How a start-up got $1 million from Richard Branson via Twitter

weekend-bransonPitching for investment can be an arduous experience. Either the potential investor isn’t right for you or they aren’t interested in your idea. It can take countless meetings to find the right backer for your venture.


Spare a little of your jealousy then for brother and sister double act Scott and Stacey Ferreira – aged 21 and 19, respectively – who managed to get $1 million funding from Sir Richard Branson via a tweet.


Ok, it was a little more complicated than that, but the Ferreiras story is still remarkable. The entrepreneurs, whose web start-up,, is still in beta mode, saw a tweet from Branson’s Virgin Group offering the opportunity to meet the UK business doyen in return for a small donation to his charity of choice.


After getting a $4,000 loan from their parents, the Ferreiras flew to Miami where they met Branson at a party and talked to him about their idea, a cloud-based service that stores usernames and passwords.


“He just walked in the room, and we just started talking. I didn’t have time to think about being nervous,” Stacey says.


The result? Branson, along with American VC Jerry Murdock, promptly stumped up $1 million for the start-up. For the full story, click here.


If you aim to impress a heavy-hitting investor, there is a right and wrong way to go about things. For some positive tips on how to come across as a dynamic business leader, check out these 10 habits of charismatic people.


On the debit side, there are some things you should never say about yourself to a potential business partner, including words such as “motivated”, “innovative “ or “global provider.” Check out the full list of verboten terms here.


Where does inspiration strike you? Do you need a walk in the park or quiet time at home? Unsurprisingly, research has found that different environments help or hinder entrepreneurs. Some of the more interesting findings:

  • The sound of classical music makes consumers spend more money
  • The smell of cookies makes shoppers more likely to help a stranger
  • The sight of red hurts intellectual performance but improves physical performance

Finally, want to create a pre-launch buzz around your business? Here’s consultant Marissa Lippert’s top tips.


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