8 November 2017
Drink Baotic](https://www.drinkbaotic.co.uk/), a dairy free, high fibre, prebiotic drink made from community wild-harvested African Baobab super fruits, has been crowned the Glasgow winner of the Virgin Media Business Voom Pitch competition. Co-founder Isatou Njai collects £5,000 for the business and will also get to meet Sir Richard Branson.
Six companies* from in and around Glasgow pitched as part of the Voom Tour to a panel of four judges.
Drink Baotic impressed the judges with its clear business proposition and CSR strategy, which provides a healthy drink alternative whilst also giving back to the African communities where the super fruit comes from, with 10 percent of all proceeds being put into community projects in The Gambia.
Isatou and her co-founder, Paul Blackler, first met in The Gambia in 2008 when Paul, a VSO volunteer, stayed with Isatou’s family for a year. High in vitamin C, antioxidants, fibre and calcium, Isatou and Paul have worked with scientists to develop the drink into a highly nutritious product. Drink Baotic is also low in sugar, gluten free, dairy free and vegan friendly. The first prototype was produced in June 2016 and since then they have been marketing the drink at farmer’s markets and festivals.
Following the win, Isatou commented: “We’ve been following the Voom Tour round the country and were so chuffed when we heard it was coming to Glasgow. It’s an absolute no brainer for young businesses such as ours. The process was so straightforward, and it’s been great to get advice from all the judges. This money will really help us drive a big marketing push for our product, through both traditional events and digital social media platforms, ready for a full launch in early 2018.”
The Voom Tour is the first time that Voom Pitch, the UK and Ireland’s biggest business pitching competition, has hit the road in search of the best new business ideas. It’s designed to help the brightest and the best companies to perfect their pitching ahead of the national competition in 2018. In addition, the Voom Bus offers free and exclusive 1-on-1s with leading experts such as LinkedIn, Crowdfunder, Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW), Virgin StartUp and JCDecaux.
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, 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 Glasgow Voom Pitch.”
The Voom Tour is officially live and travelling to communities across the UK and Ireland, with its final stop in Dundee next Thursday 9th November. For more information on the Voom Tour, and details on how to register to pitch a great business idea, please visit https://voom.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/voom/tour
*Startups that participated in Voom Glasgow:
The Drinks Lab