Virgin Media Business today launched its ‘VOOM 2016’ pitch competition. The competition gives entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Richard Branson to win a slice of a prize fund worth over €1.2million.

Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said: “Welcome to the biggest, most valuable and influential business competition in the country. 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?”

How to enter ‘VOOM 2016’

‘VOOM 2016’ is open to applications from Ireland and the UK. They can register their pitch at:

Throughout the competition entrants will receive news, tips and mentoring from top professionals sourced through LinkedIn.

Richard Branson, Peter Kelly at Virgin Media Business UK, and a team of judges will pick a winner in each of the two categories – ‘Start-up’ and ‘Grow’ – at a live finale on 28th June 2016.

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 prizes including a bespoke media campaign from JCDecaux.

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