IoD YDF Den 2020 - Annual Pitching Competition

Activity Description

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

For the fifth year running the IoD Young Directors Forum will be hosting their highly acclaimed YDF Den, the IoD's annual pitching competition. This Dragons Den style event gives four carefully selected entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch to a panel of expert investors in front of a global audience of business leaders!

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.

Our 2019 attendee survey scored 5/5 stars for overall event value, enjoyment and organisation.

Why apply to pitch? 

  • Every previous year has led to investments in at least one finalist.
  • All applicants given opportunity to receive feedback on their application, whether successful or not.
  • Free pitch training for all finalists.
  • This is one of the most prestigious pitching competitions in London with a high-calibre audience.

To apply for this exclusive pitching opportunity, please scroll down to the bottom of this page for entry criteria, instructions and details of the selection process. The deadline for applications is Friday 9 October 2020 at 11:59pm.


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 Investors:

Jenny Campbell  

Jenny is an ex-career banker turned business turnaround specialist and cash machine entrepreneur who featured as an Investor on Dragons Den in 2017 & 2018.

Following thirty years in the banking trade, Jenny left the corporate world to turn around a failing cash machine business owned by RBS. She later went on to buyout the business - relaunching it as YourCash Europe Ltd. The company quickly expanded to become a leading provider of ATMs to the retail market across Europe, processing billions in cash value. Ten years on from taking the business under her wing, Jenny sold YourCash in October 2016 to a company listed on the New York stock exchange.

Previously awarded Business Woman of the Year, Jenny stays true to her favourite business motto- “live by corporate standards, but breathe like an entrepreneur”.

Paul Daniels 

Paul is an active and enthusiastic business developer with a wealth of experience and worldwide network, spanning several trade and industrial sectors. 

He attributes his success to his days competing with and selling groceries and brands like New Covent Garden Soups to huge multi-nationals like Nestlé, Unilever, Tesco, Sainsburys 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, Self-Storage and more. Several of these companies were sold for fast-track development, two were recapitalised for further expansion through the sale of minority stakes to Venture Capital Trusts. Others have been retained.

Paul then turned his attention to personal investment in early stage businesses with successes like Graze Snacks, where he was Chairman of the Food Advisory Board and Board Monitor for Octopus VC, Secret Escapes, and many others, numbering more than thirty in total. He founded Involved Investors in 2010 to fuel the launch and development stages of aspiring young entrepreneurs with bright business models. The company is now run by his daughter Anna, herself a highly accomplished entrepreneur. Paul hosts a regular podcast, more information here


Angelica Morrone

Angelica is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Deutsche Suisse Asset Management Ltd, 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. She currently sits on the board of seven of the companies she has invested in and mentors 12 others.

Application Process

The deadline for applications is Friday 9 October 2020 at 11:59pm. 

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 

Application Instructions:
Please email your three page or less business plan to Try to use your submission to communicate your business in a succinct and compelling way. If you would like to receive detailed guidance please send a request to the same email address.

Please ensure your business plan submission email has the title: '2020 YDF DEN SUBMISSION'.

You may attach a pitch deck separately, but this may not be reviewed unless your business plan is shortlisted.
The deadline for applications is Friday 9 October 2020 at 11:59pm.

Selection Process 

All applications will be reviewed by a minimum of two members of the IoD YDF Committee. The committee shortlist 10 business plans. These plans are then reviewed by our investor panel and ranked in order of preference, giving us our four finalists. 

Whether 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 four finalists must attend a free pitching training session in early November. 

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.