Branson’s ‘Pitch to Rich’ competition kicks off search for exciting start-ups to back

Virgin founder to select one young entrepreneur for £5,000 package of mentoring and investment

Virgin Media Pioneers will offer four start-ups the opportunity to pitch their business ideas directly to Sir Richard Branson.

Individuals aged 16 and over are invited to apply for the Pitch to Rich competition, developed by Virgin’s online community for young entrepreneurs, for their chance to win a £5,000 package, consisting of £3,000 in start-up investment and exclusive mentoring and business advice.

Eight innovative entrepreneurs with businesses at the pre-launch stage or within the first two years of trading will be selected to travel to a secret London location, where they will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges, including the Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson.

The judging panel, which last year included Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed, will also select runners-up with impressive business ideas to receive £1,000 worth of investment.

Last year the Pitch to Rich competition attracted more than 800 entries from budding entrepreneurs, including winner Dan Watson of SafetyNet, whose fishing nets provide ’emergency exits’ for smaller creatures captured by mistake.

The company went on to take a Dyson award and with the endorsement of two of Britain’s most famous entrepreneurs has secured trials with UK authorities.

Sir Richard Branson is confident that this year’s competition will uncover similar young start-up talent.

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He commented: “Starting a business from very little capital is something I can relate to, but with a little backing early on and the right idea, anything is possible.

“I’m looking forward to meeting some of Britain’s best young entrepreneurs to hear their ideas and help make some of them a reality.”

Apply at by Tuesday April 2


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