With a €1.2m prize fund, Virgin Media’s Voom 2016 has whittled its 160 candidates down to 40, with seven Irish entries making it through to the next round.
After a mammoth, world-record 29-hour pitchathon that saw 160 start-ups face a panel of judges back-to-back, the number of Irish start-ups still in the running fell from 15 to seven.
The next stage will see the remaining 40 businesses take part in ‘competitive’ workshops in mid-June, where feasibility, scalability and the likelihood of success will be determining factors.
The six businesses with the greatest potential will then be selected to pitch in the live finale in front of Richard Branson and his panel of expert judges: Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely, Marcus Butler and Peter Kelly.
Beyond the €1.2m general prize fund, €12,800 will be awarded to the start-up that receives the most public votes by 24 June.
“It was extremely tough for the judges to select just 40 businesses – the calibre and variety of all the pitches we heard was of a very high standard and we are delighted that such a large number of Irish entrants have made it through to the final stage,” said Gavan Smyth, VP of Virgin Media Business Ireland.