The Pitch 2019: Announcing the 9 finalists for this year's live event!

  • by IMAGE

After careful deliberation, the judges of The Pitch 2019 have decided on their shortlist of inspiring business people who will live pitch for the opportunity to win a prize worth up to €100,000 on September 5

Ireland’s big corporates often dominate media headlines, but it is small and medium enterprises that remain the backbone of our economy. The Pitch, our innovative business competition powered by Samsung, recognises and rewards some of the strongest SMEs and self-starters in the country. Now in its second year we are delighted to announce the 2019 shortlist! 

The Pitch 2019 offers the opportunity to win a potentially career-changing prize worth up to €100,000. It's no surprise that it attracted record entries from around the country and across sectors...meaning it was a tough job for the judging panel to narrow the selection down to their finalists.

The premise of the Pitch is simple – IMAGE and Samsung recognise, reward and enable self-starters with brilliant business acumen who have developed an innovative idea from initial concept to commercial success.


Dreamers and doers

Often described as “dreamers and doers” the main characteristics the judges were seeking included: innovation, passion, bravery, resourcefulness and risk-taking.

The judging panel consists of Jo Malone CBE (entrepreneur and founder of Jo Loves), Bobby Kerr (broadcaster and founder of the Insomnia Coffee Company), Linda Nolan (Head of Marketing Samsung Ireland), Clodagh Edwards (CEO IMAGE Publications) and last year's winner Jennifer Rock (CEO and founder of The Skin Nerd).

The first hurdle for entrants was to impress the panel enough with their online pitch to make it to onto the 2019 shortlist.

Given the calibre of the entries, this was a difficult phase but we are delighted to announce the nine entrants who made it to the shortlist as (in no particular order):

  • Dead Centre Brewing - Liam Tutty
  • Gym Plus Coffee - Diarmuid McSweeney, Niall Horgan & Karl Swaine
  • Mummy Cooks - Siobhán Berry
  • Nobo - Rachel & Brian Nolan
  • Optimise Home - Denise O'Connor
  • Sculpted by Aimee Connolly Cosmetics - Aimee Connolly
  • Spotlight Oral Care - Dr. Lisa & Vanessa Creaven
  • Sweeney's D3 - Padraig & Orlaith Sweeney
  • Ambr Eyewear - Sacha Cahill & Dan Nugent



On September 5, 2019, the finalists will pitch their business to the judges and in front of a live audience. The event will be held in City Hall, Dublin and is sure to be an evening of adrenaline and excitement.

The judges will be listening out for comprehensive ideas and strategy, as well as creativity, tenacity and game-changing ideas for 21st-century business.

The prize

The winner of The Pitch 2019 will take home an incredible prize worth up to €100,000 for their business. This includes the latest suite of Samsung mobile, business and boardroom technology. They also receive a multi-platform media package from IMAGE Media to promote their business. This package will be customised to the company’s needs and could include exposure in IMAGE, sister publications, on and across IMAGE social channels.

If that wasn't enough, Irish digital and social agency Teneo PSG Digital will host a masterclass introducing upskilling them in the area of digital strategy and marketing aimed at maximise their online presence.

Last year’s winner Jennifer Rock, of The Skin Nerd, started business from her parent’s kitchen table with the Cleanse Off Mitt. From there she developed and delivered a programme of online skin consultations which soared in popularity. The Skin Nerd is now a team of 16 people and under the “nerdie” umbrella, there is Nerd Network, The Skin Nerd book, Cleanse Off Mitt and Skingredients, the new skincare range.

“To stand in front of entrepreneurs who I admire and aspire to be, and to state my case as to why I believed that The Skin Nerd was something worth placing bets on was terrifying, but being announced as the winner was one of the purest rushes I’ve ever felt,” she said.


According to Jennifer, the prize was “indispensable” for the company and an incredible networking opportunity."

“As a tech company that is expanding rapidly, having premium Samsung technology has been indispensable for us … every department has benefited,” she says.

“It gave me the opportunity to network, to meet more people to work with in future. We actually used part of our Samsung prize to bring VR technology to our business, which is now used as part of Skingredients training. It makes us look really cool.”

City Hall

Congratulations to all those who have been shortlisted. We'll see you on September 5th in City Hall, Dublin.

Stay tuned to and #ThePitch19 for profiles of the shortlist and tips on pitching yourself and your business.


Read more: Jennifer Rock on winning The Pitch 2018

Watch: Meet the judges of The Pitch 2019

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