Over the last few days there has been a LOT of chatter in the London tech scene about an upcoming event that more or less appeared our of nowhere: Pitch10.
This was billed as an event for startups to pitch at the highest level: 10 Downing Street, the residence of the Prime Minister of the UK. This is like running a pitch at the White House. However, things haven’t quite gone to plan.
It gradually emerged that the people behind it were bone fide technology investors but they have been coy to reveal their identity — perhaps afraid of over-shadowing the event? TechCrunch has learnt that they are respected investors Eileen Burbidge, a partner and founder of Passion Capital, and Jon Bradford, founder and CEO of TechStars London, both working in a personal capacity.
Nothing to worry about there then, though when asked why they haven’t put themselves on the website, I was told “the community knows already” as the invites to the event were sent from their email.” Fair enough perhaps…
However, that has proved less than controversial than the move made by an aid inside Number 10.
In replying to thank the list of tech companies that applied to pitch and others who were invited, the aid CC’d the entire 600+ email list, instead of BCC-ing them.
The result was a flurry of emails and introductions, some funnier than others, while a few exhibited unbridled rage at having their inbox flooded by breathless entrepreneurs realising they’d been handed a “golden” opportunity to spam the entire list of elite players about their startups.
Pitches spammed over email included one for SanitaryOwl.com. And one even decided to photo-bomb the entire list with a picture of a dog (above). Go figure.
While the aid sent a profuse apology a few minutes afterwards, two LinkedIn groups and two Facebook groups were formed (some alas, now filled with additional spam).
Sources tell us the whole thing has been, well, a “learning experience” inside Number 10. And the BCC button now has a new level of respect inside government.
As to why so many of those selected have already raised plenty of money, I understand the organisers “deliberately didn’t talk about start-ups but ‘rising stars’ as we wanted a broader scope than only start-ups.” However, the experience has shown them that they “should do more for the start-up segment.”
For those interested, the ‘rising stars’ selected to pitch at this prestigious location in July are:
Given two entirely new online groups have blossomed out of thin air, perhaps they’ve already achieved this.
Update: There is now a rival group, Pitch11.co