Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Media Business set to make the Irish VOOM

• Sir Richard Branson launches the first ever Voom Tour, taking the national competition on the road to find the best new business ideas
• The Voom Bus will visit communities across Ireland and the UK and Ireland over the next six months



Tuesday 2nd May, 2017: Today Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Media Business launch Voom Pitch, Ireland’s and the UK’s biggest pitching competition. For the first time since the competition’s conception in 2011, it will take to the road, travelling across Ireland and the UK, in search of Ireland’s next great business ideas and inspiring budding entrepreneurs along the way.

Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said: “The Voom Bus is going on tour to seek out brilliant Irish and British entrepreneurs and to help them break down the business barriers in their way. We’re bringing the Voom Tour into communities and challenging people to put aside their fears and pitch their business ideas as we travel across Ireland and the UK. The Voom Tour is a fantastic way for people to get started on what could be the most significant journey of their business life.”


Paul Farrell, Vice President for Virgin Media Commercial, added: “Last year was the first year of VOOM in Ireland and what a success it was with 10% of shortlisted entries Irish ventures. Our recent Virgin Media Business Insights Report found a confident business community growing sales at home and abroad, increasing employment, developing new products and services, and investing in digital technologies and online strategies to drive their potential. 86% of respondents rated their growth prospects for 2017-18 as good / very good, with revenue expected to grow by 19% this year.


Voom Pitch couldn’t come at a better time for these companies. It 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. It’s a great way of trialling your business plan and your market entry strategy. We’re really looking forward to welcoming the VOOM Tour to Ireland and helping the brightest and the best Irish companies to perfect their pitching ahead of national competition.”

The Voom Tour

Over the next six months the Voom Tour schedule will include Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Dublin, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Winchester.

In Ireland, the Voom Tour will take place at TechConnect Live 2017, being held on the 31st of May in the RDS, Dublin.

Virgin Media Business is looking for local people with the courage to pitch their business idea at each tour stop, giving them the chance to win a regional prize of over €5,000, and one of ten chances to meet and receive advice from Sir Richard Branson. Experts from partners including Virgin StartUp will also be on hand to provide valuable expertise, help and advice on how to launch and scale a start-up.

The national competition will return in March 2018 and will again provide the chance to win a share of €1.2 million in prizes.
For more information, the Voom Tour in Ireland will start in Dublin on 31st May. Feel free to register for either event here and come along to say hello


Notes to editors:

About the Virgin Media Business Survey Amárach surveyed 200 senior decision makers in 200 businesses throughout Ireland in late 2016. The survey replicated core elements of similar studies for Virgin Media/UPC in 2014 and 2012.

Voom Tour 2017 will visit regional centres across the UK and will include ten Voom Pitch competition stops, introduction to Voom Fibre and business networking opportunities. Virgin Media Business would like to thank its Voom Tour partners LinkedIn, JCDecaux, ICAEW, Crowdfunder and Virgin StartUp.

Voom Tour 2017 Partners :

The UK's #1 crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder is all about putting the #VOOM into fundraising and awareness for great ideas. And they give Voom Pitch entrants the chance to raise money while they canvas votes. The team are hitting the road to share their know-how, spreading the word about creating brilliant crowdfunding campaigns, gaining validation to take ideas from a light-bulb moment and making it happen through the power of the crowd.

ICAEW is committed to helping companies like #VOOM by providing entrepreneurs with free professional support and guidance through our Business Advice Service. Our ICAEW Chartered Accountants advise over 1.5 million businesses across the UK and will be available at stops on the tour to support entrepreneurial businesses aiming to grow and develop. As leading financial experts, a qualified chartered accountant can help you with all your business issues, from managing your cash flow to accessing the right funding solution for your business, to ensure that your business succeeds.

Virgin StartUp
Virgin StartUp is a not-for-profit arm of the Virgin Group spearheading the group’s entrepreneurial philosophy; providing government-backed start-up Loans, one-to-one mentoring and business advice to thousands of businesses across England and Scotland.

Virgin StartUp is joining the Voom Tour 2017 to provide valuable expertise, help and advice on how to launch and scale a start-up. They will be providing expert judges for the pitching competitions as well as first class business advisors to support the one to one sessions with budding entrepreneurs.

The UK's number one out-of-home advertising company is also part of the world's leading outdoor advertising company.

With 400 million+ members, LinkedIn manages is your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network while you access knowledge, insights and opportunities. We are delighted to be supporting VOOM again, and it’s particularly exciting this year as the competition goes on tour for the first time. Participating in the VOOM bus tour allows us to meet LinkedIn members all over the UK, encouraging and helping budding entrepreneurs to foster professional relationships and engage with likeminded individuals. A professional network can make all the difference in bringing a business idea to life and with 23 million members in the UK, LinkedIn can connect you with the right people to do just that.

Voom Pitch (previously VOOM 2016)
Voom Pitch is the new name for the national pitching competition and the new regional competitions. Both the national and regional competition gives entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to pitch their ideas to expert judges and win prize money and business promotion opportunities. The national competition will be judged by Richard Branson and there will be opportunity to win a slice of a prize fund worth over €1.2 million (£1 million)and will take place in March 2018. Voom Pitch, the regional competition, will be part of The Voom Tour and there will be chance to win a slice of a prize fund worth (€59,000) £50,000 and takes place in communities across the UK between May and Nov 2017.