June 2 Brand Journalism In the Press PR Northern Ireland

Ricky Martin, left, and his brother Chris Martin, right - JJ-5416

Surfing brothers are through to the semi finals in #Voom: Pitch To Rich

By Eleanor McGillie

TWO brothers from the North Coast have beaten off stiff competition from 897 businesses across the UK to qualify for the semi-finals in the #Voom: Pitch To Rich competition being run by Virgin Media Business.

#Voom: Pitch to Rich 2015 is a nationwide competition being run by Virgin Media Business to find the country’s most exciting and innovative businesses offering an unprecedented £1m business accelerator prize fund to support the three winning businesses.

Ricky Martin, 35 and his brother Chris, 31, are hoping to secure a share of this fund to grow The Skunkworks Surfboard Company – a Coleraine based company which is manufacturing the ‘next generation’ surfboards.

The brothers, who travelled to London last week to meet the Virgin Media Business team, are delighted to be in the final 10 and are the only representatives in the competition from Northern Ireland.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Ricky said: “We are getting so close now to pitching directly to Richard Branson. The experience so far has been amazing. We think we are in with a good chance but we very much need the support of the public in this next round so we are asking for votes again.

“We want to pitch our groundbreaking solution which will eliminate the wear and tear of foamies which is currently the biggest cost to surfing schools across the world.

“We developed the concept because I own Alive Surf School in Portrush and mending foamies after every season is a costly headache both financially and time wise. We knew there had to be a better design so we have built a prototype which will impact on the how surf schools across the world operate.

“We have come up with a product which is 100 per cent recyclable for an industry which is expected to be worth $13.2billion by 2017.”

Winners in each of the three categories will be chosen by Richard Branson along with a prestigious team of judges in a live final on June 26 including Jon Oringer: founder and CEO of Shutterstock; Jo Malone MBE – the creator of the globally renowned ‘Jo Malone London’; David Gandy, a model and investor and Justine Roberts – founder of Mumsnet.

Looking ahead to being a potential finalist, Chris added: “The Skunkworks Surfboard Company strives to make the most robust, high performance surfboards and stand up paddle boards in the world and a share of the prize fund will bring us closer to achieving our goals.

“To date we have secured £100,000 worth of grants, have set up a factory, created jobs and have requests for 200 boards in our order book already. We want to develop what we have already achieved so our manufacturing plant becomes a centre for innovation and a hub for job creation.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us to date – the media, our friends, family and other businesses. We just need your help one more time.”

To vote for Ricky and Chris click http://www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/pitch-to-rich/new-things/the-skunkworks-surfboard-company/



Notes To Editor:

  • The Skunkworks Surf Company was established in October 2013 by two brothers – Ricky and Chris Martin to design and manufacture the ‘next generation’ surfboards. The Skunkworks Surf Board company is based in Coleraine. The company strives to make the most robust, high performance surfboards and stand up paddle boards in the world.
  • For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | Brand Journalism UK | Sport PR | Brand Journalism Experts | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | PR Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK

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