Stop Press! £1 Million Prize Fund for Entrepreneurs!

Virgin Media Business has launched its search for the most innovative and exciting businesses with the UK and Ireland’s biggest and most valuable pitch competition – VOOM 2016.

The competition gives entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Richard Branson to win a slice of a prize fund worth over £1million.

1280px-Richard_Branson_(pic_3)Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, recently described VOOM as “the biggest, most valuable and influential business competition in the country”. Virgin Media Business’s VOOM 2016 provides a potential golden ticket to propel a business onto a global stage. Last year’s winners attest to this. Launching a new business or going it alone takes dedication and determination, if you’ve got that in spades then why not grab this “life-changing opportunity” [their words, not mine] and enter today. With all of the support and advice available throughout the competition – and the chance to raise some funds if you campaign hard enough – what have you got to lose?

How to enter VOOM 2016

Now in its fifth year, VOOM 2016 (formerly known as ‘Pitch to Rich’) is open to applications from the UK and Ireland. You can register their pitch at: www.vmbvoom.com

Cash prize, mentoring and marketing support.

VOOM 2016 entrants will have a platform to highlight their success, boost their businesses and shout about the contribution they’ve made to the economy. Throughout the competition – and new for this year – entrants will receive news, tips and mentoring from top professionals.

2000px-Virgin-logoRichard Branson, Peter Kelly at Virgin Media Business, and a distinguished team of judges will pick a winner in each of the two categories – ‘Start-up’ and ‘Grow’ – at a live finale on 28th June 2016.

The two winners will receive:

  • A cash prize of £50,000 to help grow their business.
  • Mentoring from Virgin StartUp and from VOOM Professionals.
  • A £250,000 marketing campaign, with advertising on
  • JCDecaux’s Waterloo Motion (the biggest indoor screen in Europe).
  • A Virgin Media Business broadband package, with speeds of up to 300Mbps.
  • Financial advice from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • In addition, two runners-up from each category will each receive a cash prize of £20,000, a Virgin Media Business broadband package, mentoring, financial advice and brand support.

This year, the entry and online voting platform is powered by Crowdfunder, and entrants also have the opportunity to raise funds for their business by crowdfunding their VOOM entry. The top crowdfunding business will be named Champion Crowdfunder 2016 – and will win £50,000 cash and other great prizes including a bespoke media campaign from JCDecaux.

Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business believes that supporting small businesses – the lifeblood of the economy – is at the heart of their purpose at Virgin Media Business. VOOM 2016 aims to find the most innovative startups and small businesses and help them thrive. They’re looking for amazing businesses, led by hard-working, inspirational entrepreneurs who have sky-high ambitions to shake up the market.

Previous winner success.

Previous winners and finalists have gone on to grow and achieve significant success.

Nine months on, VOOM 2015 winner Jeff Paterson, the founder of Fourex – an automated kiosk which turns unsorted foreign currency into British notes and coins, has seen his machines used across the London Underground network. Further opportunities are apparently on the horizon.

‘VOOM 2015’ finalist Gem Misa, founder of Cauli Rice, has seen her brand of gluten-free, low GI cauliflower rice stocked in over 1,000 UK supermarkets including Asda, Tesco, Waitrose and Whole Foods Market, in less than a year since entering the competition.

The Kick-off!

In a new one-minute TV ad premiering on Channel 4 on Tuesday 22nd March during Channel 4 News (7-8pm), Sir Richard is joined by some of last year’s competition winners and finalists: Fourex, Approved Foods, Cauli Rice and Hegarty Maths. Each reveals the obstacles and scepticism they had to overcome in order to take their business to the next level, and how their involvement in the competition opened new doors and contributed to their success.

 

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