HiSbe among city businesses in Virgin Media’s Pitch to Rich

Ruth and Amy Anslow, HiSbe founders
Ruth and Amy Anslow, HiSbe founders

Brighton’s most progressive supermarket is among hundreds of hopefuls in a £1 million competition.

Brighton’s most progressive supermarket, a former Hove schoolboy with a debilitating illness, and two nutritionists are among hundreds of business hopefuls taking part in £1 million competition.

Paige Kent and Ruth Ayuba, of Moody Guts

Paige Kent and Ruth Ayuba, of Moody Guts

They have entered Pitch to Rich, a national contest organised by Virgin Media Business, part of Sir Richard Branson’s corporate empire.

Supermarket firm hiSbe – how it should be – is one of dozens of business ideas, start-ups, or growing businesses to have made their pitch. They are relying on a public vote, which closes on Tuesday (May 5), to reach the next stage of the competition.

Ruth and Amy Anslow, founders of hiSbe, said in their pitch that it was reinventing the way that supermarkets do business: “We’re smashing the mould with a chain of independent supermarkets that serve communities not shareholders.

“We make good food more affordable. We put the happiness of customers, staff, and suppliers before profits. We stand up for a fairer, more ethical and more sustainable food industry. When you shop at hiSbe, you’re voting for how a supermarket should be every time you buy your food.”

It hopes to use the growing business prize - a £250,000 marketing campaign - to help create a chain of regional stores over the next five years. There are two second prizes of a marketing campaign worth £100,000.

Seb Tucknott, 28, hopes to win the start-up category. First prize is a marketing campaign worth £150,000. Two runners up will win £50,000 campaigns.

Mr Tucknott, who grew up in Hove and went to Blatchington Mill School, has set up IBDrelief.com to help fellow sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and related conditions. He aims to use the website to help sufferers find ways of coping with their debilitating illness without just relying on drugs and surgery.

Mr Tucknott, who now lives in Shoreham, wants www.ibdrelief.com to bring together all the latest information about the condition for sufferers, their family and friends and medical professionals.

Two women from Brighton - Paige Kent and Ruth Ayuba - have entered the New Things category, chasing a £50,000 cash prize for the winner or £10,000 for the runners-up. Seeking support for Moody Guts, a nutrition website, they said: “Our purpose at Moody Guts is to improve people’s relationship with food. Our solution is to educate, guide, and excite you so that cooking confidently and living healthily become second nature.”

To submit a vote, visit: www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/pitch-to-rich