Two Manchester startups meet Richard Branson

We’re proud of the fact that our startups are based all over the country – not just in London. They’re contributing to communities, creating jobs, and generally bringing their A-game to all parts of England. Which is why when we found out that Richard  was going to be in Manchester for a flying visit we were so excited for the opportunity to showcase some of our businesses in the north first-hand.

Virgin StartUp-funded entrepreneurs Helen Walker and Adam Walker of Twicely, an ingenious way to sell your premium pre-owned clothes, and Deborah Todd of ZAAZEE, a stylish women’s sportswear brand, had the chance to meet Richard for a meet and greet at the Virgin Money Lounge in Manchester. Here they had the opportunity to chat with Richard about their businesses and what they’ve achieved. Alongside them was BBV, our delivery partners in the north west. Here’s how the day went.

Adam and Helen Walker, co-founders of Twicely

Twicely with Richard

“It was a privilege to meet and spend some time with Richard. He’s incredibly charismatic and his laid-back charm puts you at ease almost instantly. Richard was very interested to find out what we’ve been up to at Twicely over the last 12 months. He’s a very intent listener and asked a lot of probing questions about our unique business model.

“He was keen to get online and see the Twicely website, and we also brought along some of the ‘like new’ fashion items that we sell that really emphasise the huge savings customers can expect. Richard was genuinely enthusiastic about what we’ve achieved so far and left us in no doubt that in Virgin we’ve got a partner who will be there with concrete support throughout our startup journey.”

Deborah Todd, founder of ZAAZEE

ZAAZEE with Richard

“Richard was very engaging and asked about my sportswear and my passion for sport. I used to play a lot of tennis (he’s a big fan) and he said that Virgin Active would love to help me as they’re really keen to support start-ups.  Fittingly, I had some ZAAZEE gear (in Virgin red, of course) for Holly, and asked if he’d be kind enough to pass it on.

“He also told me all about Virgin Sport, a new Virgin company that’s giving sporting events and initiatives the Virgin magic, and which his son-in-law Freddy is working on.

“I also asked him about being a grandad and he says he’s a ‘grand-dude’! Being  a working mum, my parents are always helping me with the kids when I work near them. I’m really optimistic about working with other Virgin brands, and excited about the future prospects for ZAAZEE.”

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