Erith and Thamesmead entrepreneurs shortlisted for Virgin Pioneers’ 2013 ‘pitch to Richard’ competition

Erith and Thamesmead constituents, John and Joshua Okungbaiye, have made the last 6 companies in a nationwide competition run by Virgin, which could give them the opportunity to pitch their business to Sir Richard Branson.

John Okungbaiye, 23, and Joshua Okungbaiye, 25, of the company High Spirits, have made it through to the online public vote in the 2013 Virgin Pioneers competition. The four businesses which receive the highest votes will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Sir Richard Branson and a panel of judges on the 2nd May 2013.  The ultimate winner selected from the 4 finalists will receive a £5,000 cash injection into his or her company.

Joshua Okungbaiye, explaining the company product and aspirations, said:

“High Spirit is a bag company that creates bags with unique zipping designs in order to prevent the loss and theft of possessions, particularly during  travel.

We aim to use the money to further develop the website so we have a one-stop-shop for sales in order to strengthen the brand and assess consumer trends and insights in order to create even better product designs. We also seek to strengthen our branding through creating truly viral marketing campaigns.
The unique zipping design of the bags means that the zip is on the side of the bag closest to your back and can’t be easily accessed by pickpockets even if you choose to only carry it by one of the straps.”

Teresa said:

“I have the greatest admiration for anyone who has the ambition and determination to set up their own business, especially in the current financial climate.



I am very impressed with the innovative and useful product John and Joshua have developed, and think that their success in this competition so far is reflective of the talent we have here in Erith and Thamesmead.



John and Joshua are excellent role models for young people across the constituency, and I would urge people to check out their product, and consider voting for them to make the final four in this competition.”

Virgin Media Pioneers is an online community of 4,000 entrepreneurs, designed as a place where start-ups can go to network and mentor each other. Every year Virgin Media runs a competition giving Pioneers an opportunity to pitch their business to Sir Richard Branson, with the winner receiving a £5,000 cash award.

Voting opened on the 15th April 2013, and will close at midday on the 23rd April 2013. You can cast your vote for John and Joshua Okungbaiye by visiting the Pioneers website.

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