Four big names from the world of entrepreneurship and investment have been added to the judging panel for the 2015 Pitch to Rich competition.
The live finale, to be held in London on 26 June, will see budding entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to the panel in the hope of wining marketing and mentoring support.
The judges who will join Richard Branson on the judging panel are: cosmetics entrepreneur Jo Malone, Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer, Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts and serial investor David Gandy.
They will judge three categories at the live final; consisting of Start-up, New Things and Grow. The winning pitches will receive up to £250,000 marketing support and mentoring from the business experts.
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There were more than 2,500 entries originally and this has since been whittled down to the finalists who will appear at the live finale in June.
Virgin Media Business managing director Peter Kelly said the competition was set up to “find the UK’s most interesting and innovative businesses”.
“We’re delighted to have secured an expert panel of judges with outstanding credentials when it comes to starting and investing in new business,” he continued.
“Looking at the high number and quality of the pitches we’ve received, our judging panel will really have to draw on their collective experience to identify the very best at the live finale.”
Richard Branson added that he was “thrilled to be joined by such an experienced panel of judges”.
“Setting up a business is a huge challenge, the Virgin Media Business Pitch to Rich competition is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and make their mark, whether they are a start-up or a well-established business. I can’t wait to meet the finalists next month,” he said.
Further reading: 2014 Pitch to Rich winner on his first year