Virgin Media Business’ Pitch to Rich 2015 competition to award Britain’s biggest ever business prize will be kick started with six events, taking place up and down the country throughout April, in association with Eventbrite.
In Brighton, the evening will be held on 23rd April at the Basement. Love joins a prestigious panel including Jonas Druppel, Dubsmash Founder, to help scout out the most innovative local talent. Three lucky entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch to Love and Druppel, and candidates will benefit from one-on-one financial advice, as well as information about business funding and mentoring from Virgin StartUp.
“As Chairman of Crowdfunder and an entrepreneur myself, it’s really exciting to be part of a competition that will award one of the biggest business prizes ever,” said Rob Love. “It’s also a brilliant opportunity to be able to introduce more businesses to Crowdfunder and find out how they can validate their ideas and turn them into reality.”
‘Pitch to Rich Live is all about calling on the best business minds in the country to help us seek out the UK’s most exciting business talent. As a leader with a huge breadth of experience and a reputation for his straight-up perspective, Rob Love was a natural choice and we are delighted to have him on board.’ Ernestina Hall, Head of Strategy & Communications, Virgin Management.
Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business, said: “Digital connectivity is playing a huge part in helping entrepreneurs build successful businesses, propelling the economy forward. Right now, great British businesses, like the thousands we work with, are seizing the opportunity that digital can have and shaking up their respective markets. Every strong economy needs game-changers and through Pitch to Rich we hope to inspire even more.”
The competition is the latest Virgin Media Business initiative to support small, growing UK businesses — the disproportionate drivers of the national economy. This has included the introduction of specifically-designed broadband services and the creation of free expert resources to help entrepreneurs make the most of the opportunities created by the digital world.
Winners in each of the three categories will be chosen by the Virgin founder, along with a prestigious team of judges, in a live final on the 26th June:
Start-up: for exciting new businesses with huge potential.
The winner gets £150,000 marketing support plus mentoring and help from Virgin StartUp’s professional business advisers for a year. Two runners-up receive £50,000 marketing support.
New Things: for big new ideas with the capacity to disrupt.
The winner gets £50,000 cash towards development, plus mentoring from Virgin’s Investment Team. Two runners-up receive £10,000 each towards development.
Grow: for existing businesses that are ready to go big-time.
The winner gets £250,000 marketing support, and two runners-up receive £100,000 marketing support.
All three category winners will also receive a full internet and fixed and mobile voice package from Virgin Media Business for 12 months, unlimited travel on Virgin Trains for 12 months, a place on the Accelerator Network programme (www.theacceleratornetwork.com/), a free package of pro bono advice from the ICAEW Business Advice Service (www.businessadviceserviceblog.com) and a membership to the not-for-profit private members club at The House of St Barnabas (www.hosb.org.uk).
One more £50,000 marketing support prize will be awarded to the semi-finalist with the most votes at the end — the People’s Choice.
#VOOM: Pitch to Rich 2015 builds on the work of Virgin Media Pioneers, the online community for entrepreneurs, and follows the success of last year’s Three New Things, a competition held by Virgin Media Business to unearth three new technologies with the power to change the way we live and work for good.
Interested businesses and individuals should register their interest at www.pitchtorich.co.uk.