Three businesses reach the final of Branson’s Pitch2Rich competition

CauliRice, Fourex and JustPark have beaten 2,400 rivals to make it to the final of Virgin’s ‘Pitch to Rich’ competition, which is searching for the UK’s most innovative and exciting new start-ups and small businesses.

The nine finalists were chosen through a combination of votes from the UK public and selection by the judging panel, which included Jo Malone (perfume entrepreneur), Jon Oringer (Shutterstock founder), David Gandy (model and start-up investor) and Justine Roberts (Mumsnet co-founder).

There is a Crowdcube-funded business in every one of the three categories: CauliRice, a low calorie, low carb alternative to rice, is competing in the Start-up category, Fourex, a self-service multi-currency note and coin exchange machine, in New things, and JustPark, an app that connects owners of parking spaces with drivers looking for a convenient spot, in Grow.

The founders are now preparing to pitch their business idea directly to Sir Richard Branson on 26 June. He will select a winner in each category, who will receive thousands of pounds worth of marketing support and business development from Virgin’s professional business advisors.

Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, says: “This is a real testament to the high quality and calibre of businesses that choose to raise capital on Crowdcube.”

“It also proves how credible the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ really is – the investors’ belief in these companies and their founders has been well and truly validated by the UK public and some very high-profile experts. For us, it’s really exciting to see that Crowdcube is helping to grow award-winning businesses.”