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Pitch to Rich competition: Win the chance to pitch to Richard Branson

17 Mar 2014

If you want to apply to this year’s competition, Pitch to Rich 2015, click here.

Are you an entrepreneur who’d love the chance to pitch to Richard Branson? Last year’s Pitch to Rich competition was such a success amongst Pioneers that we’re running it again and making it even bigger and better for 2014.

Starting today, we’re launching a nationwide search to find the best and most innovative entrepreneurs in the UK, and offering you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win start-up investment from Sir Richard Branson.

Championing undiscovered talent

Virgin Media Pioneers proudly champions undiscovered talent. We support entrepreneurs and businesses that embody the Virgin spirit of enterprise and we’re always looking for new opportunities that will benefit the Pioneers community. That’s why, in 2012, we came up with the Pitch to Rich competition. After all, the best opportunity we can offer Pioneers is the chance to pitch to our very own Pioneer-at-Large, Sir Richard Branson.

Two award categories

This year, we have expanded the competition from a single award to two exciting award categories.

The Start Up Award:
In partnership with Virgin StartUp, the award is for businesses in their first 12 months of trading. It is open to entrepreneurs with any type of early stage business that meets the Government Start Up Loans scheme criteria. Every entrant in England will also be supported in an application to seek funding and a business mentor with the newly formed Virgin StartUp not-for-profit organisation.

The Innovation Award:
Successfully trading small technology businesses looking to make the next leap forward should enter in this category. The winner will be offered free enrolment to the Accelerator Academy – a London-based, established 12-week, high-growth training and mentoring programme for ambitious digital entrepreneurs with training, mentoring free workspace and access to capital. All semi-finalists will receive an HP tablet to help them manage their businesses.

Starting a business with 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 more of Britain’s best young entrepreneurs through the Start Up Award.

The Innovation Award is about propelling the next great British tech business forward so we’re looking for disruptive businesses who could one day give Silicon Valley a run for their money – Sir Richard Branson

Prize winning pitches

If you’re a UK business and you’ve been looking for an opportunity to pitch to Sir Richard Branson, then you’re in luck. A panel of judges will select a shortlist of ten businesses from the initial written entries – five in each of the two award categories. Each of the businesses on the shortlist will be asked to submit a 1 minute video pitch.

The call for written entries closes at midday on 7th April 2014. Five entrepreneurs will be shortlisted for each award and asked to prepare 1 minute pitch videos to face a public vote.

The video pitches from the ten shortlisted entrants will be shared on the Pioneers site and put to the public vote. The three entrepreneurs with the most votes in each category by 22nd April will then pitch for money-can’t buy advice and support on 13th May at the Branson family home in Oxfordshire.

What the finalists will win

The winning prize package for each award includes £5,000 of investment plus mentoring, including legal, branding and marketing advice, as well as an opportunity for the winners to build their network and raise their profile in order to further their prospects.

Entrants must be:

• A UK resident with a UK based business
• Aged 18 years or over
• A registered Virgin Media Pioneer (free to register, click here)
• Available 13th May 2014 for a live pitching event in Oxfordshire
• Agree to the Terms and Conditions of the competition

Apply now

To enter the Pitch to Rich 2014 competition, fill in the form below.

Pitch to Rich 2014 entry form

For full Terms and Conditions, click here.

The deadline for entries is midday on 7th April 2014.

9  •  Comment 79


Most Recent Most Voted

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It might certainly be a better idea than relying on a taxi if
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Will Pitch to Rich ever come to Australia? We have amazing entrepreneurs here.
and the Aussie dollar is low right now


why do entreprenaurs have to be young?

Foamy Media

great idea this we would love to enter!


All that hassle for only £5k? Really??! It’s a shame since this amount of money is not a capital to start up a company. Shame… I was about to enter bit no point, given my business needs around £40k.


Hi there,

This is for last year’s competition. The prize fund is actually £1 million this year. Visit to find out more. Thanks

Jason Cook

Can I pitch for this years if so how and when many thanks as I would like to make 72 work placement employ over a 100 people and grow what I’m working to wards many thanks
“Be part of some thing good”
Kind regards
Jason Cook
Author helpping against the war on drugs.

jeff lawrence

This form is currently private and cannot be viewed by the public.


Hi everyone – this is last year’s form. Please go to to enter this year.


The entry form states the form is private, so at the moment I’m unable to fill in the application.

Phillip Loukaides

Hello Richard,

I have have been investigating alternative methods of electricity production, I believe that I have a product that is like no other in the renewable energy and self perpetual electricity production industries.

It requires zero electrical input and it can either be partly managed for continual production or entirely self perpetuating.

If you would like to arrange a meeting or a call initially, feel free to reply when you can.

Kind Regards
Phil Loukaides


How do you view this form? has the competition final entry date been brought forward? it says the form is private and not to be viewed by the public


Hi Judy, this is for last year’s Pitch to Rich – visit for more info, cheers!


