Worksop entrepreneur set to pitch to Richard Branson for £250k business boost

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

Worksop-born business Approved Food is one of just nine businesses to reach the final stage of the Virgin Media Business Pitch to Rich competition following an extensive nationwide search.

Founder Dan Cluderay, from Worksop, is now part of the exclusive group of entrepreneurs who will pitch their business idea to Sir Richard Branson and a panel of expert judges during a live finale on 26th June.

Chosen by the public, Approved Food received more than 12,700 votes and will now go up against two other businesses in the ‘Grow’ category to deliver their pitch and be in with a chance to win a share of the £1m prize fund.

Selling surplus stocks, including food that is nearing or past its best-before-date, the business is joined by just eight other companies whittled down from over 2,500 competition entrants.

Entrepreneur Dan says that just being in the final of the competition will help Approved Food to further educate people on best before dates and the resulting food waste, which in itself helps to reduce unnecessary landfill.

He said: “I’m amazed and overwhelmed with the level of support and the number of votes we received.”

“Next stop, pitching the concept and potential of Approved Food to the man who inspired me to follow my dreams no matter what challenges stood in my way.”

“Of course I am incredibly nervous of what is to come, but this is an opportunity I won’t be wasting. Just being there is fantastic, winning would be the bonus on top!”

Judging the pitches alongside Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Media Business Managing Director, Peter Kelly, will be business experts; Jo Malone, David Gandy, Justine Roberts and Jon Oringer.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin group founder, said: “We set out to find great business ideas with the potential to disrupt a market and judging by the calibre of the finalists, we have found the very best.”