Public voting begins for Virgin Media Business’ VOOM 2016

43 Irish entrants already signed up on vmbvoom.com


VOOM 2016 public voting is now open


VOOM 2016 application window open until 10th May. Public voting ends 23rd May

In the two weeks since launch, vmbvoom.com has seen visits from 142 countries, five continents, over 2200 cities globally – that’s 105 separate languages!

Wednesday, 6th April 2016: Online public voting for Virgin Media Business’ VOOM 2016 pitch competition is now open. A fortnight since the competition launched, more than 40 businesses have already applied from around the country. Applications are being accepted until 10th May through www.vmbvoom.com.

Applicants to what is biggest and most valuable pitch competition, in Ireland and the UK, are also being urged to galvanise support and interest in their business. 160 businesses who receive the most public votes over the next seven weeks will take part in a ‘pitchathon’ in London on 1st and 2nd June. Public voting ends on 23rd May.

Previous pitches to the competition included an eclectic mix of ideas from a five star dog hotel and stick-shaped teabags to a hologram developer and self-service currency exchange machines.

Gavan Smyth, Vice President of Virgin Media Business said: “The response to Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 has been great so far. It’s now up to the businesses that have already applied to start ramping up the noise and getting those public votes.

“And it’s still open to people to enter. Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a great idea or an existing business that wants to get the boost you deserve, VOOM 2016 is your chance to showcase your ideas.”

Richard Branson said: “Some of the best and the brightest businesses from across Ireland and the UK have already registered for Virgin Media Business’ VOOM 2016. They are now waiting on everyone to get voting.

“VOOM 2016 is about shouting, loud and proud about great ideas. So get your pitches in today and start campaigning! You never know, we could be meeting on 28th June.”

As well as working hard to secure public support, businesses will be offered the chance to run a crowdfunding campaign through Crowdfunder on top of their competition entry. This means that businesses can potentially walk away with a crowdfunded cash injection and a bigger profile even if they don’t make it all of the way.

Last year’s success stories
The submissions so far suggest that this year will be no less diverse than last when 18% of pitches were about technology, 17% involved businesses for parents, 11.5% were food or drink based and 13% focused on sustainability and social good.

The competition has the potential to change lives – and not just for the winners. Even businesses that don’t make it through to the final of VOOM 2016 stand to benefit from the exposure gained during the competition.



Notes to editors

Analysis of applications and vmbvoom.com website visits The data below is made up of analysis on the applications received so far and also data for visits to vmbvoom.com.

Top visits to vmbvoom.com by country
• Visits from 142 countries, five continents, over 2200 cities globally
• 105 separate languages

Grand finale and prizes
Richard Branson and a team of highly qualified judges will pick a winner in each of the two categories - ‘Start-up’ and ‘Grow’ - at a live finale in London on 28th June 2016.

The two winners of the overall programme will receive:

• A cash prize of €63,000 (£50k) to help grow their business
• Mentoring from Virgin and VOOM Professionals recruited from LinkedIn
• A Virgin Media Business broadband package, with speeds of up to 500Mbps
In addition to this, two runners up for each category will each get a cash prize of €25,000 (£20k), a Virgin Media Business broadband package, mentoring, financial advice and brand support.

This year, the entry and online voting platform will be provided by Crowdfunder, who will also be offering all entrants an opportunity to get additional funds for their business through its crowdfunding website.


Public voting
Public voting is open today until 23rd May 2016. Votes can be cast at www.vmbvoom.com.
The 160 businesses with the most public votes will make it through to the pitchathon in London.

On top of that Virgin Media Business will offer 12 roles to LinkedIn Ireland members where they can apply to be ‘Professionals’ to help choose which VOOM 2016 entries make it through to the finale as well as providing professional mentoring and support for those finalists.

Competition timings
• 22nd March – Competition launches and open to entries
• 5th April – Public voting opens
• 10th May – Entries close
• 23rd May – Public voting closes
• 1st and 2nd June – Pitchathon to decide 40 finalists
• 13th-14th June – Entrepreneur workshops
• 21st June – Finale training day
• 28th June – Finale with Richard Branson and the judging panel, to choose the winners