FoodCloud to pitch to Branson for slice of €1.2m prize fund

• FoodCloud is one of six businesses to reach the finale of Virgin Media Business’s ‘VOOM 2016’ entrepreneur competition
• They will pitch their business to Richard Branson, Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely, Marcus Butler, and Virgin Media Business Managing Director, Peter Kelly, on June 28 for a slice of the €1.2 million prize fund

After an extensive nationwide search, 3,000 entries, half a million votes and one Guinness World Record title, FoodCloud has made it through to the finale of the Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM 2016’ competition.

FoodCloud is a not-for-profit social enterprise that has developed a unique solution to this problem through connecting businesses with surplus food with charities in their local communities that need it through a technology platform. Co -Founders Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien launched FoodCloud in October 2013 with one Tesco store in Dublin and the business grew from that moment, redistributing 2.9 million meals equivalent to charities across Ireland and the UK to date.

Iseult Ward, co-founder of FoodCloud will be pitching to Richard Branson and a panel of business heavyweights including Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely Marcus Butler and Virgin Media Business Managing Director, Peter Kelly, at the live finale on the 28th of June. FoodCloud will go head to head with two other businesses in the Grow category for a slice of the €1.2 million prize fund.

Iseult Ward said: “We are delighted to have made it this far in the competition and can’t wait to pitch FoodCloud to Richard Branson. We’ve worked extremely hard to get here and it’s been such an incredible experience so far, we’re excited for the finale and the future opportunities this will bring.”

Richard Branson, Virgin Founder said: “Congratulations to FoodCloud for making it through to the finale of the Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM’ competition. They’ve shown they’ve got the determination and innovative flair we’re looking for in a winner and I can’t wait to meet them at the final on the 28th.”

Gavan Smyth, Vice President of Virgin Business said: “This is an unbelievable result for Ireland. Not only was it Ireland’s first time to be invited into the pitching competition, an Irish company made it to the final six. I am so thrilled for Iseult and everyone at FoodCloud and wish her every success on June 28th.”

‘VOOM 2016’ – run by the ultrafast business broadband company – is hunting for the Ireland and the UK’s most exciting and innovative businesses. A winner will be chosen from each of the two categories, ‘Start-up’ and ‘Grow’.





Notes to editors


The top six pitches can been viewed on

The two winners will receive:
• A cash prize of €63,000 (£50,000) to help grow their business
• Mentoring from Virgin StartUp and from our VOOM Professionals recruited via LinkedIn
• 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 500Mbps in Ireland
• 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 €25,000 (£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 €63,000 (£50,000) cash and other great prizes including a bespoke media campaign from JCDecaux.


All businesses that entered the competition this year are still eligible for the People’s Choice Award. The business that secures the most public votes by June 24 will win €12,500 (£10,000) which will be presented on stage at the live finale.


About Virgin Media Business Ireland

Virgin Media Business is the leading national provider of integrated business communications ranging from Metro Ethernet services up to 100Gbps, Internet connectivity up to 10Gbps and broadband services for the small office and home office market.

Virgin Media Business offers the complete spectrum of business communications products through its high capacity fibre network. Services include Carrier Ethernet, Metro Ethernet connectivity, co-location, SIP and TDM voice services, leased lines, managed bandwidth and direct internet access.


Virgin Media’s BitBuzz is a Wi-Fi network operator providing a range of managed services to hotels, airports, cafe bars, pubs and other public locations throughout Ireland and the UK.


Virgin Media Business is one of the largest business-to-business communications providers in Ireland with a strong presence in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and 14 regional towns.


Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest international cable company. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 27 million customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.