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Pitch to Rich competition: Win the chance to pitch to Richard Branson

virginmediapioneers ‎17-03-2014 01:28 PM
‎17-03-2014 01:28 PM

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.

Two award categories

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

Apply now

To enter the Pitch to Rich 2014 competition, fill in the form below.

Pitch to Rich 2014 entry form

For full Terms and Conditions, click here.

The deadline for entries is midday on 7th April 2014.

Why isn't this open to the world, Virgin is dynamic enough?
Are there any competitions for the US? I have business in Agriculture (which I call "from seed to sip" because its a veritically interegrated hops to beer business model) and the other is a game changing technology that is patent protected that will change the way the world uses aluminum through the use of Metal Matrix Composites. Is there anyone I can talk to?
That would be great!!
Congrats and best wishes to all who enter!!

I do have a questions though.....why is it limited to the UK?
Any chance for people from other countries to pitch?

We may have ideas and opportunities for other parts of the world?
What about Australians : some of us have really great ideas!
I dont live in the dont qualify, but I have a big idea about energy for this planet. Wish I could share it with Richard.
Hi Stuart. will have a new section on their site later in the year where people can submit their ideas wherever they are in the world. Good luck!
Hi. You will be able to submit ideas from Australia later in the year on
Hi Matthew. This competition is UK only but there will be the opportunity to submit ideas on later in the year.
Hi. Thank you! The competition is still in the early stages so we needed to keep submissions manageable. will soon have a new section where you can submit your ideas wherever you're based in the world.
Virgin Media is UK based and, as the competition is still young, we wanted to make sure our judging panel had lots of time to fairly consider each entry. will be launching a new section this year where you can submit your business idea.
Hi Jim. will be launching a new section where you can submit your business ideas later in 2013. Best of luck!
When this is available in the US, I'll be ready to pitch with bells on!!!!!
Why only UK?
Oh..By the way....My new invention is patented in the USA & the U.K. just please watch the short video!!!!!!!

M.J. Nelson
Need this in South Africa too :-( Might have something that could end up, that WILL end up a global hit. I am willing to invest everything I own (its just not enough) on it . That must say something.
Good luck to the contestants. Make it count.
Do none of you earlier commenters read the comments prior to yours? All of these questions have been about why this isn't available outside the UK, when the answer was clearly stated in the first comment. Good luck to you all and as said, will be launching a platform for outside UK later in the year. x
myronwright is US base but we're building a global ent network fam friendly. Our business will bring millions togethers togethers, save lives and promote thier talents by finding, videoing, editing, packaging for viewing and sales. The funds could be returned to those poor coutries to build schools, hospitals and technology centers.
yes this is so needed in south africa
Oh so sad. why does the coolest venture company on the planet have to live in the UK and only work with UK businesses? I'd even be willing to relocate to the UK if it meant working with Richard.
im super excited to find out who has been picked, when will the news be leaked?
Hi Aaron,

The shortlist will be announced on Monday 15th April.

Very exciting!
Looking forward to hearing who has been selected. thanks. Alex
Please do this for the USA too!
Gutted I missed the entry times! Maybe you'll run it again next year?
Super honoured to be one of the semi-finalists. We are really trying to make a positive impact in the lives of many, solar power is the way forward - good for our environment and energy that we all need... Please vote for Gennex on Pitch to Rich competition for Gennex. We are working really hard to find am alternative energy for those who need it the most. If anyone wants to partner or talk with us we are open for conversation email us. Thanks guys, sorry to those who didn't manage to get through.
Hi Nicky,

We can't say 100% but it's very likely as we launched the 'Pitch to Rich' competition last year and it's been even more popular this year.

We'll have plenty of other opportunities throughout the rest of the year too so keep an eye on our website.

Have a great week.
If ever there is a competition that includes "Thinkers" rom the Indian subcontinent, I would be happy to make a contribution. Smiley Happy
sounds gr8
Ya Indians and people all around the world should be given opportunity to present before Mr.Branson....Talent is UNIVERSAL yarr! Even I have a good to pitch in???!
i am from iran can i join to competition for the Innovation Award?
Any chance this contest could go global? I've got a good idea -- but am based in Canada. -- an alternative community currency that's been operating for 2 years in Victoria... providing language lessons, home repairs and soon food security to impoverished Indigenous people in Canada. It works also as a marketing model for small businesses ... an easy to implement rewards program that can increase customer traffic without risking a huge amount of money....
Too bad this is only for UK folks.
How about expanding the pioneer program globally- as Virgin itself is?C'mon Aussie c'mon c'mon- have such an innovative, exciting not to mention 'paradigm shifting; project when you do bring it 'down under' the meantime Ill just get on with it Smiley Happy
Great stuff supporting start ups...we all need a little help from our friends!
Could you do this in the usa. I have some renewable stategies and sustaianable Ideas...
This is fantastic
Worldwide industrial Tool Invented by my self, no
recognition, no acknowledgement and no patent yet after
7years 6 months have been promised resolution by UK
parliament, patience I've been told. no investment.
application and extraction of any given nut, bolt or
screw in a confined space any denomination socket, hex,
spline or star bolt. labour, time and cost saving device.
Been promised world wide contracts and they have
infringed my patent protection and theft of intellectual
property and prototypes sent to America with contract and
signed secrecy agreement's received from unjust investors
with no fruition, security and other country's has been
improved in the EU infringement theft will contravene Geneva
1949 on intellectual property and can possibly get up to
10 years in prison for theft, just need resolution on the
USA and those that have done a bunk there with promises
and lies. A tool for the world no fruition yet. To many wolves in sheep's clothing.
Yes, we would love this competition to go global!!! love and Kisses from the newest children's sensation the "Pony Fairy" come visit me at
if you have an idea but not set up i.e no website or up and running and you are not a digital entrepreneur, can you still apply? I tried but it keep asking for a website address..

We need some way of getting a feel for your business so you can include a link to your Facebook or Twitter page, for example but we will need to see something. Good luck!
Hi Stephen,

We're afraid we can only accept entries filled out through the form. Good luck!
Hi Carl,

This is a UK residents' only competition at the moment but we'll certainly let you know if there's something similar in the US in the future.
I'm jumping up and down and stomping my feet right now @ it's only a UK residents only competition. But...wish them all the best of luck! Smiley Happy
I hope we get selected and make Britain safer for all, through prisoner employment and restorative justice, where earning prisoners payback to victims of crime

'Stay safe UK'
I have always held a vision of inspiring and uplifting teenagers to be the best they can be by giving them tools to believe in themselves, they are yoga based solutions and mindfulness. I have always had a vision board of my dreams and inspirations and schieve them every year. My wish is that every student starts their day with stretches, meditation and a goal, believing in themselves,what a wonderful world we live in, thank you for all of your inspiration.
I would like to ask for your assistance, I'm trying to complete my application form, but I get the following error, on business stage - Innovation.

This field is required. Please enter a value.

I try lot of times to submit but I get always the same error.

Kind regards
What about the rest of the World? UK only, doesn't sound like Sir RCNB!

The key to success is knowing it!
We'd love for it to be in Sout Africa as well. The Richard Branson Center for Entrepreneurship is also a great-to-go place... I still say that wth the right mentorship and personal drive, one can attain funding anywhere.
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