Rushing to get to Richard Branson’s launch event for his new book, ‘Finding my Virginity’ in an uber, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that I would be seeing a self-made billionaire, who had built a giant brand, Virgin, as well as hundreds of other companies around it. I looked forward to having an insight into his mind, knowing that at the age of 16 he had dropped out of school, as he pursued the dream of expanding his magazine, ‘Student’. Now, I’m in a similar stage in my life, where I look to leave the traditional route of school, looking to create and work on something new. I was more than excited to hear what he had to say.
As I hurried into the venue, I saw hundreds of budding entrepreneurial people waiting to see one of their idols speak. As the chattering quietened down the CEO of SBTV, walked onto the stage, Jamal Edwards. Jamal is a well known internet entrepreneur, film maker and rapper. His YouTube channel has almost 1 million subscribers, where videos are made about all angles of the music scene, focusing on youth broadcasters. Jamal began by reading out a few paragraphs from Branson’s new book. After engaging the audience, the man that we had all come to see came on stage. Richard Branson.
The rest of the event came in the style of a fireside chat, where there was an interviewer from Penguin, who asked Branson questions. Branson covered a whole range of topics, including the infamous Hyperloop, where Virgin had just announced that day that they were investing a lot of money into Hyperloop One, the world’s largest company working on a hyperloop. Branson discussed the advantages of such a revolution in transportation technology, before moving on to discuss Virgin Galactic. For years now, he has been marvelling at the concept of going to space himself, as well as creating the opportunity for anyone to go to space. 4 years ago in 2014, the VSS Enterprise crashed after a catastrophic in-flight break up creating incredibly bad PR disaster for the project. Despite that, Branson has been able to overcome the challenges that have been presented to him, and looks to go to space personally, within 6 months.
Branson discusses the last 20 years of his life in his new book, including the purchase and stories of his very own, Necker Island. On stage he talked of the impact that the recent Hurricane Irma had on it, where the whole island and his house was flattened. He discusses future challenges that he wishes to face through the rest of his life as well as the legacy he wishes to leave.
Overall, the event was incredibly inspiring, and was an opportunity of a lifetime. Seeing an idol of mine and the rest of the entrepreneurial community in person, talking to us. I’d like to thank Elena Sinel and Acorn Aspirations for the incredible opportunity and I hope they continue to provide similar opportunities for the rest of the Acorn community in the years to come.
Also published on Medium.