The Virgin Media Business VOOM Tour kicked off in London last week, with the first stop at the London Business Show.
Surrounded by stands offering advice on everything from accounting to marketing to employment law, the big red VOOM bus stood out a mile – and attracted a lot of intrigued entrepreneurs.
The bus soon became a busy office, with with experts from Virgin StartUp, Crowdfunder, JCDecaux and London Media PR offering one-to-one business advice sessions. Doling out advice on everything from start-up loans to out of home advertising, the experts spent time with entrepreneurs and people thinking about launching a start-up to help them boost their business.
As well as one-to-one advice, there were a number of talks from the experts – and from entrepreneurs who have previously been involved in the VOOM competition. Previous finalists Luke Massie, founder of Vibe Tickets, Olly Bolton, founder of What A Melon, and Dan Cluderay, founder of Approved Food, formed a panel and answered questions on how being part of the competition helped their businesses.
They also shared stories of their biggest mistakes in business – including the top being ripped off Olly’s What A Melon bus after the “driver had a disagreement with a bridge” and Dan accidentally sending all the food that they had picked in the warehouse in one day to one customer.
The two days in London came to a climax with the pitching competition that saw six entrepreneurs battle it out for the grand prize of £5,000 and brunch with Richard Branson. The founders of The Cheeky Panda, Ostique, Kompas, Influence, Saint Aymes, and Vitae London all delivered excellent pitches, giving the judges a tough job in making a decision on the winner.
However, it was Lois Wilson, co-founder of Saint Aymes, who impressed the most, taking home £5,000 for the chocolate business that she founded with her sister and a seat at the table for brunch with Richard Branson.
The tour continues next week when the big red VOOM bus will be at TechConnect Live in Dublin on May 31st with the opportunity to win €6,000 and brunch with Branson. Register for Dublin now, and enter your pitch on the Virgin Media Business website.