If you were waiting to pitch a business idea, and then I walked in, what would you do? Here’s what happened when I surprised one entrepreneur by turning up unannounced at his pitch…
Tom Charman founded city exploration app Kompas and had pitched brilliantly at a VOOM Tour stop in London, so was offered the chance to attend a pitching masterclass. As he started having a run-through on camera, the last thing he expected was for yours truly to walk in and sit down in front of him halfway through his pitch.
I was ordered to remain very stern and serious, to see how he would deal with the added pressure. I had a hard time keeping a straight face while I stared at him – I love to smile and put people at ease, not make them feel nervous.
Could he pitch his idea to me, under pressure, with no preparation? As you can see in the video, there were a few ummms and aaaahs and looks to the skies for inspiration, but actually Tom dealt admirably with the situation and pitched his app brilliantly.
It was all a playful way to celebrate VOOM Pitch 2018, which is now open for entries. Virgin Media Business is once again running the UK and Ireland’s biggest pitching competition, this time with some exciting twists.
We’ve teamed up with global brands including our very own Virgin Money to offer a prize pot worth £1 million for this year’s top small and medium sized businesses. We are opening the contest up to more established SMEs as well as start-ups, with two entry categories: Scale & Grow and Spark & Start-up. Businesses will be in competition to win a cash prize, as well as an out of home advertising campaign from JCDecaux and a first-stage funding programme from G by Grant Thornton.
I’m already looking forward to seeing the finalists pitch their ideas to me at the VOOM Pitch Grand Final in London on May 23rd. But it’s not just me deciding the winners – there will be an online public vote and semi-finals in Manchester to get through. Head over to Virgin Media Business to find out more.
In the meantime, I’m off to practice my stern face…