Local business makes the semi finals of Pitch to Rich

Ricky Martin of Skunkworks.
Ricky Martin of Skunkworks.

A Coleraine based business has been selected from a shortlist of 253 businesses as semi-finalist for the Virgin Media Business Pitch to Rich competition.

Brothers Chris and Ricky Martin are designing and producing what they describe as the “next generation” of surfboards at their Skunk Works surfboard company in Coleraine. Their vision is to create the most robust, high-performance soft surfboards and stand-up-paddleboards in the world while making a minimum impact on the environment.

The Semi-Finalists were whittled down from the top 250 pitches which received the most public votes since the competition launched in March. In total, over 2,500 pitches were submitted and over 550,000 votes cast.

People now have until 16 June to vote for their favourite pitch from the list of Semi-Finalists, whose ideas range from food, finance, extreme sports and social initiatives. The top nine will then pitch their business ideas, at the live Finale on 26 June, to Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Media Business Managing Director Peter Kelly and their panel of judges: Jon Oringer, Jo Malone, Justine Roberts and David Gandy. The winners will each win a slice of the £1 million prize fund up for grabs.

Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business, said: “We are celebrating the creativity, ingenuity and acumen that exists in the UK and encouraging more budding entrepreneurs to confront their fears and go for it! We are backing today’s entrepreneurs so they can be a part of tomorrow’s success.

“Our 32 Semi-Finalists are from all corners of the UK, from Hampshire to the Highlands, and each and every one of them should feel incredibly proud. We wish them all the best as they look to secure votes to get through to the Finale.”

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said: “The calibre of ideas that have been submitted to the Virgin Media Business Pitch to Rich competition is fantastic. It’s clear that the UK is producing some brilliant entrepreneurs and we need to do all we can to support them. This has been a tough decision to make but for the Semi-Finalists the adventure continues.”

Log on here to vote for Skunkworks: http://www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/pitch-to-rich/new-things/the-skunkworks-surfboard-company/