An online interactive drama series with over 6.1m Facebook followers that helps teach young people about consequences has made it to the finals of the Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace initiative – and is looking for your support in the People’s Choice Awards.

TryLife is the only regional representative to reach the last 12 in the competition. The team heads to London to pitch on 25th April 2017.

Pitch@Palace was launched by Prince Andrew in 2014 to guide, help and connect entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with potential supporters, including CEOs, influencers, angels, mentors and business partners. Already the CIC has created 643 jobs and over £247m of economic activity.

The Duke of York said: “I am immensely proud of the achievements of the entrepreneurs in the Pitch@Palace 7.0 programme.  In less than three years, there have been over 500 pitches at events all over the United Kingdom and they have shone a light on the diversity and imagination across the country, clearly demonstrating that pursuing an idea or dream can be realised with knowledge and determination.

“I wish all those taking part in the People’s Choice Award and the final of Pitch 7.0, every success.”

Developed in the North East by a team of social welfare and media professionals led by Wallsend-born Paul Irwin, TryLife is similar to programmes like Skins but with one key difference – like the old choice-based adventure books, viewers can decide what happens next.

Its online dramas enable young people to experience situations relating to sex, drugs, violence and other day-to-day scenarios that they could realistically find themselves in. By experiencing different issues via the characters, adolescents get to understand what could happen depending on the choices they make.

Whilst such footage is common in popular entertainment, the likely consequences and coping skills for those involved are very rarely explored in depth.

Now its makers are asking for North East support in the Pitch@Palace People’s Choice Awards as they prepare to pitch for the very last time to an invited audience of judges from the world of entrepreneurship, tech, media and investment at St James’s Palace later this month.

TryLife founder Paul Irwin said: “Pitch@Palace is an amazing initiative that gets tech businesses in front of global audiences who can catapult them to the next level.

“As part of the process, all those shortlisted are placed into a People’s Choice competition so everyone can vote for their favourite tech start up. We know the North East gets behind its own and would ask everyone to please vote for TryLife via www.pitchatpalace.com/vote. All you have to do it submit your email address and the job’s done.”

TryLife’s Nicky Kaur added: “TryLife is worthy of your vote because it’s created by young people for young people and we engage with schools, colleges and universities to change the way people think and act on issues affecting all areas of their life.

“Right now there’s only two of us reaching millions of people and it would be amazing to be able to expand the core team and take our online dramas and supporting advice and resources to the next level.

“Any support you can give us is much appreciated. Vote TryLife and let’s bring this home for the region.”

To find out more about TryLife, please visit www.TryLife.TV. For more information on Pitch@Palace please visit http://thedukeofyork.org/initiatives/pitch-palace/.

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