Sir Richard helps Sam to keep reaching for the sky

Leeds cycling apparel entrepreneur Sam Morgan (right) who won a mentoring session in the sky with Sir Richard Branson

Leeds cycling apparel entrepreneur Sam Morgan (right) who won a mentoring session in the sky with Sir Richard Branson

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WHEN you’re starting out in business, it’s always good to get advice from a seasoned entrepreneur.

Sam Morgan, from Leeds, has picked the brains of one of the biggest names in global business. Mr Morgan, who launched his business with funding from Virgin StartUp, won the opportunity to develop his business growth strategy with Sir Richard Branson.

The session took place during Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight from London to Detroit. Mr Morgan received a £15,000 Virgin StartUp loan to launch his business in March.

His company, Paria, produces “urban influenced” cycling clothing with help from artists and designers.

During the flight, Mr Morgan surprised Sir Richard by supplying him with a Paria cycling jersey, which the tycoon was happy to wear.

Mr Morgan said “Seeing the king of PR in action was great, so getting him in my gear and having mentoring was superb. He even promised to pass the jersey on for Bono to try.”

During the eight-hour flight, Mr Morgan kicked off a crowd-funding campaign to grow his business. On arriving in Detroit, Mr Morgan met with Rob Love, the chairman of Crowdfunder to refine his plans to secure second stage funding and support his company’s next stage of development. Crowdfunder and Virgin StartUp are working with Mr Morgan to put this plan into action.

Mr Morgan said: “This was an incredible opportunity to learn from the very best in business. I truly believe Paria offers an alternative to the standard cycling apparel.”

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