This year’s Voom Pitch has a prize pot worth more than €1m, and businesses all over Ireland are looking for votes from their customers to help them win some of that loot from Virgin Media’s annual pitching contest.
As with previous Vooms, brands including PayPal and PwC have teamed up with Virgin Media Business to give Irish and British businesses the chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges including Richard Branson.
Since the launch in March, Irish firms have been sending n their entries, and with the application window now closed they are looking for the public to support them by voting for their business ideas.
This year’s competition is broken into two categories, small businesses with 1-19 employees and medium businesses with 20-250 employees. The 40 companies with the most votes in each category will go through to the semi-final judging round in Manchester on May 21, where they’ll compete to land one of the six places in the final in London on May 23.
Examples of Irish businesses looking for votes are Ruban.ie, which promotes rural and urban businesses, clubs, councils, tourist attractions and services from every town in Ireland, and Property Bridges, a peer to peer platform for construction finance.
Other Irish entries include Kotanical, CleverBooks, I Am Who She Creates, Junior Einsteins, UseBecause.com, Hublio, Coindrum, AAMcEvoy, Mood2Go, Kickabout App, Organic Hair Removal, UGL.ie and International Celebration of Dyslexia Event.
Disruptive And Original
Virgin commercial vice-president Paul Farrell commented: “We’re looking for the most disruptive, original business ideas to bring to the table at this year’s Voom Pitch competition and fly the flag for Ireland in what is one of the biggest pitching competitions of its kind.”
“We’ve had strong representation in 2016 where seven of the top 40 companies in the competition came from Ireland, and we want to increase on that success this year.”
Last year Coroflo, a Dublin firm that developed the world’s first accurate breastfeeding monitor, was crowned winner of the Dublin Voom Pitch Tour heat and walked away with €6,000 and an exclusive lunch with Richard Branson.
In 2016, FoodCloud reached the final pitch of Voom and finished in second place, securing the company €25,000 and other prizes.
• To vote for your choice, go to the Voom Pitches website. The full list of entrants is shown below.
|UGLIE’s||Here||UGLIE’s goal is to reduce food waste and alleviate poverty by saving and converting safe but unwanted edible fruit and vegetables into baby food for a better future. Pledge|
|Kickabout||Here||Kickabout was born out of the frustration of the founding teams inability to find enough players to play our weekly 5-a-side. There was no lack of footballers out there, but there was an inability to find them on short notice.|
|Ruban||Here||RUBAN promotes rural and urban businesses, clubs, councils, tourist attractions and services from every town in Ireland, in one accessible online location. Our name comes from a combination of Rural and Urban.|
|Junior Einsteins||Here||Inspiring a love of science and learning in naturally curious children through hands -on interactive experiments in amazing science events.|
|Mood2go||Here||We live in a fast paced world where people want everything on the move. Imagine a device that enables you to Diffuse “your mood” to go.|
|Coindrum||Here||Coindrum operates across 7 countries and 10 international airports, including the world’s biggest in Dubai. We are backed by travel tech veterans including the founders of Ryanair, Hostelworld, CarTrawler and more.|
|AAMcEvoy||Here||AAMcEvoy is a premium Irish organic clothing brand for babies and children for 0-3years. All of our products are designed and crafted in Ireland, this is very important to me. Our focus is on quality, craftsmanship, contemporary design and super soft cloth. We only use super soft GOTS organic cloth.|
|UseBecause.com||Here||UseBecause.com convert existing soft skill business books into online, interactive certified courses so that users can learn, retain and use the experience and knowledge of subject matter experts in a fraction of the time it takes to read the book.|
|Hublio||Here||Insurance robo-advisor for end-customers, brokers and insurers.|
|CleverBooks||Here||CleverBooks is a collection of educational texts that use augmented reality to bring a bit of Harry Potter-style magic to the classroom.|
|Kotanical||Here||KOTANICAL aims to establish Ireland as a transparent essential oil hub where botanicals meet innovation, one seed at a time.|
|International Celebration of Dyslexia||Here||International Celebration of Dyslexia is a Dublin-based organisation looking to organise a bespoke event for dyslexic people, especially children.|
|I am who she creates||Here||In I Am She Who Creates, I consciously take a female perspective, as the way a woman navigates her goals, needs and challenges can be quite different to the male experience.|
|Organic Hair Removal||Here||Two sisters on a mission to find a pain free, chemical free, easy to use at home hair removal solution.|
|Property Bridges||Here||Property Bridges is a peer to peer platform for construction finance. With banks pulling out of the market following the crash, developers around the country are unable to undertake attractive real estate projects due to a lack of finance.|
Photo: Paul Farrell with Tracey-Jane Cassidy, founder of Junior Einsteins. (Pix: Conor Healy / Picture It Photography)