Flexi-Hex founders Will and Sam Boex

A sustainable packaging business from Cornwall is among the businesses being considered for a share of a £5 million investment from BrewDog co-founder and CEO, James Watt.

Whittling down from 750 entrants, a shortlist of 20 companies has been announced as part of Watt’s search for the next billion-dollar business, with Porthleven-based Flexi-Hex among the ‘Next Unicorn’ hopefuls.

From that list of 20, 12 of the most promising companies will be invited to pitch at Watt’s London home on May 15 and 16.

Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish Edge – who helped BrewDog get started 16 years ago – and Matt Cooper, CEO of leading investment platform Crowdcube, will help Watt select 12 finalists for the live pitching day.

Joining the BrewDog boss to judge the final 12 is leading entrepreneur and founder of Contrarian Thinking, Codie Sanchez, and comedian and Watt’s close friend, Dom Joly. The trio will decide which three businesses will win a share of an initial £1million investment, with the potential to unlock a further £4million, should the companies reach certain milestones.

Discussing the shortlisted companies, Watt said: “I have been so impressed by the quality of entrants to the Next Unicorn competition and getting down to just 20 was really tough.

“There are some great business ideas here, and several companies doing work which align well with my own personal values, so I am really excited for the live pitching day, where myself, Codie and Dom will have the chance to understand more, before I decide which three to invest in.”

The competition also allows members of the public to invest in the three chosen businesses via Crowdcube on exactly the same terms as Watt.

To find out more, and register early interest in investing in the 20 shortlisted businesses from Friday May 12, click here.