Back with a #Voom: Virgin Media’s €1.2m start-up battle returns in May

23 Feb 2017

Scott Wilkinson, head of #Voom. Image: Luke Maxwell

Hey, start-ups! It’s time to get ready for Virgin Media’s UK and Ireland entrepreneurship competition, with a €1.2m prize pot.

The head of #Voom, Scott Wilkinson, was in Dublin this week for the publication of the latest Virgin Media Business Digital Insights report.

Wilkinson confirmed that Virgin Media’s entrepreneurship competition #Voom is now entering its third year.

‘We know that Ireland will absolutely smash it again this year’

2016 was the first year that #Voom invited Irish entrepreneurs to join battle with their UK counterparts, with the final few pitching to a panel that included Virgin founder Richard Branson.

The original thousands of entries were whittled down to 160 – 10pc were Irish ventures.

#Voom with a view

The overall winner in 2016 was Bio-Bean in the ‘Grow’ section of Voom, with MacRebur taking the ‘Start-up’ gong.

Irish start-up FoodCloud’s charge to the final of Voom ended with a wonderful second place, securing the company €25,000, a Virgin Media Business broadband package, mentoring and brand support.

“The numbers coming out of FoodCloud are absolutely phenomenal,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson told that 77pc of start-ups that entered last year are likely to do so again in 2017.

“We are keeping it under wraps for a really big announcement in May.

“Ireland is going to be a much bigger part this year.

“We had a spectacular first year in Ireland and what an impact your businesses had! Seeing Quirky Camping (sic) sail a Boeing 767 down the river captured the spirit of the competition.

“Ireland so massively punched above its weight and our plan is to regroup and involve every business we can. We know that Ireland will absolutely smash it again this year,” Wilkinson said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years