Claire closer to Branson’s cash for her vodka tea

Claire Hall at work

Claire Hall at work

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A South Lincolnshire entrepreneur is still in with a chance of pitching to Sir Richard Branson for vital funding after her business was shortlisted in a national competition.

Claire Hall entered Percy’s Vodka Iced Teas into the Pitch to Rich contest, which is offering up to £1m to help fledgling businesses and is delighted to have made it through the first round.

The 33-year-old who single-handedly makes all her vodka teas at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing, Holbeach, had to submit a video entry and then secure as many online votes as possible.

Claire, of Kirton Holme, is on a 150-strong shortlist and now faces an agonising wait while a panel of judges whittle this down further before online voting recommences.

The final hurdle comes in June when the remaining businesses get to pitch to Richard Branson himself.

“I am really, really pleased,” said Claire who has dedicated a decade of her life to turning her idea for vodka iced teas into a viable business.

The idea for Claire’s brand came about soon after she left university. She had a Eureka! moment while drinking a fruit tea and thought how great it would be if she could make a version containing vodka.

She currently sells her drinks through online retailer Not On The High Street and her own website, where they priced £4 for a 250ml bottle.