Virgin Media Business: VOOM 2016

Fourteen weeks of furious competition, including a huge public vote, a 29-hour Pitchathon, an attempt at a world record and a Live Finale like no other.

All for a chance to pitch live to Richard Branson and win a share of £1 million (€1.2 million) in prizes.

The competition is now over.

View Winners

Begin by choosing a category

There are two categories: START-UP and GROW. It’s up to you to select the one that best reflects your business right now.

The winner of each category will receive a £250,000 ad campaign and £50,000 in cash. Plus there's social media and PR support, a broadband and telecoms package, mentoring, financial advice and much more. There are prize packages for four runners-up too.

See a full breakdown of the prize fund

  • Start-up

    Got an idea in your head, heart or hard-drive?

    This category is for fresh and exciting businesses that are in the early stages – you’ve either not started trading or just begun. If your business has stacks of potential, let us hear it.

    Enter Competition
  • Grow

    Ready to ramp things up?

    This category is for businesses with revenue that are looking to grow. If you know (and have proof that) your business works, but would like some help making it #VOOM, pitch it to us.

    Enter Competition

Three special awards.
There’s even more to pitch for.

We’re introducing three new awards to help you #VOOM.

Whether you enter your pitch under the START-UP or GROW category, you can also put yourself forward for one, two or all three of the awards below. We’ll ask you to confirm which ones you’d like to go for when you upload your pitch.

Find out more about the awards

  • The Impact

    This is for businesses that put social and environmental impact, as well as profit, at the heart of their business. We’re looking for people with solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. You should have a viable and financially sustainable business model and be able to prove your impact.

    If you go for this award, you’ll be sent some specific questions to answer by email.

    The winner will receive an all-expenses paid invitation to Virgin Unite’s Leadership Gathering on Necker Island in May 2017, plus mentoring and workshops from the team at Virgin Unite.

    Enter Competition
  • The Great

    This is for businesses that fly the flag for Great Britain. We’re working with the UKTI team at Exporting is Great to find real ambassadors making big waves outside of the British Isles. You should be growing abroad and have a loyal bank of foreign customers who love what you do. Or have an ingenious plan to do so.

    If you go for this award, you’ll be sent some specific questions to answer by email.

    The winner will receive a unique one-to-one mentoring session at 10 Downing Street with one of the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassadors, as part of a wider package of bespoke export services.

    Enter Competition
  • The Crowdfunder

    If you choose to run a crowdfunding campaign alongside your pitch, manage to exceed your target, and reach the shortlist phase of the competition, you’ll automatically be entered for this one.

    The top five will be reviewed by a panel at Crowdfunder, who will choose their winner. This will be based on who they think has the best video, the most creative rewards, the clearest description, and the best-run campaign.

    The winner will receive £50,000 (€60,000) in cash (on top of the money they’ve already raised).

    Enter Competition

The timeline and process

  • Virgin Media Business #VOOM 2016 is go

    22 March

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    We’re now accepting your pitches.

  • The public vote opens

    5 April

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    The work doesn’t stop once your pitch is submitted. Now, you’ll need to get on the campaign trail to win votes. Use your networks to push your pitch out there. Think: social, PR, email and any other medium. Make a noise.

  • Applications close

    10 May

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    Pitches won’t be accepted after this date. If you’ve entered yourself for the Impact or Great award, this will also be the deadline for answering your four questions.

  • Voting closes

    23 May

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    The votes will be verified by our independent adjudicators. The 80 businesses with the most votes in each category will be coming through to the next round.

  • Shortlist announced

    25 May

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    All 160 shortlisted businesses will be notified, so that they can begin prepping for the Pitchathon. If that’s you, you’ll be allocated a 3-hour time slot in advance.

  • The Pitchathon, London

    1-2 June

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    This will be a 29-hour, live-streamed attempt at a Guinness World Record. Judges will include Peter Kelly (MD of VMB), Andy Fishburn (Head of Investment at Virgin StartUp) and a host of Britain’s best business owners – as well as our Virgin Media Business #VOOM Professionals, as chosen by LinkedIn. The 40 entrepreneurs with the most impressive pitches will be taken through to the next round.

  • Entrepreneur workshops, Birmingham

    13-14 June

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    We’ll be working with experts and our #VOOM Professionals to get to know the businesses even better through a day of competitive face-to-face workshops. From there, we’ll choose our six #VOOM 2016 finalists (three from each category).

  • Finale training day, London

    21 June

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    We will gather our final six along with The Professionals for some quality prep time. The Professionals will act as mentors, getting our finalists poised and ready for the Live Finale.

  • The live finale, London

    28 June

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    Our six finalists will pitch their ideas to Richard Branson, Peter Kelly and a stellar panel of judges. There’ll be a live audience, and the event will be streamed, too. Winners of both categories will be crowned, as will the winners of the Impact, Great and Crowdfunder awards.

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The competition is now over.

View Winners