Bitcoin startup LazyPay has a chance to win a share of the £1,000,000 in prize money for the winner of Virgin Mobile’s Pitch To Rich competition. The London-based Bitcoin wallet, exchange and payment processor is the only digital currency startup competing in the event.
The annual competition tries to find the brightest and best entrepreneurs in all of Britain. Startups can compete in three different categories: New Things, Start-Up and Grow. Competing startups can receive up to £250,000 in marketing support, 12 months of business support and advice from billionaire and Virgin Group CEO, Richard Branson.“With the support of Sir Richard (who has been a high-profile advocate for bitcoin), we hope to grow the number of merchants who accept digital currencies. And make bitcoin become a part of everyday life,” read a LazyPay blog post.
The competition, which started earlier this month, is in its beginning stage. Thousands of startups have already registered and the public has begun voting for which startups they think is the best. The fifty startups with the most votes in each category by May 5th will advance to the shortlist.The startups that make it to the shortlist stage of the competition will participate in a series of phone interviews and workshops. Pitch To Rich officials will choose the top ten from each category to advance to the semi-finals. There, will they pitch their startup in front of a panel of judges that will include Branson himself.
If LazyPay wins, the young startup hopes to use the prizes to boost their payment processing services in England and the rest of Europe.
“We’ll be targeting London first and then the rest of the UK and Europe. There is a real appetite for bitcoin merchant services and we’re on a mission to help bitcoin reach the tipping point we all know is around the corner. Our goal is to sign up at least 100 pre-registered merchants before the apps official launch this summer,” said LazyPay in a statement.
Richard Branson And Bitcoin
The veteran businessman and international mogul is no stranger to digital currency. Branson started accepting Bitcoin for tickets to his space travel service, Virgin Galactic, back in November of 2013. He also invested in the bitcoin merchant payment processor BitPay last year.When asked about the digital currency last year on Bloomberg TV Branson replied, “[Bitcoin] is working. There will be other currencies like it that may be even better, but in the meantime there's a big industry around Bitcoin."