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Tags:   Fun,   Technology,   WIn

By Mila Camilleri   -  June 12, 2015

You might have heard of Virgin's Pitch to Rich competition recently. SWAG had the pleasure of chatting with the mainly Maltese team based in London and Malta who created DiscountIF.


They're currently in the top 10, battling it out to be in with the chance of pitching their product to Sir Richard Branson himself, and potentially walking away with a £150,000 marketing campaign and mentoring for a whole year from Virgin.


This is an amazing opportunity and the team could really use your help, so find out what they're all about below and get voting! #VOOM

Who's part of the team and what are their roles?


We’re a very small team of five at DiscountIF and we're split across two offices. One in Wandsworth, London and the other based at the University of Malta. The team consists of Lewis Holland (CEO and Co-Founder), Daniel Dobson (Product Design), Andrew Sammut Alessi (Product Analyst and Manager Malta Team), Luke Laurenti (Social Media Marketing) and Sixtine Chamouton (Marketing Analyst).


Lewis and Co-Founder Martin Pendlebury were the ones who came up with DiscountIF, though Martin is not employed with the company, he serves as a consultant to us. Most of us have a gaming background, with over 12 years of experience collectively in various sectors of the industry.



What's your concept and where did the idea come from?


A few years ago Lewis Holland, along with some ex-colleagues, were discussing the crazy idea of getting your money back on anything. We love sports and love finding good deals, so we thought why not combine the two? The idea is simple, you buy a product and if an event happens, you get your money back.


Loads of ideas and discussions later, DiscountIF was launched in the summer of 2014. Our goal is to offer as many products to our customers as possible, whilst offering them the opportunity to get up to 100% cashback linked to events they love to follow.


Since the launch, we’ve paid cashback on plenty of products, including PS4s, football shirts, speakers, TVs, iPads and other quirky things, like telescopes. We’ve linked them up to a wide range of events – football, The X Factor, golf, cricket, snow on Christmas Day…you name it and we’ve done it.


Our cashback offers are similar to marketing campaigns by other household names like Currys and Toshiba, and our business model is based on making profits on products sold, less the cost of our cashback campaigns.


We’re continuously working behind the scenes to increase our retail and brand partnerships to expand on our offers. We’re dreaming of the day when we can offer moneyback on a house!



How did you hear about Pitch to Rich?


Some friends of Lewis advised him to apply for Virgin Media Business’ Pitch to Rich competition. It was a long shot at the time, but we had nothing to lose so we decided just to go for it.



How did you prepare to apply for Pitch to Rich?


We literally only had a few days to prepare our application for the competition, since it was pointed out to us at the last minute. The first thing we needed to do was prepare a video, which would be uploaded to Virgin’s site as part of our online pitch.


Once our application was accepted and the competition went live, we started social media campaigns to collect votes. We were just one of over 1000 companies within our Startup category, and at the time we felt it was a long shot. We decided we would give it our best just the same. Even if we didn’t get far, along the way we would have gained some very good exposure.


Towards the end of the first round, we found ourselves sitting in the top 100, which was brilliant. Once the round closed, we were shortlisted for the semi-finals along with 79 other companies within our category.


It was then time for Virgin to do the work, so each company was reviewed based on certain criteria they were looking for, namely marketing campaigns, business idea and business size, among others.


When we received the call from Virgin, we were stunned to find out that we were personally chosen by Virgin to make the final ten of the competition – it really felt like an accomplishment. We’re now competing to make it as one of the top three companies in the final, and get to actually Pitch to Rich!



Why should people vote for your product?


We need people to vote for us, it’s the only way we can make it to the next round and this time, get to meet Sir Richard Branson. We know what product we have and the excitement of using our site, and we want to start bringing this excitement into other countries besides the UK.


Malta would definitely be one of the next markets to hit, and we know judging from our exposure locally so far, that many Maltese love the idea and cannot wait to start doing their online shopping through us.


People should vote for us because they want us open for business in Malta, as well as putting Malta on the map. We’re a tiny island but we have a chance, and it’s now or never for us. We want to be given this once in a lifetime opportunity.


You cannot forget that the first prize of this competition is a £150,000 investment, as well as one-year of business consulting from Virgin (among other prizes). With this investment we can improve on our product and bring DiscountIF to a wide audience.



How can the public vote?


It’s very easy for the public to vote, it literally takes a few seconds. The quickest way would be to click here.


All one needs to do is enter his or her name and email address into the form, then click on Vote.


If it’s the first time they’re voting, they would need to wait for the email they receive from Virgin in return after casting their vote. Within the email there is a verification link that needs to be clicked, otherwise their vote won’t count.


Additionally, voters can forward this confirmation email from Virgin to contact@discountif.com to be in with a chance of winning one of DiscountIF's giveaways! This includes an Apple iPad Air 2 or a Samsung 40” HD LED TV.



Did you ever think you’d get this far?


To be honest at first not really – we thought it would be a good chance to gain some exposure along the way. But when we first received the call from Virgin we were ecstatic. We then let the excitement motivate us and began a detailed marketing campaign to collect our votes for the competition. It’s a very tight and tough competition, but we have not given up. We’ll be giving it our 100%.



What would it mean to the team to win Pitch to Rich?


To win would be something special – I don’t have the words to describe what it would mean but I can tell you that we’ve been working so hard for this that I’m sure there will be tears, shouting and perhaps a partying or two!


It would be a dream come true – making it to the final would already be something special and having the opportunity to meet Sir Richard Branson and interact with him personally sounds so unreal. Though more importantly for DiscountIF, it will really put us on the map and the credibility we would receive is priceless to us.



Take a look at DIscountIF's pitch video below.

DiscountIF Pitch


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