New businesses will get the chance to bid for the Royal seal of approval when Prince Andrew visits Sunderland next month.
Technology start-up firms will get the chance to pitch their business ideas to the Duke of York and an audience of investors and entrepreneurs as the Pitch@Palace series heads to Sunderland Software Centre.
Pitch@Palace is an initiative set up by The Duke to guide, help and connect entrepreneurs with potential supporters, in order to accelerate and amplify their businesses.
North East firms are invited to apply to showcase their solution or ideas, with 20 companies selected to pitch on Wednesday, January 18.
The Duke of York said: "Supporting a culture of Entrepreneurship in the UK is vital to our future prosperity, and I am looking forward to bringing Pitch@Palace On Tour to Sunderland."
Sunderland Software City chief operating officer Billy Webber added: "We are delighted to be hosting the Pitch@Palace On Tour Sunderland in January.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for tech companies at all stages to pitch their innovations to a global audience of influencers who can help take their business to the next level.
"We look forward to welcoming the Duke of York, judges and audience to the Sunderland Software Centre and celebrating the breadth and depth of the world-class technology sector we have here in the North East."
During the event, the judges, guided by an audience vote via a dedicated app, will select who then progress to Pitch@Palace Boot Camp, where they will receive business support, investment advice and pitch development.
Finalists will then have the opportunity to network and pitch at the main Pitch@Palace event, held at St James's Palace on Tuesday, April, 25.
In less than three years Pitch@Palace has helped over 247 businesses grow, with some now enjoying huge global success.
The initiative has received support from global entrepreneurs such as World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners Lee, Peter Jones from Dragon's Den and chef Heston Blumenthal.
The theme for Pitch@Palace 7.0 is ‘human tech’, and companies who have created or are developing solutions in Artificial Intelligence, Education Technology, Health Tech and Robotics amongst other categories invited to apply.
Sunderland Software City is also inviting local independent food and drink entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their produce during the event.
For more information and for details of how to apply please visit http://pitchatpalace.com/apply-7-0/