Any other business

Richard Branson flies British entrepreneurs to Detroit for business mentoring

3 min read

08 June 2015

Former deputy editor

Three new British entrepreneurs have secured a trip on Virgin Atlantic’s debut flight from London to Detroit on 11 June, and will receive business guidance from airline boss Richard Branson, Crowdfunder's chairman Rob Love and more.

The trio of rising business builders are travelling to the US after winning a Virgin StartUp by impressing judges with their enterprise plans and why the trip would be beneficial.

The winners are:

24-year-old Charlotte Cramer from Tower Hamlets, who secured an £11,300 loan from Virgin StartUp. She launched Glow Away, a psychologist-approved way to fight fear of the dark, in March. With more than 50 sales in the first week, the business package includes a bedtime story book and glow in the dark duvet set to help children face their fears.

19-year-old George Edwards from Canterbury, who launched Gas Sense in 2014 with a £19,000 loan from Virgin Startup and £15,000 from crowdfunding. The business idea, which came to him while he was at school, uses magnetic sensor strips to track how much gas is remaining in bottles and transfers the data to screens.

38-year-old Sam Morgan from Leeds received a £15,000 loan from Virgin StartUp to begin urban-style cycling clothing business Paria in March. Rising artists and designers are used, and distribution with a local cycling firm has been secured, while the Tour de Yorkshire show has been created with other local firms.

“These three companies are fantastic examples of British businesses looking to make their mark on a global scale. I’m looking forward to working with Charlotte, Sam and George to help develop the next stage of their business plans,” said Branson.

“Detroit is a city ripe with startups and this is a fantastic opportunity for them to gain great business advice and build there understanding of the US market and how their business could expand there. It’s set to be a great trip.”

Read more on Virgin and Crowdfunder:

The three new entrepreneurs will have the chance to develop a business plan with Branson during the flight, while Crowdfunder’s Love will meet them upon arrival in Detroit to discuss finance.

Additionally, Cambridge Satchel Company founder, Julie Dean, and trading director of sportswear brand Rapha, Tom Wood, will also make the trip to the US and help Cramer, Edwards and Morgan with developing expansion plans.

Image: Shutterstock