Top six businesses eye £1m prize in ‘VOOM 2016’ competition

16th June 2016

  • Six businesses reach the finale of Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM 2016’ competition - the UK and Ireland’s biggest and most valuable pitching competition
  • They will pitch their business to Richard Branson, Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely, Marcus Butler and Virgin Media Business Managing Director, Peter Kelly, on June 28 for a slice of the £1million prize fund

After an extensive nationwide search, 3,000 entries, half a million votes and one Guinness World Record title, Virgin Media Business has announced the six businesses that have made it through to the finale of its ‘VOOM 2016’ entrepreneur competition.

The final six emerged as the most innovative and cutting edge businesses and will now pitch to Richard Branson and a panel of business heavyweights, including Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely Marcus Butler and Peter Kelly, at the live finale on the 28th of June.

Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business said: “The calibre of businesses we’ve seen this year has been outstanding and they should all be proud of what they’ve achieved. The competition was fierce but the final six are extremely worthy of their place and we look forward to working with them to develop their business in the lead up to the finale and beyond.”

The three businesses in each of the two categories – ‘start-up’ and ‘grow’ – will go head to head for their slice of the £1million prize fund. The finalists come from across the UK and Ireland and represent a diverse range of sectors including; food, sustainable energy, entertainment, transport and engineering.

The three start-up businesses are:

MacRebuer - an innovative company which uses a patented method and recipe to produce new road asphalt out of waste plastic.

eFOLDi - an electric scooter that can fold into a chair or portable suitcase so users can easily transport it around with them.

Vibe Tickets - an ethical marketplace that connects fans so they can buy and sell tickets at face value.

The three ‘grow’ businesses are:

bio-bean - a clean technology company which recycles waste coffee grounds from your morning cup of coffee into sustainable biofuels.

Sibberi Tree Water - natural, hydrating drinking products which come from Birch, Maple and Bamboo tree sap.

FoodCloud – a social enterprise that connects businesses that have surplus food with charities that need it, through a technology platform.

Richard Branson, Virgin Founder said: “Congratulations to all the finalists for making it through to the last and most crucial stage of the Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM 2016’ competition. We set out to find ambitious businesses who will shake up the market, step up on a global stage and who will have a positive impact on the UK economy - this year’s finalists all demonstrate these attributes. I can’t wait to meet them at what’s set to be an energetic and highly competitive finale.”

The final six businesses will attend a workshop in London next week where they will receive mentoring and training from industry professionals to refine their pitch before June 28.

‘VOOM 2016’ – run by the ultrafast business broadband company – is hunting for the UK and Ireland’s most exciting and innovative businesses. A winner will be chosen from each of the two categories, ‘Start-up’ and ‘Grow’.