Receiving a staggering 6,299 votes online from supporters in Yorkshire and across the UK, the business received the most support of any of the 500 companies and is now one of only 50 in consideration for the £250k prize fund.
Dan and business partner Andy Needham have thanked the public for their ‘overwhelming support’.
Dan, who founded Approved food in 2008 said: "I’m absolutely delighted that we are included in the shortlist and extremely grateful for all of the public support we have received. It’s been quite overwhelming.
"I think most people know by now that Sir Richard Branson is a true inspiration to us, and to have the opportunity to deliver a pitch to him – showcasing what makes Approved Food so unique – is a real dream come true.
Approved Food is a Sheffield based business which was established in 2008 by former software developer and market trader Dan Cluderay.
The entrepreneur specialises in selling surplus stock, and products nearing or past the best before date. Since it was founded seven years ago the business has saved over 36 million items from landfill.
Now through to the next stage of the Virgin Media Business Pitch to Rich competition, Approved Food’s business submission will now be considered by a panel of judges before learning whether they have been included in the semi-finals.
The 30 semi-finalists, including 10 in the Grow category, will be announced on the 19th of May at which point online voting will be re-opened.
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