Entrepreneurship from across the UK and Ireland represented in the heart of London

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SOME of Britain and Ireland’s most colourful and cutting edge entrepreneurs gathered in London yesterday (Tuesday 26th April) to celebrate the nations’ business creativity with Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016.

From food waste innovation (Lettus Grow) and improving the country’s fitness (Too Fat To Run? and BurleX) to padded knickers for female cyclists (Bike Nicks), these 11 entrepreneurs are hoping to inspire the public to vote for their chance to pitch their brilliant businesses to Richard Branson.

With more than 600,000 UK start-ups created in the last year alone, Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 offers British and Irish entrepreneurs the chance to win a share of £1 million (€1.2 million) in prizes.

In business the numbers speak for themselves — and VOOM 2016 is doing the business. In the four weeks since launch over 1m people have viewed our three minute launch film, while over half a million votes have been cast in support of our 7,199 entrants. Meanwhile there have been 365,000 visits to vmbvoom.com and one of the projects has received over £10,000 in crowdfunding. In fact, over £50,000 has been donated to VOOM projects which have elected to make crowdfunding part of their entry and turn votes into pound notes, with over £2,500 being pledged per day.

This all goes to prove that VOOM 2016 is already changing lives and putting businesses on the ultra-fast track to success. Entries are open until 10 May, so there’s still time to get your VOOM on and join Britain and Ireland’s largest and most valuable business competition. To find out more visit vmbvoom.com.

Sir Richard Branson says: “Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 is all about seeking out, supporting and celebrating the UK’s and Ireland’s most exciting businesses. It’s the biggest and most valuable pitch competition out there – we’re hoping everyone will find a way to get involved!”


Bike Nicks — Lilli Millar – London
Bike Nicks is a range of minimally padded, stylish lingerie for female cyclists to end the frustration of having to change out of ill-fitting cycling shorts.

Too Fat To Run — Julie Creffield – London
With her Too Fat to Run campaign, Julie empowers overweight and inactive women to be the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves by taking up running.

Burt the Binman — Fleur/ William Bateman – Cambridge
Children’s author Fleur Bateman is hoping to bring her fictional character Burt the Binman to life in an animated TV series. She created recycling-hero Burt as a bedtime story for her son William, and together they hope to spread Burt’s environmentally friendly message to more children.

Magical Circus – Angelo Urzua-Milla — Wirral
Children’s party firm Magical Circus, created by former conjurer Angelo and his wife and former showgirl Melanie, runs circus-themed parties, prince and princess bashes, school workshops and team-building days for adults.

JustBe Botanicals — Gail Bryden – Edinburgh
JustBe is a natural range of products for the face, body and home including herbal teas and chocolates, all of which handmade in Scotland.

American Bingo Club –James Gordon — London
Bingo for Hipsters — the Shoreditch based business bringing bingo back to life for a younger generation with a focus on food, fashion and music.

Rovernighter LTD — Ruth Lucas — South Yorkshire
‘Rovernighter’ — the overnight bag for dogs. The clever product transforms from a bag into a comfortable dog bed in under 20 seconds and caters for every canine need.

GolfBirdie — Dean Douglas-Evans – Dublin
GolfBirdie is an app giving golfers a birds-eye view of courses across the globe. Founded by childhood friends Dean Tobin and Dean Douglas-Evans, it features high definition tee to green flyovers filmed using drones.

BurleX — Claire Mcgarry — Leeds
Burlex’s fun and unique fitness classes are designed to strengthen and tone and involve popular and traditional burlesque music — and even the odd feather boa.

The Cheeky Panda — Julie Chen — Essex
Cheeky Panda, designed by Julie and her husband Chris Forbes, is eco-friendly toilet and tissue paper made from 100% bamboo.

Lettus Grow — Jack Farmer – Bristol
Clever, grow-your-own salad solution. Jack and his team of grads from Bristol University have combined LED and soilless growing technologies to help reduce the bagged salad waste by UK households.

All 11 entrants are taking part in Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 -the UK and Ireland’s biggest pitch competition.

VOOM 2016: The Too Fat to Run crowdfunding journey
VOOM 2016: The Explorium crowdfunding journey