We received hundreds of high quality entries for this year’s Pitch to Rich competition in both the Start Up and Innovation categories - so a huge thank you to everyone who entered for the chance to pitch to Sir Richard Branson in person. As in previous years, we’ve found learning more about so many innovative businesses really inspiring.
Sir Richard Branson and his panel of judges have spent days examining all of the entries, delving into the businesses in more depth, and deliberating as a panel about which businesses should make it onto the shortlist. The finalists will be chosen from the shortlisted entrepreneurs below in two individual categories so don’t forget to vote for who you think deserves to make it through to the final in each category.
Voting starts now. The three shortlisted entries to have received the most votes in each category when voting closes at 12 o’clock midday on 23rd April will be named as the finalists. The six finalists will be invited to pitch to Sir Richard Branson and the panel of judges at the Branson family home in Oxfordshire on 13th May.
Which businesses excite you? Who do you think best represents the Pioneers community? And who do you think will get the most out of the opportunity to pitch to Richard Branson?
To decide who makes it through to the Pitch to Rich 2014 competition final, watch the pitch videos, read the description of the businesses, then cast your vote!
Voting closes at 12 o’clock midday on 23rd April 2014.
Pitch to Rich Start Up Award category semi-finalists
Company: Skribbies Website:Skribbies.com Business pitch to Rich: Skribbies is a cool kids footwear brand that kids can customise every day from new. Draw, wipe, draw. Simple.
With a special wipeable material, magic pens and stickers, kids can draw all over their shoes, wipe off and start again.
Company: Boxhug Website:Boxhug.com Business pitch to Rich: Boxhug is First Class Storage by the box and same-day delivery. We collect, safely store and return your stuff from your doorstep. Boxhug is professional, hassle-free storage, by the box. Allowing you to store as little, or as much as you need.
Never visit a storage unit again. Manage your items online or mobile. What's more, unlike self-storage facilities, with Boxhug, you only pay for space you use.
Company: Packed Munches Website:PackedMunches.co.uk Business pitch to Rich: Packed Munches is a subscription service delivering monthly boxes of British treats to expats and Anglophiles craving a taste from home. For the 5.5 million British expats abroad who find themselves homesick and craving familiar foods from home.
Packed Munches is a food delivery service offering three 'MunchBoxes' - sweet, savoury or best-of-both – full of uniquely British treats via online subscription. Homesick Brits can subscribe monthly, or choose to pay upfront for three or six months.
Company: PecoPoncho Website:PecoPoncho.com Business pitch to Rich: PecoPoncho's goal is to enhance the customer’s event experience by providing a solution to inclement weather whilst being environmentally aware. PecoPoncho is a brand of disposable rain ponchos, offering essential weather protection wear for customers attending outdoor events and promoting clients’ corporate responsibility profile.
The range includes the Classic, which is recyclable, the Eco, which is 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable, and the Eco Seed, which is implanted with wildflower seeds and can be planted after use.
Company: Audiowings Website:Audiowings.co.uk Business pitch to Rich: The way we listen to music is changing. No longer do we want 1000 songs in our pocket. Now we want all our favourite music, straight in our ears, with nothing in the way. That's why at Audiowings we're bringing popular audio services like Spotify to premium headphones, and making them smart.
But it doesn't stop there. By developing a content aggregation platform that links into numerous audio providers, Audiowings are redefining the radio by bringing online music into the real world. Helping you search, share and listen to great audio on the go.
Pitch to Rich Innovation Award category semi-finalists
Company: Lines Website:ChooseYourLine.com Business pitch to Rich: My vision is to bring wearable technology to snowsports; bearing in mind that snowsports are both physically demanding and inherently active, they provide the perfect setting to realise wearable technology’s full potential.
‘Lines’ sensors, which we hope will eventually be placed in skis and snowboards as well as boots and clothing, will analyse skiing/boarding motion and determine how users can improve their technique. Real-time feedback will be relayed to users through Google Glass or heads-up displays, complementing and ultimately replacing the role of ski instructors.
Company: miPic Ltd Website:miPic.co Business pitch to Rich: miPic is a social platform for mobile artographers to share images and sell art to a global audience, earning money for free. miPic enables mobile artists to share and sell their imagery to a global audience as physical art products, through an elegant social platform.
Users can tag and upload their images to the online gallery via the miPic iPhone App. You can see community comments, likes and sales and earn commission, which can be withdrawn to Paypal.
Company: Neatebox Ltd Website:Neatebox.com Business pitch to Rich: Neatebox is an automatic pedestrian crossing activation from smart device for those with reduced mobility.
You walk up to the kerb edge, you reach out to the pole, you press the button, you wait for the signal, you cross the road. Oh, did I forget to mention you are blind/deaf/have reduced mobility/in a wheel chair/driving mobility scooter/have MS. Now, do it again. Not so easy this time is it? With a simple automatic button press we can change this and with 1 billion disabled people worldwide we are duty bound to do so.
Company: I Can Make Website:ICanMake.co Business pitch to Rich: Sales of 3D printers are on the rise at home and school but no one is quite sure what to print. We can fix that. We sell fun, educational things for children and adults to make on 3D printers. Iconic, amazing things that changed the world. From Stephenson's Rocket, to Space Ship One. You buy, download, print and build your kit, learning as you go.
We want children to have fun, learn, and become the inventors and engineers of tomorrow. We work hard constantly in the I Can Make team to make products and environments which make learning so fun that you want to do more of it, and through that we hope we'll inspire the next generation to do great things.
Company: Audio Analytic Website:AudioAnalytic.com Business pitch to Rich: Audio Analytic produces software that automatically recognises sounds, helping users to detect incidents or events that cannot be identified from video.
Audio Analytic technology is used to detect sounds such as a smoke alarm, a baby crying or glass breaking, for example, to enable alerts to home or business owners, helping them to react promptly and intelligently to incidents as soon as they happen. Audio Analytic technology is aimed at the global home automation and security business, a multi-billion dollar industry.