Branson names start-up winners of Pitch to Rich 2015

JustPark, Fourex and Kino-mo to receive share of £1m having wowed judges including David Gandy and Jo Malone MBE

A parking app, hologram specialist and self-service currency machine have today been crowned the winners of Pitch to Rich 2015 – an annual competition where innovative start-ups pitch their ideas to Sir Richard Branson.

Unveiled at the live finale held at Shoreditch co-working space Second Home, the three winners were chosen from nine finalists by a panel of high-profile judges including supermodel-turned-investor David Gandy, fragrance mogul Jo Malone MBE, Mumsnet co-founder Justine Roberts, and Jon Oringer of Shutterstock, alongside Branson.

The chosen start-ups will now receive a share of the £1m Virgin Media Business prize fund to go towards “marketing support” and development having impressed Branson and co. on their “originality” and potential to disrupt the market.

The winners of Pitch to Rich 2015 are:

  • Kino-mo – High-tech advertising media developer which aims to make holograms an affordable and available solution enabling 3D graphics to appear to float in mid-air.
  • Fourex – Aims to revolutionise the way we exchange currency with self-service machines that will exchange both coins and notes from over 176 countries.
  • JustParkStartups 100-listed app and website which enables drivers to access over 150,000 parking spaces by connecting them with property owners looking to make money from their underused spaces.

The six runners up – Aduna, Cauli Rice, Sendy, Skunworks Surboard Company, Approved Food and Hegarty Math – will each receive a smaller package of support to help them grow.

Branson commented: “Overcoming fear is the first step to success for entrepreneurs. The winners of the Virgin Media Business Pitch to Rich competition all exemplify that, and the hard work and commitment they have shown underlines what is needed to set up a business.

“Judging today’s pitches has been an incredibly hard, but inspiring task. I’m very excited to be working with our winners as they progress on to the next stage of their journey.”

Following the event, some of the judges shared their tips for businesses pitching to investors:

Branson: “Keep it short and straight to the point – the pitches today were three minutes max and that worked”.

Roberts: “The best pitches and the best ideas aren’t always one and the same – when it comes to down to it the idea should be better than the pitch”.

Malone: “I always want to see a passion for the product.

Peter Kelly, Virgin Media Business: “Make sure your pitch is authentic over being polished”.

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