Pitching for Management has been going for 5 years now, which means it’s time for a big birthday cake! The PfM format is unique in that not only does it recognize non-financial investments into firms, it actually prohibits talking about fundraising. A welcome breath of fresh air, in a startup scene more cash hungry than the Wolf of Wall Street. The Christmas 2013 event was held at venue sponsors Nabarro, who are definitely worth a look for startup and funding legals.

Without further ado, highlights of the pitches on the night were as follows:

For me the stand out innovator was Tenfold Engineering, presented by David Martin. If anyone has ever played ‘Command and Conquer’ or similar real-time strategy games, you’ll have had a secret desire to own the self-erecting buildings used in the game. We I’ve got news for you – they’re real. These buildings can be towed with a lorry cab, and then they gently fall down to the floor on rams. Gravity gives all the energy needed to fold out the building to its full size in a matter of minutes. So if you want an event venue, site office, field engineering unit, barracks or command and control centre, you’ve got one instantly. No tents to pitch, no bulky portakabins to ship. Not only that, but you can also wind the buildings back into a shopping-container size with just an electric drill – so carefully balanced are they. Future iterations will add radical new capabilities, such as self-extending bridges, and potentially even air-portable buildings for use in dense jungle, deserts or combat situation where wheeled access is impossible. That’s just the coolest pitch I’ve seen for months.

I’ve seen KoSu develop over the years, each time presented by Gerlinde Gniewosz. It’s a mobile-centric testing solution for teachers, who want to write quizzes and tests for their students. Think Survey Monkey, but with right and wrong answers. It’s just the kind of no-nonsense startup concept I love, and Gerlinde has certainly grown into the role over the years I’ve been following the business.

Xavy were pitching their video archiving and streaming solution for event organisers, presented by Henry Embleton. This is a great business concept, because there are always more people wanting to go to a conference than there are people who can actually get there. Giving these wannabe-attendees video access to the event can be use for revenue generation, or brand support. It’s a large, although specialist market – and Xavy seem to be onto a winner here.

Newsflare aggregate video from the public for news organisations. Jon Cornwell explained that if something goes down in your neighborhood, the chances are that the first person on the scene filming will be a passerby with an iPhone. If the story is big enough, Sky News, the BBC and maybe even CNN will need the footage – fast. Newsflare have automated systems for finding and syndicating content to news partners. News International have already bought similar businesses for tens of millions, so this is definitely a hot space.

Other sponsors included Russam Business Network (executive placements) and Marks & Clerk (patent and IP). The event is a paid ticket affair, which will set you back a few tenners, but catering is provided. Book online through Pitching for Management’s Eventbrite page, and get the latest updates by subscribing to the PfM newsletter. Season tickets are available.