Fife Council adviser appointed to support Sir Richard Branson

Invest in Fife’s Iain Shirlaw becomes one of only 12 to make up Branson’s top advisory team

An economic adviser from Fife Council has become one of only 12 people selected to make up Sir Richard Branson’s team of professional advisers in this year’s Virgin Media Business #VOOM 2016 competition.
Iain Shirlaw, Fife Council
Iain Shirlaw, Fife Council
Iain Shirlaw, who is a business expert at Invest in Fife, has been appointed to support Branson in the search for entrepreneurs worthy of sharing the £1 million prize fund.
He is one of only 12 LinkedIn members to be chosen to offer advice to the serial entrepreneur and Virgin founder.
As part of the 12-strong team, Shirlaw will play a pivotal role in helping Sir Richard Branson seek out the UK and Ireland’s six most exciting businesses.
He joined his team members, who have been appointed from across the UK, in London earlier today (Wednesday, 1 June) for a first meeting.
Shirlaw said: “I’m delighted to have been selected to support this bid to set a world-record for business pitching for Virgin Media’s £1 million prize fund.
“I don’t know yet if I will be reviewing any entries from Fife, although if they do get through to the next round, I may be involved coaching them to pitch for the big prize.
“In Economic Development for Fife Council, encouraging new companies to become tomorrow’s great companies is a big part of our work, and we have an excellent record in seeing technology companies set up here grow to become part of world leading businesses.”
Robin Presswood, head of Economy, Planning and Employability Services at Fife Council, said: “I am delighted that Iain has been selected for this prestigious role as an Advisor to support Sir Richard Branson in identifying which new and growing business ventures will benefit from a £1 million prize fund from Virgin Media Business.”
Tens of thousands of people entered the competition after LinkedIn revealed at least 4.7 million professionals in the UK qualified to apply, following analysis of its 20 million UK profiles.
Branson’s professional advisers were chosen following a rigorous selection process and now form a key part of the judging panel to select the UK’s best entrepreneurs.
Shirlaw will be getting stuck in to his new role by taking part in the VOOM 2016 29-hour pitchathon, which is streaming live today and tomorrow (1 and 2 June) here.

The 12  winners will form part of the judging panel, alongside guest judges and will be participating in a Guinness World Records attempt for the longest business pitch marathon.

Six finalists will eventually be selected to go into the live final, which will see Sir Richard Branson choose the recipients of the £1 million prize fund, on 28 June.

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