Midlands entrepreneur secures new world record-and could reach VOOM semi-final

Abdul Khan masterminded outdoor cinema event outside Coventry Transport Museum last summer.

Despite fraying nerves, Midlands businessman Abdul Khan took part in a gruelling 29-hour business Pitchathon and helped set a new world record in the process.

The nail-biting event in central London saw 158 professionals presenting to a panel of experts back-to-back in hope of rousing interest in their businesses.

Afterwards eagle-eyed adjudicators from Guinness World Records confirmed the gong for Longest Business Pitch Marathon had been secured for the very first time.

The successful attempt was part of Virgin Media Business VOOM awards, the UK and Ireland’s biggest pitch competition.

Over half a million public votes were cast in the first stage of the contest.

From over 3000 entries, the 158 with the most votes qualified for the Pitchathon, including Abdul’s business, Pass the Popcorn.

The 30-year-old helped mastermind the outdoor cinema event outside Coventry Transport Museum, in Millennium Place, in August 2015.

Speaking shortly after the pitch, Mr Khan said: “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous beforehand but they were good nerves.
“I was really happy with how it went and thought the judges were very positive.”

Three dedicated judges were present for the full 29 hours, including Julie Deane OBE, Founder and CEO of Cambridge Satchel Company, Andy Fishburn, Head of Investment at Virgin and Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business.

The expert panel was joined throughout the attempt by guest judges including Jamal Edwards of SBTV, Sharmadean Reid of WAH Nails, and Peter Williams from Jack Wills.

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.”

Abdul is keeping his fingers crossed until Tuesday, 7 June, when he’ll find out if he’s among 40 entrepreneurs to go through to the semi-final of Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016.

Just six entrants will reach the final on the 28 June and have a chance to pitch to a stellar judge line-up.

If Abdul makes it there, he will pitch directly to Richard Branson, Peter Kelly, and a distinguished team of judges, including Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely and Marcus Butler.

Mr Khan says: “The energy from my team has been phenomenal. VOOM has given us a fantastic opportunity to really get our business out there and we’ve already had interest from suppliers and clients as a result of our entry.
“If we win the pitch, our business would go on a steep growth curve. For a start-up like us that’s invaluable.”

To find out more about Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016, click here.

ENDS

Notes to editor

  1. Pass the popcorn is a startup project that delivers popup cinema in unique and obscure locations all over the UK.
  2. It is also set up to become a social enterprise that funds at least one movie night per month that is free for inner-city kids.
  3. You can contact the press team on +447976 505 427 or email press@passthepopcorn.co.uk
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