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Saïd Alumnus Vies to Pitch to Branson

Andrew Hunt, an MBA alumnus of Saïd Business School, has reached the semi-finals in Richard Branson’s “Pitch to Rich” contest, according to a recent press release from the school. Branson, the famous founder of Virgin Group, will choose a start-up company to invest in in order to promote undiscovered talent. Branson will contribute £250,000 to the marketing campaign of the winning start-up. Hunt is the founder of Aduna, a health, beauty and social brand business.

Aduna’s goal is to create a market for under-utilized products from small-scale producers in Africa, with an early focus on the baobab fruit. Baobab is championed as a “superfruit” due to its high concentration of important vitamins and minerals. The business scales on both a domestic and international level and was recently recognized as a runner-up for three separate Guardian Sustainable Business Awards.

Hunt is excited about the hurdles his company has overcome and the possibilities it could offer the world if he were to win the entire competition. “We have come from a field of 2,500 UK companies into the final 10 and are now so close to pitching our vision to Sir Richard himself. This would transform our business and with it the lives of thousands—and quite possibly millions—of rural households. For those of you who voted in the last round, please vote again! We desperately need the Oxford community to rally behind our bid to Make Baobab Famous!” he said in a press release from the school.

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Ben Smolin

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for L.A., San Francisco, and London.

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