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Image / Editorial

#ThePitch: The winner of our incredible €100,000 prize is…


by IMAGE
05th Sep 2019

Photo: Laoise Moggin

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A massive congratulations to this year’s winner, who scooped 2019’s prize after a fantastic pitch to our panel of judges


After a months of preparation, tonight was where it all came together. The 2019 Pitch took place in the inspiring setting of Dublin’s City Hall, where our panel of expert judges were tasked with choosing a worthy winner of a career-changing prize worth up to €100,000.

We were looking for a self-starting changemaker, who built their business from the ground up and is constantly striving for the best. We wanted inspiration, hard work, and innovation, from a creative business owner — and we couldn’t have asked for more than our finalists tonight.

Our expert panel of judges — 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) — listened to nine five-minute pitches, and then deliberated to come to a decision on this year’s winner.

All nine of our finalists, including business men and women from industries like brewing, interiors, healthcare and more, took to the stage to make the most of their five minutes to impress;

  • Dead Centre Brewers — A craft brewery, full bar, pizza kitchen and tourist attraction right on the banks of the River Shannon in Athlone.
  • Nobó — Dairy free treats that are made from simple wholesome ingredients.
  • MummyCooks — An online resource for parents to help raise healthy happy eaters.
  • Ambr Eyewear — Glasses that protect your eyes from digital screens.
  • Spotlight Oral Healthcare —A teeth whitening range with the aim to create oral care products to educate and promote oral health.
  • Optimise Home — An architecture and interior design service created for homeowners.
  • Sculpted by Aimee Connolly Cosmetics — An Irish based cosmetics brand with 28 products in our portfolio from powders to primers to brushes
  • Sweeneys D3 — Reinventing the traditional off-licence, sourcing from small wine producers; Irish craft breweries; artisan food producers and coffee roasted locally in Fairview.
  • Gym+Coffee — An Irish-designed athleisure clothing company.

But in the end, it was Diarmuid McSweeney who stole the show — Gym+Coffee is the 2019 winner of the Pitch.

Gym+Coffee is this year’s winner

Karl Swaine and Diarmuid McSweeney from winners Gym Plus Coffee with Jo Malone at The Pitch grand finale which was held at at Dublin City Hall.photo Kieran Harnett

As Diarmuid began his pitch, Gym+Coffee doesn’t sell coffee and it doesn’t own a gym — so what does it do? The Irish-based athleisure clothing company is all about making life richer, through its brilliant product (including hoodies, beanies and more) but really, it’s all about the community. Gym+Coffee harvests a feeling of connection between themselves and their customers, and offer events, community activities and information to help their customers get into a healthy lifestyle in the great outdoors.

It’s a great business, but Diarmuid’s pitch sealed the deal — relatable, down to earth and clearly caring about his customers, he really showed the heart behind the business, and we couldn’t be happier to award Gym+Coffee the prize of the Pitch 2019.

With thanks to our partners Samsung, and Dublin City Hall, Appassionata Flowers, Movement Events and the Leinster String Quartet. 

Images: Kieran Harnett and Laoise Moggin


Read more: #ThePitch19 final: We profile our 9 finalists

Read more: Thinking of starting your own business? We ask people who’ve done it about the reality

Read more: ‘Over-qualified’ for a job? What it means and how to manage it (and get the job you want)

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