Is there a comp this year to win £5000, if so could you mail me the details please. Edward hannan. Works wonders,fire suppression systems. tel 01209 218490.

Thanks ed

Carol M. Smith

I follow twitter and facebook and also frequent your website. Business tips, stories and ides always inspire me. At the end of the day, I live just across the waters (Tortola) from one of your lovely business but still am not eligible for business assistance – startup, partnership etc. As a resident of Tortola, and a holder of an Antiguan passport, may I ask, if I am eligible for any of the business opportunities or programmes? Thanks

kim trevett

A long shot – in the likelihood this would be read:

What does one do, when they have put together a life-changing day, brought in top experts for free in body, mind and spirit to educate and inspire people.

Partnered with a charity to donate a portion of the ticket sales and help others, but no one is buying?

Where does one do? when my business is about is making a difference.


Hi my name is Shane Jarvis, I am the CEO of i am disappointed as i cannot enter this competition even though my design idea is about developing a phone all i need is the funding the manufacturing process is currently on hold. Well i cannot enter this competition as i am only 17 :( Is there anything you suggest? I was really looking forward to this as i absolutely love Virgin and it would have been a great experience.

Shane Jarvis


Hi Shane,

Thanks for getting in touch. We’re going to look into some other opportunities for you.


Why did I join? Aren’t Canadians innovative?


Of course! This is an opportunity for businesses based in the UK. However, we have lots of opportunities throughout the year.

Mark Scott

I am not sure the Pitch to Rich fits what I am trying to achieve and what I believe.

I need someone to give me advice on the best way to get something in front of Sir Richard for his consideration.

I do however have an idea that I believe Sir Richard Branson will agree has real mileage and potentially create a new division within the Virgin empire of companies.

Please can I ask any suggestion on how I can get my approach to Sir Richard.

Kind Regards
Mark Scott


Hi Mark,

You can submit a proposal in a number of ways. This is the link you’ll need

Good luck!


We’d love for it to be in Sout Africa as well. The Richard Branson Center for Entrepreneurship is also a great-to-go place… I still say that wth the right mentorship and personal drive, one can attain funding anywhere.

Dwaine Everett Thomas

What about the rest of the World? UK only, doesn’t sound like Sir RCNB!

The key to success is knowing it!


I would like to ask for your assistance, I’m trying to complete my application form, but I get the following error, on business stage – Innovation.

This field is required. Please enter a value.

I try lot of times to submit but I get always the same error.

Kind regards



This glitch has now been resolved by the company hosting the form so please try again.

Thanks for persevering!

Jan Winslade

I have always held a vision of inspiring and uplifting teenagers to be the best they can be by giving them tools to believe in themselves, they are yoga based solutions and mindfulness. I have always had a vision board of my dreams and inspirations and schieve them every year. My wish is that every student starts their day with stretches, meditation and a goal, believing in themselves,what a wonderful world we live in, thank you for all of your inspiration.

Alastair Chambers

I hope we get selected and make Britain safer for all, through prisoner employment and restorative justice, where earning prisoners payback to victims of crime

‘Stay safe UK’


I’m jumping up and down and stomping my feet right now @ it’s only a UK residents only competition. But…wish them all the best of luck! :)


We’re sure they are all really appreciative – as are we! Thanks for being a Virgin Media Pioneer and for all of your support :)

if you have an idea but not set up i.e no website or up and running and you are not a digital entrepreneur, can you still apply? I tried but it keep asking for a website address..



We need some way of getting a feel for your business so you can include a link to your Facebook or Twitter page, for example but we will need to see something. Good luck!


Yes, we would love this competition to go global!!! love and Kisses from the newest children’s sensation the “Pony Fairy” come visit me at

stephen mason

Worldwide industrial Tool Invented by my self, no
recognition, no acknowledgement and no patent yet after
7years 6 months have been promised resolution by UK
parliament, patience I’ve been told. no investment.
application and extraction of any given nut, bolt or
screw in a confined space any denomination socket, hex,
spline or star bolt. labour, time and cost saving device.
Been promised world wide contracts and they have
infringed my patent protection and theft of intellectual
property and prototypes sent to America with contract and
signed secrecy agreement’s received from unjust investors
with no fruition, security and other country’s has been
improved in the EU infringement theft will contravene Geneva
1949 on intellectual property and can possibly get up to
10 years in prison for theft, just need resolution on the
USA and those that have done a bunk there with promises
and lies. A tool for the world no fruition yet. To many wolves in sheep’s clothing.


Hi Stephen,

We’re afraid we can only accept entries filled out through the form. Good luck!


This is fantastic

Carl P.

