08 Mar 2018 | 12.52 pm
Virgin’s Voom Pitch Competition Opens For Entries
Total prize fund of more than €1.1m on offer
08 Mar 2018 | 12.52 pm
The Voom Pitch 2018 competition culminates with a live business pitch to Richard Branson at the final in London on May 23. A total prize fund worth more than €1m is up for grabs.
This year’s competition comes with a number of new business partners, including PayPal, Crowdcube and PwC. The 2018 Voom Pitch will open up to more established small and medium-sized businesses, as well as to startups, with two entry categories: Scale & Grow and Spark & Start-up.
As well as cash prizes, entrants can win an out-of-home advertising campaign from JCDecaux and a first-stage funding programme from G by Grant Thornton. Additional awards and prizes from Voom Pitch 2018 partners will be unveiled shortly.
Existing partner Crowdfunder.co.uk will again provide entrants with the option to run a crowdfunding campaign alongside their pitch entry. In 2016, Voom entrants raised over €4.4m in crowdfunding during the public voting process.
Entrants will first have to get through online public voting and semi-final heats, to be held in Manchester, where they will pitch to senior business figures.
Last Year, Coroflo, a Dublin-based medtech firm that has developed the world’s first accurate breastfeeding monitor, was crowned winner of the Dublin Voom Pitch Tour heat, walking away with €6,000 and a lunch with Richard Branson.
In 2016, Irish startup FoodCloud reached the final pitch of Voom, finishing in second place. That secured the company €25,000, a Virgin Media Business broadband package, mentoring and brand support.
“In 2017, we took Voom on tour across the UK and Ireland and shone a spotlight on many local business heroes,” said Richard Branson. “This year, the national competition is back, bigger and better than ever.”
Paul Farrell, vice president of commercial at Virgin Media, said that Voom Pitch 2018 is now open to Irish entrepreneurs who have what they think it takes to make it to the final. “We’re looking for the most disruptive, original business ideas to bring to the table at this year’s Voom Pitch competition and fly the flag for Ireland, in what is one of the biggest pitching competitions of its kind,” he added.
“We’ve had strong representation in 2016, where seven of the top 40 companies in the competition came from Ireland, and we want to increase on that success this year.”
Businesses can enter Voom Pitch 2018 at www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/voom. The application process remains open until 8 May 2018.
Pitches will be open to public voting, with the top 40 pitches from each of the two categories going through to semi-final heats in Manchester. Six finalists will go on to pitch live to celebrity judges, including Sir Richard Branson, for the chance to win a share of over €1.1m in prizes.
Entrepreneurs entering the competition need to be aged over 18, living and working in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and have a business that employs 250 people or fewer.