The VOOM bus adventures in Belfast

The Virgin Media Business VOOM tour bus is continuing its journey across the UK and Ireland and this week visited Belfast.

Parking up outside the famous St George’s Market, the VOOM bus joined the Digital DNA conference to bring free business advice to small businesses in Northern Ireland. 

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With one-to-one sessions going on with some top experts from Crowdfunder UK, LinkedIn, and JCDecaux, small business owners brought their questions and struggles and walked away with suggestions of things they could do to help.

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Previous VOOM winner Toby McCartney of MacRebur and previous finalist Ricky Martin of SkunkWorks took to the stage to share some of their experiences with the competition – and also how their businesses has changed since. 

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Ricky said: “The thing I like about being involved in VOOM the most is the cammeraderie. Running a business can be a very lonely thing but in the competition, everyone there gets it. You don't need to explain. There is a nice sense of community.”

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Then, on day two, it was time for the pitches as six brilliant businesses took to the Tech For Good stage inside Digital DNA to fight it out for the prize of £5,000 and an invite to brunch with Richard Branson.

All the businesses delivered excellent pitches and the judging panel – Toby, Chris Martin (co-founder of SkunkWorks), and Simon Mann (commercial director of Bauer Media in Northern Ireland) – had a really tough decision on their hands.

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Becca Hume was declared the winner with her app TapSOS, which enables people to connect with emergency services via an app without having to speak – perfect for people with communication issues, or people in situations where they could put themselves in danger if they were to try and speak to an emergency call handler.

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The VOOM tour is heading to Newcastle next, on July 6th. Register your interest in attending to stay up to date with the latest information, and enter your business to be in with a chance of pitching for £5,000 funding and an invite to brunch with Richard Branson.

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