Entrepreneurs have a chance to pitch their business to Sir Richard Branson in a national competition.
Business owners have until Monday 7 April to enter this year’s Pitch to Rich competition, run by Virgin Media Pioneers.
Startups in their first year of trading can try their luck in the Start Up Award. Each entrant in England will also be offered support in applying for business funding and mentoring from the new not-for-profit organisation Virgin StartUp.
There is also another award for small technology companies. The winner of the Innovation Award will be enrolled for free to the Accelerator Academy, a 12-week training and mentoring programme for digital entrepreneurs in London.
And the winners of both the awards will be given £5,000 of investment along with a package of mentoring and support. Sir Richard Branson says:
Starting a business with 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 more of Britain’s best young entrepreneurs through the Start Up Award.
“The Innovation Award is about propelling the next great British tech business forward so we’re looking for disruptive businesses who could one day give Silicon Valley a run for their money.”
The written entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges who will select a shortlist of their 10 favourites – five for each award. These finalists will then be asked to submit a one-minute video pitching their business for members of the public to vote on through the Virgin Pioneers website.
The three entrepreneurs in each category with the most popular pitches will then get to take their ideas to Sir Richard Branson himself. The deadline for the public voting is April 22 and then the finalists will pitch to the famous businessman at his home in Oxfordshire on May 13.
Last year’s Pitch to Rich winners were Joshua and John Okungbaiye, the founders of High Spirit who came up with theft-proof rucksacks.
The judging panel will include Sir Richard, Thea Green who founded Nails Inc, Tarek Malouf from Hummingbird Bakery, SBTV founder Jamal Edwards and Innocent Drinks’ Richard Reed.
We are currently running a special offer for our customers in Preston. New businesses who sign up for workspace at our Preston business centre will receive 12 months of mentoring and guidance from NXO, a marketing specialist and one of our long-term customers.
In addition to the mentoring, businesses will also receive a discount on their rent, giving them a chance to invest the money they save in their future.