The three businesses in the start-up category are: MacRebur – an innovative company that uses a patented method to produce new road asphalt out of waste plastic; eFOLDi – an electric scooter that can fold into a chair or portable suitcase so users can easily transport it around with them; and Vibe Tickets – an ethical marketplace that connects fans so they can buy and sell tickets at face value.
And the three businesses in the growth category that have made the final are: bio-bean- a clean technology company that recycles waste coffee grounds into sustainable biofuels; Sibberi Tree Water – natural hydrating drinking products that come from birch, maple and bamboo tree sap; and FoodCloud – a social enterprise that connects businesses with surplus food with charities that need it through a technology platform.
The six businesses emerged as the most innovative and cutting edge businesses after a team of Professionals put them through their paces at the semi-finalist workshops to work out which businesses deserved the chance of winning a share of £1 million worth of prizes. They’ll now pitch to Richard Branson, Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely, Marcus Butler and Virgin Media MD Peter Kelly at the live finale on June 28th.
“The calibre of businesses we’ve seen this year has been outstanding and they should all be proud of what they’ve achieved,” Peter Kelly said. “The competition was fierce but the final six are extremely worthy of their place and we look forward to working with them to develop their business in the lead up to the finale and beyond.”
Richard Branson added: “Congratulations to all the finalists for making it through to the last and most crucial stage of the Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM 2016’ competition. We set out to find ambitious businesses who will shake up the market, step up on a global stage and who will have a positive impact on the UK economy - this year’s finalists all demonstrate these attributes. I can’t wait to meet them at what’s set to be an energetic and highly competitive finale.”
Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 will also crown winners of the Crowdfunding, GREAT, Impact and People’s Choice awards on June 28th.