It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of trying to do the impossible, and breaking records in the process. While my record-breaking attempts have mainly concerned sporting and adventure endeavours – kiteboarding, ballooning and boating – I was thrilled hear that Virgin Media Business achieved the Guinness World Records title for the longest business pitch marathon. Needless to say, I’m one proud business founder.
From all accounts, I’m told it was an epic 28 hours and 51 minutes of non-stop activity: 158 businesses pitches, conducted back-to-back in front of a panel of judges, as part of the VOOM 2016 entrepreneur competition.
Guinness World Records titles are tangible proof that humans can achieve incredible things if we work together and put our mind to it. Nobody breaks records – or builds successful businesses – without being dedicated, and Virgin Media Business and all of those who pitched have demonstrated this perseverance in spades.
Huge thanks is owed to all our judges, in particular our marathon judges: Founder and CEO of The Cambridge Satchel Company, Julie Deane OBE; Head of Investment at Virgin StartUp, Andy Fishburn; Managing Director of Virgin Media Business, Peter Kelly – who were present and awake for all the pitches – and to Natalie Clarkson from our Virgin Management office, who live blogged the full event; I enjoyed keeping up with her rolling coverage – you can check it out here.
After the Pitchathon, the judges whittled the competition down from 158 entrants to 40 contestants – read about them here – who will now go on to participate in the next round of workshops. From these workshops, six finalists will be selected to present their business ideas in the finale to yours truly, alongside an esteemed panel of judges including Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely, Peter Kelly and Marcus Butler.
I’m very much looking forward to being in London on June 28th to crown the winners of Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016. VOOM has proven itself to be an extraordinary platform for discovering and bolstering the UK and Ireland’s most exciting and innovative businesses.