Nine young, innovative companies will pitch to a panel of expert investors including Richards Branson at the final of Virgin Media’s Pitch to Rich competition today (Fri 26 June).
The finalists are separated into three categories: start-up, new things and grow. All finalists have reached the final following a public vote in which more than 675,000 votes were cast.
The criteria for the categories are:
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.
Virgin Media MD Peter Kelly said he has seen “some incredible people and business ideas” throughout the competition.
“It’s a particularly exciting time for our finalists. The prize the winners will receive will give their businesses the chance to truly accelerate to the next level and become an established name. A huge congratulations to all of them, I’m really looking forward to hearing their final pitches,” he said.
Details of the finalists:
Kino-Mo: a hi-tech advertising media developer which aims to make holograms an affordable and available solution. The state-of-the-art technology allows 3D graphics to appear to float in mid-air. Based in London.
Hegarty Maths: an inspired online learning tool, Hegarty Maths gives disadvantaged children access to quality maths tutoring and education. Based in London, it aims to become the go-to website for students aged 8-17 for maths teaching across the world
Cauli Rice: the first long-life, ready-to-heat version of the global diet phenomenon, cauliflower rice. Based in London, Cauli Rice is a low carbohydrate replacement to rice, bread and pasta, with 75% fewer calories
Fourex: aims to revolutionise the way we exchange currency, using self-service machines that will exchange both coins and notes from almost any country in the world for cash. Based in London
The Skunkworks Surfboard Company: plans to create robust, high-performance soft surfboards and stand-up-paddleboards that are environmentally friendly, based in County Antrim
Sendy: a revolutionary P2P parcel delivery app that lets you send any item to anywhere in the world quickly and cheaply. Based in London, Sendy provides a competitive alternative to big-name courier services
Aduna: an Africa-inspired health and beauty brand and social business, creating a market for the African superfruit, Baobab. As an icon of the African savannah, Baobab could be worth a billion dollars to rural Africa. Based in London
Approved Food: an online grocer specialising in a wide range of stock from household goods to kitchen cupboard essentials, some of which is nearing or past its best-before-date. Based in Yorkshire, Approved Foods offers customers huge savings on their shop
Just Park: taking parking into the digital era, the JustPark app and website gives drivers access to over 150,000 parking spaces by connecting them with property owners looking to make money from their underused spaces. Based in London.
Further reading: Can Tech City challenge Silicon Valley?