Dublin’s Junior Einsteins in final six for €1m Voom prize fund

22 May 2018

Tracey-Jane Cassidy (centre), founder, owner and director of Junior Einsteins. Image: Virgin Media

Virgin Media Business has named the six finalists of Voom 2018.

Dublin start-up Junior Einsteins, a science club for inspiring kids to embrace STEM, has been included in the final six firms that will vie for top prize in the Virgin Media Business Voom 2018 pitching competition.

The last six will pitch before a panel of exacting judges and will compete in two categories – Spark & Start and Scale & Grow – at a final in London.

Junior Einsteins will compete in the Spark & Start category against Castify, which helps people to find and cast actors; and Gobbler Boats, which is helping to remove oil and plastic from the ocean.

Junior Einsteins encourages children to get into STEM subjects through hands-on interactive experiments and amazing science events.

The other category, Scale & Grow, is focused on businesses with between 20 and 250 employees. Battling it out in this category will be Rejuce, which makes beautiful juices from ugly fruit and veg; Action Petz, a franchise of safe indoor and outdoor dog parks; and Therapy Box, which creates apps to help diagnose, treat and support people with communication disabilities.

Branson oversees battle of the brands

Image of Tracey-Jane Cassidy, founder, owner and director of Junior Einsteins

Tracey-Jane Cassidy, founder, owner and director of Junior Einsteins. Image: Virgin Media

The six finalists have been whittled down from the thousands of entrepreneurs that applied to this year’s Voom competition. They are now just one pitch away from being crowned winner of Voom 2018 and walking away with a share of about €1.1m in prizes.

Scrutinising their pitches at the final will be Virgin founder Richard Branson; co-founder of Innocent drinks, Richard Reed; serial entrepreneur and TV presenter Sophie Morgan; founder and CEO of Tropic Skincare, Susie Ma; and Virgin Media Business managing director Peter Kelly.

The entrepreneurs secured their place at the grand final after first attracting public votes before going on to survive a grilling from industry experts.

More than 200,000 votes were cast by the public to shortlist the 80 businesses that made it to the gruelling semi-final in Manchester.

Tomorrow (23 May) in London, the final winners will be decided.

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