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Region Event

YDF Den 2019 - Live Investment Pitch

18 Nov 2019
Institute of Directors, London

A live pitching competition with an audience
of business leaders and investors.

For the fourth year running the IoD Young Directors Forum will be hosting their highly acclaimed YDF Den. This Dragons Den style event gives four carefully selected entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch to a panel of expert investors in front of a room filled with 150 + business leaders and investors.

Previous years have led to multiple investments, either directly with one of our panel, an investor in the audience or via an introduction made as a direct result of the pitch.

Why should you attend? 

• Fantastic networking opportunity with previous years having at least 15+ investors in the audience.
• Opportunity for entrepreneurs, start-ups and founders to learn about the pitching experience first-hand.
• Hear the questions and feedback given by our expert investor panellists
• Hone your own pitching through seeing what works, and just as importantly, what doesn’t!

Our Finalist Contestants:


Liliana Reasor is the founder and CEO of SupraFin, the first WealthTech platform created to help individuals invest in cryptoassets in a smart, automated transparent, and safe way. She is a Blockchain & Fintech entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience in the FinTech and investment banking industry. Prior to starting SupraFin, she worked at many tier-one financial institutions, including JP Morgan, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, and Moody’s Analytics in the US and the UK.

Down Your High Street

Daniel Whytock, the co-founder and CEO of Down Your High Street, will be pitching their platform that gives independent High-Street retailers the tools to compete in a digital market, against multi-billion pound organisations.


Taj Kamranpour is the co-founder and COO of Stotles, a platform that helps suppliers to win more government work. They use AI tools to find the most relevant opportunities and a path to reach them. Taj and his co-founders John Witt and Carsten Schaltz completed MBA’s at London Business School and started Stotles together in early 2019. In their careers they’ve felt the pain of selling to the public sector and think it’s time for a better way.


William Sachiti, founder and CEO of the Academy of Robotics, will be pitching Kar-Go, an autonomous vehicle which removes up to 90% of the cost associated with last-mile delivery. Using a combination of advanced robotics and driverless vehicle technology, Kar-Go streamlines the process to deliver packages even on unmarked roads and complex urban environments.

Four out of five attendees surveyed in 2018 said they would strongly recommend attending the event as an audience member to a friend.

 Applications to pitch at YDF Den have now closed. However, we would still encourage entrepreneurs to join us on the night, as it is a fantastic learning opportunity seeing live investment pitches and there are always a significant number of investors in the room to network with after the competition. Our entry criteria and details of our selection process can be seen at the bottom of this page.

Key details

Date & time: 18 Nov 2019 18:30 - 21:00
Location: Institute of Directors, London
CPD Hours:

Prices from

30.00 GBP + VAT - Member Rate
35.00 GBP + VAT - Non-Member Rate

Event manager:
Laura Jumnoodoo
Contact phone:
0207 766 8817
Application Process

Applications closed on 27th September. All applicants will receive feedback by 1st November at the latest. 

Eligibility Criteria:
• Revenue producing or anticipated within 6 months of pitch
• We particularly welcome innovative, novel and disintermediating businesses
• All business sectors
• Located in UK
• Funding SEIS, EIS, Series A
• Scalable
• Compliant with all laws and regulations
• Smart, honest management team

Selection Process

All applications will be reviewed by a minimum of two members of the IoD YDF Committee. A shortlist of 10 is then given to our investor panel to rank in order of preference, giving us our finalists.

Regardless of whether they are selected to pitch or not, all applicants will be given the opportunity to receive feedback on their entry. In advance of the YDF Den event all companies selected to pitch on the night must attend a pitch review training session.

To attend the YDF Den event all applicants must purchase a ticket. We recommend applicants secure their tickets in advance.

Any applicant questions should be emailed to

Disclaimer: Decisions in choosing partnerships and future business relationships of investors/investees is their sole responsibility, the IoD or YDF Committee are not responsible for disputes in investment transactions or their future business disagreements between parties.


Paul Daniels 

Paul is an active and enthusiastic business developer and facilitator with a wealth of experience and worldwide network, spanning several trade and industrial sectors. His key skills are chairmanship, mentoring, deal making and empowering good ideas and bright people to succeed.

Paul attributes his success to his days competing with huge multi-nationals like Nestlé and Unilever and selling to very powerful retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, etc. He and a business partner founded and developed nine start-ups over the next 10 years, covering a diversity of trades and industries including Traffic Management, Media Ownership, Car Park & Key Worker Home Construction and Self-Storage. Several of these companies were sold and moved on to second generation management for fast track development. Two companies were recapitalised for further expansion through the sale of minority stakes to Venture Capital Trusts. Others have been retained.

 William Tunstall-Pedoe

 William is an entrepreneur with a focus on AI. He founded the deep tech start-up Evi which built a voice assistant with the same name. After 7 years, it was acquired by Amazon to create Alexa. After acquisition, William was a leader in the team that defined, built and launched Alexa and Amazon Echo.

Since the difficult decision to leave (2016), he has been involved with 100s of other startups as mentor and angel and is working on his next startup too.

William also coded the AI software that Dan Brown used to create the anagrams that appeared in the Da Vinci Code novel and movie. His name appears in the credits of all 80 million copies sold. He also once received thousands of press mentions for calculating that April 11th 1954 was the most boring day in history.

 Angelica Morrone

 Angelica is the President and Co-Founder of Deutsche Suisse Asset Management, which to date has invested and managed a compounded USD 2 billion. Having been an active Angel Investor for the past 20 years, her passion for impact investing led her to found Aligned Global who support purpose-driven entrepreneurs in making a meaningful difference in the world. Whilst managing these ventures, Angelica became an Olympian in 2014 and built a private real estate portfolio worth USD 90 million. Angelica speaks 5 languages and has lived in 9 countries.

 Amar Bhandari

 Amar is the Chairman of Bham Heights, who specialise in rare commodities and assets. In 2013 he co-founded CryptoPro, a payment gateway for enterprises to accept cryptocurrency payments. The business was sold successfully in January 2019. He is a young serial entrepreneur and now serial investor.



Prices from

30.00 GBP + VAT - Member Rate
35.00 GBP + VAT - Non-Member Rate


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  • Institute of Directors
  • 116 Pall Mall
  • London
  • SW1Y 5ED

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