LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Virgin Media Business has achieved the Guinness World Records title for the Longest business pitch marathon. It was reached by 158 businesses pitching back-to-back to a panel of judges over the course of a gruelling 28 hour, 51 minute period, as part of the ‘VOOM 2016’ entrepreneur competition.
An exhausted Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business, who sat on the judging panel for the full 29 hours, said: “It was an ambitious record to set and a huge challenge – but we’ve done it and it feels great. All 158 businesses are part of this incredible achievement and we saw some wonderful pitches that epitomised what this record, and competition is all about - being creative, resourceful and a little bit daring.”
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Founder said: “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.”
Three ‘marathon’ judges were present for the full 28 hours and 51 minutes – Julie Deane OBE, Founder and CEO of The Cambridge Satchel Company, Andy Fishburn, Head of Investment at Virgin StartUp and Peter Kelly. Judges will now whittle the 158 contestants down to 40 who will go on to participate in the next round of workshops in Birmingham on 13 – 14th June, before six are selected for the finale.
Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM’ 2016 hunts for the UK and Ireland’s most exciting and innovative businesses. A winner in each category – ‘Start-up and ‘Grow’ – will be crowned at the live finale with Richard Branson on 28 June.
Notes to editors
The two winners will receive:
- A cash prize of £50,000 to help grow their business
- Mentoring from Virgin StartUp and from our VOOM Professionals recruited via LinkedIn
- A £250,000 marketing campaign, with advertising on JCDecaux’s Waterloo Motion (the biggest indoor screen in Europe)
- A Virgin Media Business broadband package, with speeds of up to 300Mbps
- Financial advice from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
In addition, two runners-up from each category will each receive a cash prize of £20,000, a Virgin Media Business broadband package, mentoring, financial advice and brand support.
This year, the entry and online voting platform is powered by Crowdfunder and entrants also have the opportunity to raise funds for their business by crowdfunding their VOOM entry. The top crowdfunding business will be named Champion Crowdfunder 2016 – and will win £50,000 cash and other great prizes including a bespoke media campaign from JCDecaux.