After spending months touring the country, the Virgin Media Business’ Voom Tour arrived in Winchester this week with a record number of entrants for the applications for the pitching competition.
As always, LinkedIn, Virgin StartUp, Crowdfunder, JCDecaux and London Media were on the bus to offer free business advice throughout the day and this week the Lord Mayor of Winchester declared the event open.
Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council and cabinet member for Business Partnerships and Policy Co-ordination at Winchester Council spoke of his excitement at having Voom visit the city:
Funding was a hot topic for the panellists, with Su Johnson from Crowdfunder, Sumi Wang, Co-founder of eFOLDi (a 2016 VOOM runner-up) and Inkpact's Charlotte Pearce sharing their top tips. While Inkpact is online, Charlotte's business focuses on the relationship building, so it's no surprise that her advice was about people:
"Get yourself an amazing network. The best thing you can ever do is build relationships."
This also helps when it comes to funding through the crowd, although when Wang was Crowdfunding for eFOLDi, the product spoke for itself, with pledges coming in from as far away as the US and Singapore.
And Winchester proved it was more than worthy of a Voom visit in the afternoon pitching competition, where Wang and Pearce were joined by Stephen Gates of Bright Light Leadership and Lissa Gillot from Virgin StartUp, and tasked with the almost impossible decision of picking a winner.
But they did, and...a big congratulations to Tamsin Gordon whose jewellery rental subscription Glitzbox won her £5,000 and a meeting with Richard Branson! This wasn't Gordon's first time on the Voom bus, however. She saw the tour on it's London stop back in June when she'd only just founded her business and today she was back to win. Glitzbox is "Netflix for jewellery", she says, and allows consumers to try the pieces of new designers every month - buying them if they love them; returning them if not.
Check out what else happened in Winchester…
And if you want more Voom in your life, listen to the latest episode of the podcast as Nikki Bedi talks all things sport with Rapha and DS Virgin Racing.
The next stop on the Voom tour will be Glasgow on November 2nd. See you there!