The Virgin Media VOOM bus arrives in Newcastle on the 6th July, giving ambitious businesses the chance to pitch for £5,000 and an exclusive brunch with Sir Richard Branson.
Virgin Media’s VOOM initiative is back this year aboard a big red bus. Stopping in Newcastle on the 6th July, the Virgin team will be inviting start-up business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to attend presentations and workshops running throughout the day. The event will also feature an exciting pitching session, in which business owners can promote their business and give themselves the chance to win £5,000 and a brunch with Richard Branson. And TEDCO’s business advisors Bill Hartshorne and James Craft will also be on hand to share their knowledge and expertise.
Despite being a relatively new phenomenon, VOOM is already the biggest business pitching competition in the UK and Ireland — and this year it’s on the move all over the country, parking up outside Grey’s Monument for the day.
The VOOM Tour offers workshops and seminars by leading professionals in fields such as social, PR, accounting and advertising. You’ll also have the chance to network and share your own ideas.
The purpose of the tour is to bring great minds together, and to provide the perfect preparation for the national pitching competition in March 2018. Participants in the VOOM Tour are encouraged to sign up and deliver a two-minute pitch about their own business idea.
At every stop, there will be the opportunity to win a £5,000 cash prize for your business and even the chance to have brunch with Sir Richard Branson himself.
You can register your business idea on the VOOM website, with the option of including a video pitch too. You’ve got until Sunday 2nd July to get signed up and be part of the excitement, and if successful you’ll have the opportunity to deliver your best two-minute pitch on the day.
Your pitch will be delivered in front of up to four judges, with three minutes of questions from a live audience at the end. Judges are looking for an engaging, creative and compelling pitch for a unique idea that has the potential to create profit in the long run.
The VOOM Tour has already seen its share of success. Just last month, Newtownabbey local Becca Hume won at the Belfast VOOM stop for her pitch on TapSOS — an app which provides a non-verbal way of communicating with the emergency services.
Speaking about the event, Sir Richard Branson said:
“The VOOM tour is seeking out brilliant entrepreneurs and ideas to help break down the barriers to business success. The aim is to help them put aside their fears and take the next steps on what could be the most significant journey of their business life. I’m looking forward to meeting the winner of the Belfast VOOM pitch.”
Similarly, in Dublin, breastfeeding-assistance app Coroflo took the cash prize for their unique business model.
Paul Farrell, vice-president of commercial at Virgin Media, said:
“Coroflo are a very impressive and extremely worthy winner. The overall talent on show here today has been truly exceptional. Competitions such as this couldn’t come at a better time for Irish businesses or entrepreneurs as it’s an entirely merit-based programme, which allows the most innovative, disruptive and original business concepts to rise to the top.”
Having already made stops in Dublin, Belfast, Sheffield and Leeds, the VOOM tour is heading for Newcastle next. After that, the business bus will be on the road again with stops planned at Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Hampshire, Glasgow and Dundee before finally ending its run in Edinburgh on 26th January 2018.
As proud backers of the Virgin StartUp Loan, we’d be delighted to see some TEDCO Business Support entrepreneurs taking advantage of this incredible opportunity. We know the business minds of the North East have the vision, enthusiasm and tenacity to take the prize at Newcastle VOOM.
Remember, you don’t have long to submit your business pitch — so if you think you have an original business idea, don’t hesitate to share it. You can also get involved with the VOOM movement on social media, using the hashtags #VOOM and #VoomTour. There will even be a special Snapchat filter for those visiting the bus on the day.
If you’re thinking about submitting, you can find all the information you need on the VOOM website. Alternatively, if you want to know more about the benefits of a Virgin StartUp Loan, visit our dedicated page here.