Sarita Johnston, manager of Female Entrepreneurship for Enterprise Ireland, Gavan Smyth, vice president of Virgin Media Business Ireland and Joan Mulvihill, CEO of The Irish Internet Association
Richard Branson’s Virgin Media Business launches search for the best businesses across Ireland and the UK.
Virgin Media Business today launched its search for the most innovative businesses through its competition – VOOM 2016. The competition gives entrepreneurs and SMEs the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Richard Branson to win a slice of a prize fund worth over €1.2m.
“Welcome to the biggest, most valuable and influential business competition in the country,” Richard Branson said. “Virgin Media Business’s ‘VOOM 2016’ provides the golden ticket to propel your business onto a global stage and fast-track your way to success. Last year’s winners are testament to this. 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?”
VOOM 2016 is open to applications from Ireland and the UK. They can register their pitch at: www.vmbvoom.com.
Entrants will have a platform to highlight their success, boost their businesses and shout about the contribution they make to the economy. Throughout the competition – and new for this year – entrants will receive news, tips and mentoring from top professionals sourced through LinkedIn.
Richard Branson, Peter Kelly at Virgin Media Business UK, 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 June 28th 2016.
The two winners will receive a cash prize of €63,000 to help grow their business, mentoring, marketing, a broadband package and financial advice. In addition, two runners-up from each category will each receive a cash prize of €25,000, 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 cash and other prizes including a bespoke media campaign from JCDecaux.
Gavan Smyth, vice president of Virgin Media Business Ireland added: “VOOM is now open to promising Irish businesses to enter and compete for the funds and support which the winners will receive. This is an entirely merit based programme so the most innovative, disruptive and original business concepts are the ones that could make it to the top and ultimately present their case to Richard Branson in person.”
Joan Mulvihill, CEO of The Irish Internet Association remarked: “Ireland has a strong culture of digital innovation and entrepreneurship with many new start-ups emerging from our universities, institutes of technology and acceleration centres. The VOOM 2016 programme is a very competitive environment to project yourself into for validation, appraisal, feedback and potentially funding or other business supports.”
Sarita Johnston, manager of Female Entrepreneurship for Enterprise Ireland added: “VOOM 2016 is a terrific opportunity for all entrepreneurs to showcase their talent, creativity and ingenuity. It may go so far as to help others to get a jumpstart and move from concept into a business model. I would encourage anyone who is interested to simply enter the competition.”