Branson asked to Pass the Popcorn

Branson asked to Pass the Popcorn

Abdul Khan, the entrepreneur behind Pass the Popcorn, a small Midlands outdoor cinema company, is aiming to pitch his company to Richard Branson.

Khan, 30, thought up the idea of Pass the Popcorn in 2013 after thinking of ways he could help a local charity raise funds.

From there, the marketing consultant turned entrepreneur went on to create the company, which has screened costume dramas in lavish stately homes, and horror flicks in dark forests.

After a strong start to business, Abdul has now entered the Virgin Media Business VOOM awards, in a bid to push the company forward.

Richard Branson, Peter Kelly, and a distinguished team of judges pick winners in two categories — ‘Start-Up’, which Abdul has entered, and ‘Grow’ — at a live finale on June 28, 2016.

The winners will receive a cash prize of £50,000 to help grow their business, as well as mentoring from Virgin and VOOM Professionals, and a £250,000 marketing campaign.

Speaking about the business, Abdul said: “Many of my mates had stopped going to the cinema because it was such a rip-off and you get herded in like cattle.

“Our screenings of films from the eighties and nineties give customers much more.

“Quirky locations, comfortable cushions, fresh popcorn from a cart and brilliant films are what we are all about.”

The winners will also receive a Virgin Media Business broadband package, with speeds of up to 300Mbps, alongside financial advice from the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

He added: “#VOOM2016 is a fantastic opportunity for small companies to raise their profile and potentially benefit from expertise and funding.

“I’m confident Pass the Popcorn has the potential to grow both here in the UK and abroad and this could well be the catalyst to make it happen.”

80 entrants with the most votes between 5 April and 23 May go through to the next stage of the competition.

Voting for VOOM 2016 is open now, and ends on 23 May.