The winners of the Virgin Media Pitch to Rich competition have been announced at an event in London.
A shortlist of nine companies pitched their companies to Virgin founder Richard Branson and a panel of top entrepreneurs and investors.
The judging panel consisted of: Model turned investor David Gandy, entrepreneur and investor Jo Malone, Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer, Mumsnet founder and CEO Justine Roberts and Virgin Media Business MD Peter Kelly.
In the start-up category, which Branson described as the closest of all, Kino-Mo beat off competition from Cauli Rice and Hegarty Maths to take the prize.
The company, founded by UCL PHD graduate Kiryl Chykeyuk, makes holograms for the mass-market. It aims its product at advertisers and retailers and plans to combine the technology with drones at some stage in the future.
Chykeyuk said that the award was a culmination of at least three months “without sleeping”.
“We worked 24 hours a day to increase coverage and prepare. But we’ve been overwhelmed with response and it’s just been a great experience.,” he said.
Fintech company Fourex, described by founder Jeff Paterson as “money transfer on steroids”, won the New Things category. The Skunkworks Surfboard Company and Sendy were runners-up.
The technology allows users to take money from 150 currencies to kiosks, unsorted, and have it exchanged to Pounds, Euros or Dollars. It accepts both notes and coins.
Paterson joked afterwards that the pitch had been such a blur that he couldn’t remember “one word that I said”.
“But this whole thing has been so great for us because it’s exposed the product so that people will know exactly what we do. We’re launching in six weeks so the timing couldn’t be any better for us,” he said.
Finally the prize in the Grow category was awarded to Just Park, who beat Aduna and Approver Food.
The sharing economy business allows home-owners to offer underused car parking spaces to drivers who are struggling to find a space for a small fee.
Founder Anthony Eskinazi said he intended to mark the award by breaking the habit entrepreneurs have of “not celebrating enough”.
“I’ll make sure that when I get back to the office there will be some bottles of bubbly opened. I was up there pitching today but there is a whole team back there who made this possible.”
Branson described judging the competition as an “incredibly hard but inspiring task”.
“This competition has been a wonderful experience and I’m very excited to be working with our winners as they progress on to the next stage of their journey,” he added.
The winners received a slice of the £1 million prize fund as well as marketing and business mentoring. All runners-up receive marketing help worth £100,000.
Further reading: Five business giants who worked first time round