Sir Richard Branson has announced the re-launch of his Virgin Media Business competition Pitch to Rich 2015, which aims to find Britain’s most innovative startups in a bid to win a mammoth £1m business accelerator prize fund.

The serial entrepreneur announced the return of the prestigious competition in a three-minute television broadcast on Channel 4. Building on the UK’s exponential growth in the SME sector, this Virgin Media Business initiative is the latest competition to celebrate the countries recent successes in the startupsphere.

Branson went on to continue that bravery and energy were key characteristics in becoming a successful entrepreneur and alongside a panel of prestigious judges, he will choose winners in three categories in a live final on June 26 2015. The categories are as follows:

  • Start-up For exciting new businesses with huge potential. Winner receives £150,000 marketing support, mentoring and help from Virgin startup’s professional business advisers for a year. Two runners-up get £50,000 marketing support.
  • New Things For big, new, disruptive ideas. Winner gets £50,000 cash towards development, plus mentoring from Virgin’s Investment Team. Two runners-up receive £10,000 each fro development.
  • GrowFor existing businesses that are ready for major expansion. Winner gets £250,000 marketing support, and two runners-up receive £100,000 marketing

The respective winner in each category not also receives financial investment, but also a series of other supplementary prizes including:

  • Full internet and fixed mobile voice package for 12 months
  • Unlimited Virgin travel for 12 months
  • A place on the accelerator network programme

A further marketing support prize of £50,000 will be rewarded to the most popular runner-up, voted for by people in the audience.

The Virgin Media mogul concluded: “Launching a business can be challenging and, at times, overwhelming. But entrepreneurs shouldn’t let this hold them back from achieving their full potential. Pitch to Rich is a brilliant opportunity for UK businesses to make their mark on a global stage.”

“If you think your business has great potential, then enter Pitch to Rich today, as you never know where it may lead you.”