreneur and chief marketing officer at AVG; Charles Carter, director of regions at ICAEW; Karen Darby, founder of CrowdMission.com and Lara Morgan, founder of Company Shortcuts to pitch again and explain why they should win the top prize