Could you do this in the usa. I have some renewable stategies and sustaianable Ideas…


Hi Carl,

This is a UK residents’ only competition at the moment but we’ll certainly let you know if there’s something similar in the US in the future.


How about expanding the pioneer program globally- as Virgin itself is?C’mon Aussie c’mon c’mon- have such an innovative, exciting not to mention ‘paradigm shifting; project when you do bring it ‘down under’…in the meantime Ill just get on with it :)
Great stuff supporting start ups…we all need a little help from our friends!

Silvestre Acedillo

Too bad this is only for UK folks.

Meaghie Champion

Any chance this contest could go global? I’ve got a good idea — but am based in Canada. — an alternative community currency that’s been operating for 2 years in Victoria… providing language lessons, home repairs and soon food security to impoverished Indigenous people in Canada. It works also as a marketing model for small businesses … an easy to implement rewards program that can increase customer traffic without risking a huge amount of money….



fazel pavand

i am from iran can i join to competition for the Innovation Award?


Ya Indians and people all around the world should be given opportunity to present before Mr.Branson….Talent is UNIVERSAL yarr! Even I have a good start-up…care to pitch in???!


sounds gr8

Khushroo Sethna

If ever there is a competition that includes “Thinkers” rom the Indian subcontinent, I would be happy to make a contribution. :)


Super honoured to be one of the semi-finalists. We are really trying to make a positive impact in the lives of many, solar power is the way forward – good for our environment and energy that we all need… Please vote for Gennex on Pitch to Rich competition for Gennex. We are working really hard to find am alternative energy for those who need it the most. If anyone wants to partner or talk with us we are open for conversation email us. Thanks guys, sorry to those who didn’t manage to get through.


Gutted I missed the entry times! Maybe you’ll run it again next year?


Hi Nicky,

We can’t say 100% but it’s very likely as we launched the ‘Pitch to Rich’ competition last year and it’s been even more popular this year.

We’ll have plenty of other opportunities throughout the rest of the year too so keep an eye on our website.

Have a great week.

Kathy Acre

Please do this for the USA too!


Looking forward to hearing who has been selected. thanks. Alex


im super excited to find out who has been picked, when will the news be leaked?


Hi Aaron,

The shortlist will be announced on Monday 15th April.

Very exciting!

Glenn Barres, Jr

Oh so sad. why does the coolest venture company on the planet have to live in the UK and only work with UK businesses? I’d even be willing to relocate to the UK if it meant working with Richard.

myronwright is US base but we’re building a global ent network fam friendly. Our business will bring millions togethers togethers, save lives and promote thier talents by finding, videoing, editing, packaging for viewing and sales. The funds could be returned to those poor coutries to build schools, hospitals and technology centers.


Do none of you earlier commenters read the comments prior to yours? All of these questions have been about why this isn’t available outside the UK, when the answer was clearly stated in the first comment. Good luck to you all and as said, will be launching a platform for outside UK later in the year. x

Jacobus Hendrikse

Need this in South Africa too :-( Might have something that could end up, that WILL end up a global hit. I am willing to invest everything I own (its just not enough) on it . That must say something.
Good luck to the contestants. Make it count.


yes this is so needed in south africa

M.J. Nelson

Oh..By the way….My new invention is patented in the USA & the U.K. just please watch the short video!!!!!!!

M.J. Nelson


Why only UK?

Marguerite M. Murphy-Cancilla

When this is available in the US, I’ll be ready to pitch with bells on!!!!!

Stuart Scheepers

I dont live in the Uk…so dont qualify, but I have a big idea about energy for this planet. Wish I could share it with Richard.


Hi Stuart. will have a new section on their site later in the year where people can submit their ideas wherever they are in the world. Good luck!


What about Australians : some of us have really great ideas!


Hi. You will be able to submit ideas from Australia later in the year on

Matthew Austin

Any chance for people from other countries to pitch?

We may have ideas and opportunities for other parts of the world?


Hi Matthew. This competition is UK only but there will be the opportunity to submit ideas on later in the year.


Congrats and best wishes to all who enter!!

I do have a questions though…..why is it limited to the UK?


Hi. Thank you! The competition is still in the early stages so we needed to keep submissions manageable. will soon have a new section where you can submit your ideas wherever you’re based in the world.


That would be great!!

Jim McManus

Are there any competitions for the US? I have business opportuntities….one in Agriculture (which I call “from seed to sip” because its a veritically interegrated hops to beer business model) and the other is a game changing technology that is patent protected that will change the way the world uses aluminum through the use of Metal Matrix Composites. Is there anyone I can talk to?


Hi Jim. will be launching a new section where you can submit your business ideas later in 2013. Best of luck!


Why isn’t this open to the world, Virgin is dynamic enough?


Virgin Media is UK based and, as the competition is still young, we wanted to make sure our judging panel had lots of time to fairly consider each entry. will be launching a new section this year where you can submit your business idea.

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