Richard Branson recruits business leaders for start-up competition » SMEInsider

Richard Branson recruits business leaders for start-up competition

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Four new judges have joined Richard Branson on the panel for Pitch 2 Rich, an initiative which gives start-up business the chance to win a £1m business accelerator prize fund.

An eclectic bunch of successful entrepreneurs are joining Branson and Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Media Business on the judging panel.

Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer, model and start-up investor David Gandy, perfume entrepreneur Jo Malone and Mumsnet co-founder Justine Roberts have been added to the line-up.

‘‘I am 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,’’ commented Richard Branson, one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Applications for this year’s edition of Pitch for Rich have closed, with a shortlist of 150 entrepreneurs currently being assessed by the new panel.

On June 26th, three finalists from each category will pitch to Rich in a live finale event in London. The categories are start-ups, new things, and grow.  The six judges will select a winner in each category.

‘‘At the start of Pitch to Rich, we tasked ourselves with finding 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,’’ said Kelly.