Tuesday 22 March 2016 4:56 pm

Richard Branson has just launched a £1m competition with Virgin Media Business to find Britain's best startups

Straighten those ties, polish those shoes and sharpen those power point skills. Richard Branson has just launched a competition to find Britain's best businesses, and there's £1m worth of prizes up for grabs.

VOOM 2016 is the UK's most high-value pitching competition. Run by Virgin Media Business, the initiative allows British entrepreneurs to sell their ideas to execs from the firm, including Branson himself, to win slice of a prize fund and propel your new startup to success.

Formerly known as Pitch to Rich, the competition started in 2010, with past winners coming from a wide range of business ventures, from currency exchange firm Fourex to online expired grocery seller Approved Foods.

This year, Virgin has teamed up with Linkedin to offer London's business leaders the chance to weigh in over which SMEs will make it onto the shortlist.

The online voting platform is powered by Crowdfunder. Entrepreneurs can raise funds for their business by crowdfunding their idea while they prepare to pitch to Branson at the finals in June.

The top crowdfunding business will get its own gong – Champion Crowdfunder 2016 – and will win £50,000 cash as well as a bespoke media campaign.

Virgin's Peter Kelly said: "We’re looking for those amazing businesses, led by hard-working, inspirational entrepreneurs who have sky-high ambitions to shake up their markets.”

Get mind-mapping now, entries close in May.