If you want to apply to this year's competition, Pitch to Rich 2015, click here.
Are you an entrepreneur who’d love the chance to pitch to Richard Branson? Last year’s Pitch to Rich competition was such a success amongst Pioneers that we’re running it again and making it even bigger and better for 2014.
Starting today, we’re launching a nationwide search to find the best and most innovative entrepreneurs in the UK, and offering you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win start-up investment from Sir Richard Branson.
Championing undiscovered talent
Virgin Media Pioneers proudly champions undiscovered talent. We support entrepreneurs and businesses that embody the Virgin spirit of enterprise and we’re always looking for new opportunities that will benefit the Pioneers community. That’s why, in 2012, we came up with the Pitch to Rich competition. After all, the best opportunity we can offer Pioneers is the chance to pitch to our very own Pioneer-at-Large, Sir Richard Branson.
This year, we have expanded the competition from a single award to two exciting award categories.
The Start Up Award: In partnership with Virgin StartUp, the award is for businesses in their first 12 months of trading. It is open to entrepreneurs with any type of early stage business that meets the Government Start Up Loans scheme criteria. Every entrant in England will also be supported in an application to seek funding and a business mentor with the newly formed Virgin StartUp not-for-profit organisation.
The Innovation Award: Successfully trading small technology businesses looking to make the next leap forward should enter in this category. The winner will be offered free enrolment to the Accelerator Academy – a London-based, established 12-week, high-growth training and mentoring programme for ambitious digital entrepreneurs with training, mentoring free workspace and access to capital. All semi-finalists will receive an HP tablet to help them manage their businesses.
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 - Sir Richard Branson
Prize winning pitches
If you’re a UK business and you've been looking for an opportunity to pitch to Sir Richard Branson, then you’re in luck. A panel of judges will select a shortlist of ten businesses from the initial written entries - five in each of the two award categories. Each of the businesses on the shortlist will be asked to submit a 1 minute video pitch.
The call for written entries closes at midday on 7th April 2014. Five entrepreneurs will be shortlisted for each award and asked to prepare 1 minute pitch videos to face a public vote.
The video pitches from the ten shortlisted entrants will be shared on the Pioneers site and put to the public vote. The three entrepreneurs with the most votes in each category by 22nd April will then pitch for money-can’t buy advice and support on 13th May at the Branson family home in Oxfordshire.
What the finalists will win
The winning prize package for each award includes £5,000 of investment plus mentoring, including legal, branding and marketing advice, as well as an opportunity for the winners to build their network and raise their profile in order to further their prospects.
Entrants must be:
• A UK resident with a UK based business • Aged 18 years or over • A registered Virgin Media Pioneer (free to register, click here) • Available 13th May 2014 for a live pitching event in Oxfordshire • Agree to the Terms and Conditions of the competition
To enter the Pitch to Rich 2014 competition, fill in the form below.