Virgin Media Business today launches the search to identify the most innovative and exciting small and medium sized businesses in the UK and Ireland as Voom Pitch 2018 opens for entries.
Voom Pitch 2018 is on track to be bigger and better than ever. Global brands, including PayPal and PwC, have come on board and will be bringing their expertise to find and support the UK and Ireland’s most talented up and coming businesses.
New Partners in 2018:
Crowdcube, G by Grant Thornton, PayPal, PwC, Virgin Money
Crowdfunder.co.uk, ICAEW, JCDecaux, Virgin StartUp, Virgin Unite
This year the competition will open up to more established small and medium sized businesses as well as to start-ups, with two entry categories: Scale & Grow and Spark & Start-up. As well as the cash prize, entrants can win an out of home advertising campaign from JCDecaux and a first-stage funding programme from G by Grant Thornton. Additional awards and prizes from Voom Pitch 2018 partners, that will help winning businesses take things to the next level, will be unveiled shortly.
Peter Kelly, Managing Director, Virgin Media Business, said: “It is so inspiring to see big business coming together for Voom Pitch 2018 to find and support small businesses, both fledgling and more established, in order to help them really take off.”
“Our new partners will enable us to expand the reach of the competition and provide the right tools to really take the winning businesses up a gear, whether that be through crowdfunding, advertising campaigns, export opportunities, finance and accounting, digital security or mentoring.” he added.
Existing partner Crowdfunder.co.uk – the UK’s number 1 crowdfunding platform - will again provide entrants with the option to run a crowdfunding campaign alongside their pitch entry. In 2016 Voom entrants raised over £4million in crowdfunding during the public voting process.
Voom Finalists will get to pitch their ideas to Richard Branson at the Voom Pitch Grand Final in London on 23rd May and win a slice of a prize fund worth over £1million. Entrants will first have to get through online public voting and semi-final heats, to be held in Manchester, where they will pitch to senior business figures.
“In 2017 we took Voom on tour across the UK & Ireland and shone a spotlight on many local business heroes,” said Richard Branson. “This year the national competition is back, bigger and better than ever. I can’t wait to help find this year’s Voom Pitch 2018 winners and help them reach their full potential.”
Since launching seven years ago, Voom has awarded over £2 million in prizes and supported hundreds of businesses including CauliRice, MacRebur, Fourex, Biobean, What a Melon and Approved Foods to go on to great success. Previous winners have benefited from increased public awareness and new connections, partnerships and collaborations they’ve built through the competition.