WeWork Paddington, London


How to Get your First 1,000 Customers

For 50 years, Virgin has been starting innovative and sustainable businesses. We want to share our decades of experience with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

You have a fantastic new idea, perhaps even a great website, and now you’re frantically refreshing your order page waiting for a name that isn’t your mum.

So where is this target customer you have done months of research on, and what will it take for them to part with their cash?

At Virgin we’ve launched more than 400 companies over the last 40 years. So we think that it’s fair to say that we know a thing or two about getting an idea off the ground.   

You don’t need a master’s degree in computer science or tons of cash to see if your idea is something that customers will want and go crazy for. Come and meet the people who have been in your shoes and find out how they managed to tackle the most important part of setting up your own business -  getting those first paying customers.




 Frances McDermott and Katie Arnold, founders, Rewritten


Katie Arnold and Frances McDermott, Founders, Rewritten

Founded in 2016 by friends and ex work colleagues Katie Arnott and Frances Cookson, Rewritten London has become one of the UK’s leading fashion-forward bridesmaids dress brands, with a studio in North London and presence in some of the most highly regarded bridal boutiques across the UK and Worldwide. Rewritten London is designed for all of those damn cool bridesmaids out there, we create chic, sophisticated, contemporary designs in the most beautiful fabric and colour combinations that the forward-thinking woman will want to wear again and again. With an emphasis on sustainability, we are proud to say that all of our collection is hand-designed by the Rewritten team and hand-crafted in our local London workshop where we strive to reduce fabric waste and it’s damaging effects on the environment.

Katie has spent over ten years with a leading UK Jewellery brand as Head of Retail, managing all retail channels including wholesale and operations. With a 1st BA Hons Degree in Fashion Design from Edinburgh College of Art, Frances has spent ten years working in PR & Communications for luxury brands such as NET-A-PORTER.

Louise Avery, founder of LA Brewery


Louise Avery, founder, LA Brewery

After many years of home brewing kombucha, Louise started her pilot business from her Hackney kitchen 'Lois & The Living Teas' with the help of Virgin Startup.  After 3 years, she met her current business partners and launched LA Brewery in 2017 as well as publishing a book called  'Kombucha:  Healthy recipes for naturally fermented tea drink'.  LA Brewery is now in its 3rd year and stocked in Selfridges, Planet Organic, Wholefoods, Leon and Wagamama as well as 300 other independents across the UK.



Jacqui Mai, founder, Good Ordering

Goodordering is a small independent company run out of a flat on top of a bike shop in Hackney, East London. In 2012 we watched the cycling boom really take off. All sorts of fashionable people joined the revolution, but what lagged behind was the accessories! Identifying a gap in the market for colourful, unisex bike bags, Goodordering was born.

Founder and designer Jacqui Ma has designed bags for Puma, Virgin Atlantic, Microsoft and Debenhams. Originally Australian, she has been residing in London since 2002. After working at leading trend forecasting company WGSN for 8 years, she now consults in trends independently and runs Goodordering.


Jaqui Mai founder of Good Ordering is speaking at our MeetUp


18:00 - 18:30 : Arrival

19:00 - 19:45 : Speakers

19:45 - 20:30 : Q&A

20:30 - 21:00 : Networking






Terms and Conditions

i.      By buying a ticket, you consent to being filmed, recorded and photographed at the event as a member of the audience and to footage and photographs of you being used by Virgin StartUp in any medium for the promotion and marketing of Virgin StartUp and the Virgin Group.

ii.      Views expressed by speakers at the event may not be the views of Virgin StartUp. Event materials are provided on an “as is” basis and Virgin StartUp makes no warranty regarding the accuracy or completeness of those materials.

iii.      Speakers and attendees are subject to change and we do not guarantee that any specific speakers or participants will appear at the event. However, we will always try to find a suitable replacement if one of our key speakers or participants is unable to attend.

iv.      You attend the event at your own risk. You are responsible for safeguarding your property when attending the event. Virgin StartUp will have no liability for property lost, stolen or damaged at the event.

v.      You must be aged 18 or over to attend the event and may be asked to show photographic identification to prove your age.

vi.      Tickets can be transferred, exchanged, or refunded once purchased as long as the claim is made 7 days before the event is due to take place.

vii.      Whilst we cannot guarantee that our events will be at venues offering disabled access, please do let us know as far as possible in advance, of any requirements you may have in relation to access or any other disability requirements and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.