Virgin Media Business has revealed the top 40 businesses that are edging closer to the €1.2million prize fund as part of Ireland and the UK’s biggest and most valuable pitching competition – ‘VOOM 2016’.

Seven of the top 40 are Irish businesses including GolfBirdie, PowCow and the Wadi Tribe in the Start-up category and Yogandha, Rye River Brewery, FoodCloud and Rebrandly in the Grow category.

The top 40 were selected after 160 businesses pitched back-to-back to a panel of judges over the course of a gruelling 29 hour period, setting a new Guinness World Records title for the Longest business pitch marathon.

Gavan Smyth, Vice President of Virgin Media Business Ireland said: “It was extremely tough for the judges to select just 40 businesses – the calibre and variety of all the pitches we heard was of a very high standard and we are delighted that such a large number of Irish entrants have made it through to the final stage. The adventure continues and I can’t wait to see who’s pitching to Richard on 28 June.”

The top 40 businesses will participate in competitive workshops on the 13th and 14th of June, where they will be put them through their paces to determine the feasibility, scalability and likelihood of success. The six businesses with the greatest potential will then be selected to pitch in the live finale in front of Richard Branson and his panel of expert judges; Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely, Marcus Butler and Peter Kelly. A winner will be chosen from each of the two categories, ‘Start-up’ and ‘Grow’.

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 €12,800 which will be presented on stage at the live finale.

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