18 June 2013
Pitch 2 Rich 2013
Virgin Media Pioneers’ Pitch 2 Rich competition offers young entrepreneurs a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win business mentoring, support and start-up investment from Sir Richard Branson.
With £5,000 of investment up for grabs and the opportunity to pitch to Virgin Media’s very own legendary Pioneer-at-Large, Pitch 2 Rich is one of the most anticipated Pioneer community events of the year.
This year, over 200 innovative business ideas were entered into the competition with a panel of judges selecting a shortlist of eight semi-finalists who were asked to create 1 minute video pitches. These business pitches were then put out to public vote with the four most popular making it through to the final live pitching event with Sir Richard.
On the day of the event, each of the finalists had exactly four minutes to sell their business idea to the impressive panel of judges including Nails Inc. founder, Thea Green, Hummingbird Bakery master mind / baker, Tarek Malouf, SBTV founder and original pioneer, Jamal Edwards, Dan Watson, founder of SafetyNet and last years Pitch 2 Rich winner, and Sir Richard Branson himself.
After an intense Q&A session with the finalists, the judges went away to confer, returning with a unanimous decision to name John and Joshua Okungbaiye from South East London as the 2013 Pitch 2 Rich winners.
The Thamesmead brothers’ company, ‘HighSpirit’, creates pickpocket proof leather rucksacks designed to prevent anyone but the user accessing the external zips when the bag is worn. Their venture triumphed over three other finalists including guilt-free ‘sweets for adults’, The Jealous Life, fuel injection system, TCK Engines, and design, building and training company Straw Works.
The runners-up all received £1,000 of investment for their businesses with the winners being awarded the grand prize worth £5,000 which includes £3,000 of investment and mentoring support, plus legal, branding and marketing advice for their business.
For Joshua, 25, and his 23-year-old brother John, winning the Pitch 2 Rich competition was “a dream come true”. The High Spirit founders now plan on using their prize money to improve their website and are considering setting up a pop-up shop, either in Brick Lane or Camden.
Sir Richard Branson expressed his support for the brothers saying: “I always look forward to judging the Pitch to Rich final as it gives me a wonderful opportunity to meet a host of interesting entrepreneurs. This year was no different. I was very impressed by High Spirit and their innovative take on the rucksack. I’ll be using my red bag and I’m very happy to be one of their first brand ambassadors.”
To find out more visit the Virgin Media Pioneers website.