Virgin Media Business brings Voom Bus to Manchester

23 August 2017

Including Voom Pitch, the UK & Ireland's biggest pitching competition

Virgin Media Business today announces that it will bring the Voom Tour 2017, including Voom Pitch, the UK & Ireland’s biggest pitching competition, to 1 Exchange Square on 6th and 7th September from 10am-5pm.   A wealth of free advice and activity will be available on the Voom Bus, including:

  • Free one-to-one business advice from experts including ICAEW, JCDecaux, LinkedIn and Crowdfunder
  • A panel discussion with previous Voom finalist, Luke Massie, the founder of Lancashire-based ethical ticket company Vibe Tickets

For any Manchester entrepreneurs who are brave enough to pitch their business idea to a panel of expert judges for a chance to win £5000 and attend a brunch hosted by Richard Branson, the live pitching competition will take place at 3pm on 7th September. (Pre-registration required by midnight Wednesday, 30th August).

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said:

>The Voom Tour is coming to seek out the brilliant entrepreneurs and ideas from Manchester, and 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.

The Voom Bus arrives in Manchester as new research from Virgin Media Business shows that a third of Mancunians (33%) think they’ve had a great idea for a new business, but the majority of this group (62%) have failed to turn their business idea into reality. The top reasons for not taking any action include not having any idea of how to start (33%), not knowing where to get funding (29%), and not having the confidence in securing money to get off the ground (24%).

Interestingly, a quarter of Manchester residents (25%) cited Richard Branson as the most inspiring business personality, admitting he is the one who would most motivate them to start their own business.

Peter Kelly, Managing Director, Virgin Media Business, said:

> Whether you’ve already started a business and want some help, or need advice to help get a brand new venture off the ground, the Voom Tour is the perfect platform to prepare your business for the big time. We hope to see as many of Manchester’s business community as possible join us in Exchange Square on the 6th and 7th September.

For more information on the Voom Tour, and details on how to register to pitch a great business idea, please visit


For all Virgin Media press enquiries please contact:

Carol Barnes | | 0333 000 2900 | @VirginMediaCorp

Notes to editors


The Voom Bus will be open from 10am-5pm on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th September 2017. It will be located at 1 Exchange Square, Central Manchester, M3 1BD.

About the research

Research was conducted online by Opinium between 2nd and 12th June 2017, among 3,751 UK adults from Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hampshire and Dundee. Of these, 500 people were surveyed from the city of Manchester.

Voom Tour 2017

The Voom Tour 2017 will visit regional centres across the UK and Ireland 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 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.


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


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.

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 £1million 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 £50,000 and takes place in communities across the UK between May and Nov 2017.

Voom Fibre product information

For more information about Voom Fibre, businesses can visit

About Virgin Media Business

We provide internet, data and telephone services to UK businesses and the public sector. We have more than 50,000 customers, most of which are small and medium enterprises. We also partner with the public sector: with local councils and thousands of schools to improve connectivity in communities and support learning, and with the emergency services to enable them to efficiently perform their life-saving skills.

We’re part of the Virgin Media group, the UK’s first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services. Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve more than 59 million subscribers in more than 30 countries - connecting people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.

The company’s dedicated, ultrafast network delivers the fastest widely available broadband speeds to homes and businesses. We’re expanding this through our £3 billion Project Lightning programme, which will result in a total of 17 million premises connected to our network.