Chance to pitch to Sir Richard Branson and win share of £1m prize package

Nation's "biggest and most valuable" pitching competition VOOM (formerly Pitch to Rich) has relaunched for a sixth year...

Sir Richard Branson has relaunched VOOM (previously known as Pitch to Rich) – the national pitching competition where entrepreneurs get to present their business ideas to the Virgin mogul – with £1m in prizes up for grabs.

Running for a fifth year and organised by Virgin Media Business, VOOM claims to be the UK and Ireland’s “biggest, most exciting and most valuable” pitching initiative with its 2016 programme intended to be “bigger and better” than ever.

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

The two overall winners will receive as cash prize of £50,000,  a £250,000 marketing campaign including advertising on JCDecaux’s Waterloo Motion, mentoring from Virgin StartUp, a broadband package, and financial advice from ICAEW.

In addition, two runners-up from each category will each receive a cash prize of £20,000, a Virgin Media Business broadband package, mentoring, financial advice and brand support.

Last year’s winners included parking app JustPark, self-service currency machine Fourex and hologram specialist Kino-Mo; chosen after pitching to Branson and entrepreneurs including Jo Malone and David Gandy.

Fast-growth start-ups such as Cauli Rice and Appy Parking were also named as finalists in the 2015 competition.

Sir Richard Branson commented: “’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?”

The competition will launch officially with a one minute TV advert during the Channel 4 news at 7:30pm on Tuesday 22 March. Entries close on May 10. To find out more about VOOM and how to enter, click here.

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