THE BLOG

Start-Ups, Entrepreneurs, Innovators - Fancy Pitching to Richard Branson?

01/04/2015 12:23 BST | Updated 30/05/2015 10:59 BST

A good idea, whether conceived in a garage, pub, or bedroom, has the power to change the world. Entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson have shown us that believing in your idea and doing everything in your power to make it a reality can turn an idea into one of the world's most recognisable brands.

Taking your business from the garage to a boardroom is not as easy as it sounds. It can be scary to put yourself out there and start shouting about why your idea needs to be noticed, especially with so much brilliant competition out there.

Yet there are loads of people to help, whether it's friends, colleagues, or communities of likeminded start-ups. While the ultimate success of the business may be up to you, you're really not on your own.

Today Virgin Media Business is launching '#VOOM: Pitch to Rich 2015', a nationwide hunt for the most innovative and creative business people across the UK. Finalists will have the chance to pitch their idea to Richard Branson himself for a chance to win a share of a £1m prize pot - the biggest accelerator prize in British business history.

There are three categories: 'Grow' for a team with a compelling vision to expand the business; 'New Things' for a promising idea to shake up the market; and finally 'Start Up' for a new business with bags of potential.

We want this competition to highlight the great things that growing businesses are already doing, and be the catalyst to drive forward even more inventors and entrepreneurs. Pitching your idea to Britain's most recognisable entrepreneur, a panel of expert judges may seem pretty terrifying. But the results will be life changing. Last year's winner, Igor Rubets, founder of a new storage system Boxhug, couldn't even hold a microphone two weeks before he was due to pitch. After putting his fear aside he pitched to Sir Richard and has since been able to invest in much-needed training and professional advice. As a result his team has been able to finally get out of start-up mode and grow the business.

No-one ever said starting or growing a business was easy. But we need more entrepreneurs who are willing to take the leap, put themselves out there and use that fear to their advantage. With decent support early on and the right idea, anything is possible.

So what are you waiting for? If you're a spirited entrepreneur or innovation junkie, visit www.pitchtorich.co.uk for more info.