#VMPitch2Rich Branson begins search for Britain’s best start-up

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#VMPitch2Rich Branson begins search for Britain’s best start-up

Pitch to Rich: Branson begins search for Britain’s best start-upVirgin Media Pioneers competition launches with a prize package worth £5,000 for winner including mentoring support

Virgin Media Pioneers – the online community for aspiring entrepreneurs – has launched a nationwide search to find the best budding business leaders, offering them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win start-up investment from a panel including Sir Richard Branson.

MumsClub North East ambassador, Maria Albertsen, entered last years Pitch to Rich event beating off 800 other entrants to make it to second place in the finals. She pitched the idea for her new business venture RagHeroes and says being part of the event has helped change her life around, after being made redundant in 2010.

As a keen supporter of women in business, Maria is happy to be contacted and give advice on her experience of the Pitch to Rich event. You can get in touch with her at maria@ragheroes.co.uk.

Eight young entrepreneurs will be short-listed before a public vote to determine which four should meet Richard at a secret location in London.

Once there, the final four will compete in front of an audience of chief executives and managing directors for the winning prize package worth £5,000, which includes £3,000 of investment and mentoring, including legal, branding and marketing advice for their business. The runners up will also receive £1,000 worth of investment, as well as an opportunity to build their network and raise their profile in order to further their business prospects.

In 2012 the Pitch to Rich initiative attracted 800 entries with Branson accompanied on the panel by Innocent Founder Richard Reid and SBTV Founder and Virgin Media Pioneer success story Jamal Edwards.

Last years finalists included Dan Watson of SafetyNet, who has since secured trials with UK authorities for his sustainable fishing net prototypes. The other finalists were Heidi Lindvall and Guy Gunaratne of CODOC, a production company now working with Virgin Media on their multi-layered video platform, Maria Albertsen of Rag Heroes who is working to set a doll-making world record and Jacob Hill, whose company The Lazy Camper now supplies V Festival.

Neil Berkett, chief executive of Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media Pioneers provides budding entrepreneurs with a forum to share advice and tackle problems as they navigate the journey of starting up a business. In a challenging economic climate, this competition will not only award the winners with an injection of investment to help develop their business ideas, but it will also offer support through money-can’t-buy mentoring opportunities.”

Sir Richard Branson, Pioneer-At-Large of Virgin Media Pioneers and founder of the Virgin Group, said: “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 ofBritain’s best young entrepreneurs to hear their ideas and help make some of them a reality.”

Virgin Media Pioneers was founded by Virgin Media in 2010. Today, the free peer-to-peer network supports 5,000 young entrepreneurs, providing mentoring, advice and unique business opportunities.

The first stage of the competition entries closes at midnight on Tuesday on April 2nd 2013. Entrants must be:

  • A UK resident with a UK based business
  • Founders of a business in pre-launch or within its first 2 years of trading
  • Over 16 years of age
  • A registered Virgin Media Pioneer (free to register)
  • Available May 3rd, 2013
  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions of the competition

To find out more about the Virgin Media Pioneers or to enter, visit: www.virginmediapioneers.com or @VMPioneers #VMPitch2Rich

And good luck!

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