How the tie-loathing adventurer relies on sites and apps to build business and friendships.

Sir Richard Branson is the tie-loathing adventurer and thrill seeker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes at Virgin! Branson started Virgin as a mail order record retailer in 1970, then founded Virgin Records and opened a record shop on Oxford Street, London.

Since Branson founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984, it has established itself as a leading global airline. Virgin Australia, Virgin America, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Trains, Virgin Hotels and Virgin Galactic have followed in travel, while expansion elsewhere has seen Branson become the only person to build eight, billion-dollar companies in eight different sectors.

Branson was awarded a knighthood in 1999 for services to entrepreneurship and in 2013 he launched Virgin Start Up, a not-for-profit organisation providing loans, mentors and support for new businesses. And for the past three years he has been the lead judge for the Virgin Media Pioneers competition Pitch to Rich.


Google Hangouts - A free service that allows you to call, chat and video chat with groups of other users. We use it to keep in touch with entrepreneurs around the world and debate issues.

Magicseaweed – Everyone needs time to unwind and often great ideas come while you are out doing what you love. I love kitesurfing so this is a great way of finding out everything I need to know about the surf conditions all over the world.

The Economist - I’ve long been a reader of The Economist for its in-depth coverage. Its apps are a great example of how old media can adapt to the new media age.

Virgin Media Pioneers - I love meeting fellow entrepreneurs and hearing their bright ideas to change the world for the better.

Linkedin Influencers - What sets this programme apart is not just interesting contributors, but the genuine intelligent debate that goes on in the comments – not something that happens on every website!

And app, Hailo - It just makes getting a taxi so much easier and is a great example of disruptive technology.

13 May 2014