#VOOM 2016: could you pitch to Richard Branson?

It's time once more to make your business #VOOM! Virgin Media Business today launches its search for the most innovative and exciting businesses with the UK and Ireland’s biggest and most valuable pitch competition – ‘VOOM 2016’. And with a prize fund worth over £1million, it's an opportunity not to be missed. Register now to throw your hat into the ring.

Last years winners and finalists have seen their lives changed by the competition. Gem Misa's Cauli Rice - a low-carb rice substitute, with significantly less calories than rice -  is now stocked in over a thousand supermarkets nationwide. Jeff Paterson's Fourex automated kiosks - sorting your unneeded currency into sterling - have been rolled out across the London Underground.  Now it could be your turn to take your business to the next level, with cash prizes, money-can't-buy advice, and mentoring and support.

There are two categories - Start-Up, for awesome early-stage businesses, and Grow, for businesses that have big potential and are ready to take it to the next level. With prizes including a cash sum of £50,000, mentoring, a £250,000 marketing campaign (including advertising on the biggest indoor screen in Europe), invaluable support and advice, and high-speed broadband packages, the competition is going to be fierce. 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.

We're proud to announce that VOOM's Start-Up category is powered by us, Virgin StartUp – the entrepreneurial hub of the Virgin brand - and we've got some brilliant opportunities on offer. From free entry to Virgin StartUp events, sessions with business advisors, and exclusive membership of our upcoming Virgin StartUp Club, we'll be supporting short-listed entrants, semi-finalists and finalists along the way. We KNOW that brilliant startups are reading this now, and we want to see you enter!


It doesn't stop there, however.  This year, there are three extra prizes that any business entering could be in with a chance of winning, even if they don't make it to the final. These are the Impact Award (for businesses that do social good), the Great Award (for businesses looking to go global), and the Champion Crowdfunder award - where entrants can crowdfund their VOOM entry, and the top one wins. Supported by Virgin Unite, UKTI and Crowdfunder UK, prizes include an all-expenses paid trip to Virgin Unite's Leadership Gathering on Necker Island, mentoring with the Prime Minister's Business Ambassador, and bespoke media campaigns from JCDecaux.

As Richard himself puts it:  "Launching a new business or going it alone takes dedication and determination, if you’ve got that in spades then grab this life-changing opportunity 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?”

Register now to be in with a chance to make your business #VOOM!