News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

Richard Branson – Business Magnate

Richard Branson – Business Magnate

Jul 16, 2013

Richard Branson grew up in Surrey, England starting with entrepreneurial projects in the music industry and expanded into other sectors making Branson a billionaire today.

Early in is life Richard struggled with dyslexia, he had a hard time with educational institutions. He nearly failed out of school and he continued to still struggle, therefore dropping out at the age of 16 to start a youth-culture magazine called Student.

By 1969, Branson had the idea to begin a mail-order record company called Virgin Records┬áto help fund his magazine efforts. He expanded his business venture, adding a record shop and with it’s success, the high school drop-out was able to build a recording studio in 1972 in Oxfordshire, England. Richard Branson bootstrapped his way from record-shop owner to head of the Virgin empire.

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And now Richard Branson is moving onward and upward into space tourism at Virgin Galactic partnering with Scaled Composites to form The Spaceship Company, which is currently developing a suborbital spaceplane that made an impressive leap forward with the test launch of SpaceShipTwo that is slated to start carrying passengers into the thermosphere at $200,000 a ticket.

Branson also has a philanthropic streak. He’s pledged the next 10 years of profits from his transportation empire (an amount expected to reach $3 billion) to the development of renewable alternatives to carbon fuels. And then there’s his Virgin Earth Challenge, which offers a $25 million prize to the first person to come up with an economically viable solution to the greenhouse gas problem.

What does Richard have to say about education in science?
On May 24th 2013, Richard was proud to receive an award at Liberty Science Center Genius Gala, he stated “It was extra special as it was presented to me by Buzz Aldrin, one of the first two people on the moon. In accepting the event I mentioned that one of the main things university is good for is nurturing promising scientific minds. Although I am not a great fan of formal education when it comes to learning to be an entrepreneur, for science and technology it is essential.”

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Richard Branson talks to TED’s Chris Anderson about the ups and the downs of his career, from his multibillionaire success to his multiple near-death experiences and motivations.


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