Worksop: Entrepreneur appeals for local support ahead of pitch to Virgin business boss Richard Branson

Dan Cluderay, founder of Approved Food
Dan Cluderay, founder of Approved Food

Worksop-born entrepreneur Dan Cluderay has issued an appeal to supporters from across the region to ‘get voting’ after submitting an entry that could see his business receive a funding boost from Virgin boss Richard Branson as part of a competition called Pitch to Rich.

A bedroom start-up launched in 2008, Approved Food was established by former Worksop market trader Dan Cluderay and built on a foundation of good old northern values.

It has since grown beyond recognition, and is now the UK’s largest online only retailer of discount food and drink.

But in order to take the unique company to the next level the ambitious entrepreneur is now looking to get in front of the most respected business man in Britain in order to pitch his wares and win a £250,000 boost.

No stranger to the spotlight, Dan and business partner Andy Needham appeared on Dragon’s Den and ITV show Bargain Fever Britain earlier this year. But despite having experience appearing in front of millions as - well as big names such as Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones - the dynamic duo say they have set their sights on getting in front of the Virgin front man himself.

Dan said: “There are so many fantastic entrepreneurs in this country and I have had the pleasure of briefly meeting a few including those in the Dragons’ Den. But the one that stands head and shoulders above in my eyes is Richard Branson.”

“It was his story that helped ignite my entrepreneurial fire many years ago, and the possibility of meeting him to pitch my business and get his insight and backing gives me goosebumps.”

Approved Food submitted their entry to the ‘Grow’ category earlier this week – the passionate business leaders are hoping to achieve more than 2000 votes by the first round deadline of Tuesday 5th May 2015, and are calling on support from across the region to help boost their numbers.

The top fifty entrants with the highest votes from each category will progress through to the semi-finals, revealed on the 19th of May and finalists will be announced 2nd June. The final presents the opportunity to pitch to Rich live at the final event in London on the 26th of June.

There are also two other categories available for businesses to enter being New Things and Start-Up – giving every business out there an opportunity to shine, a contrast to Dragons’ Den.

“The Pitch to Rich competition is a fantastic concept,” said Dan. “I think my passion to enter was partly driven by the rejection on Dragons Den when we felt we weren’t given the opportunity to get across what we stood for as a business and the great benefits we bring to thousands of people week on week clearly enough. I see this as our chance to remedy that disappointment.”

“We need your votes initially and we would be incredibly grateful for your support if you can spare the time to go online and show us your support.”

Approved Food’s pitch can be found online: http://www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/pitch-to-rich/grow/approved-food-/