Pitch your business idea to Sir Richard Branson

Rob Love shaking hands with Richard Branson

There’s still time to enter a competition that could see you pitching your next business idea to Sir Richard Branson…

Billed as “the UK and Ireland’s biggest and most valuable pitch competition”, with an estimated prize fund of £1m, VOOM 2016 is the annual Virgin Media Business event designed to find the nation’s top business ideas and budding entrepreneurs. The closing date for entries is 10 May and six finalists will get to present their ideas to Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and his panel of special guest judges on 28 June.

Last year’s panel featured Virgin Media Business managing director Peter Kelly, entrepreneur Jo Malone, model and investor David Gandy, Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer and Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts. The competition, also sponsored by Crowdfunder (chaired by Rob Love) and LinkedIn, is free to enter and will include a public vote, competitive face-to-face workshops and a 29-hour pitchathon. Good luck to whoever gets the 3am slot!

Entrants are grouped into two categories: start-up and grow. It’s up to you to select the one that best reflects your business right now. The winner of each category will receive social and PR support, a broadband and telecoms package, a carriage wrap on Virgin Trains, mentoring, financial advice, a £50,000 cash prize and more. All the entries are hosted online, allowing you the chance to size up the opposition and win free exposure for your business.

Last year’s winners included Fourex, a self-service currency-exchange kiosk that converts unwanted foreign coins and notes into sterling, and JustPark, which allows people to rent out their parking space and is around 60 per cent cheaper than on-street parking.

In other award news, the My Country Business Awards, now in its sixth year, will be scouring the UK for the best rural start-ups. Categories include Food Producers, Home Accessory Crafters and Makers, and Fabric, Furniture and Wallpaper Designers. See link below for details of both competitions.

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For more on Sir Richard Branson see:

Storytelling secrets of 10 great leaders

Exclusive interview with Sir Richard Branson

About author

Ryan Herman

Ryan Herman

Alongside his work for Director, Ryan has written for SportBusiness International, VICE Sports, Populous, Audi and Gallop Magazine and was previously editor of Sky Sports Magazine.

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