Richard Branson Says #HelloDetroit for Virgin Atlantic Launch

By Amanda Lewan on June 12th, 2015 / Comments

Richard Branson landed into Detroit wearing a “Detroit Hussles Harder” T-shirt yesterday afternoon to celebrate the launch of Virgin Atlantic in Detroit. The Virgin airline began direct flights to London from Detroit on June 1st, 2015, and offers what a Branson calls a “premium economy” or a greater luxury for an affordable price.

Virgin Atlantic started about thirty years ago with one “second hand 747” and Branson said it has been “a lot of fun building an airline and giving British Airways a run for their money.”

For any business owner it’s hard not to love and admire an entrepreneur who’s built a global brand, embraces risk taking and challenging the norms, and has been taking on industries to help move humanity forward like Virgin Galactic.  Certainly for myself while traveling in the UK last summer I found reading one of his latest book’s was transformative, helping our founding team at Bamboo realize new potential.

But Branson also has a bit of love and admiration for Detroit and our entrepreneurs and creative talent. For an entrepreneur who got his start in the music industry he recognized the great musical past of Motown and techno here. While in town Branson will be getting lunch and visiting with some entrepreneurs and artists today before heading over to a pitch competition at the College of Creative Studies. Richard Branson, Dan Gilbert, Briget Russo the CMO of Shinola, and entrepreneur Adriel Thornton will be giving feedback to four participating companies: Original Stix, Floyd Leg, Merit, and the Alisandifer Studio.

“Entrepreneurs are the future of your city. They are the future of your country. They need to be encouraged and it’s fantastic to see the amount of new companies setting up what I’m told is every 23 minutes or something in Detroit,” he said. “That’s really going to drive Detroit forward.”


At yesterday’s press event he shared some great tips for entrepreneurs. Branson said the absolutely best advice he can give an entrepreneur is to find someone else to run the day to day operations of the business as soon as you can. That way you can focus on growing.

“The delegation is actually critical,” Branson said. “Don’t be afraid to delegate. The person you delegate to won’t always do it the way you want to, but sometimes they’ll do it better.”

Meanwhile a group of British journalists, Motown musical staff, and entrepreneurs Branson brought over on the flight from London will be exploring the city with the hashtag #HelloDetroit. You can follow along for fun and see who’s visiting the Motor City, and say hello. We’ll be tweeting this afternoon’s event with the hashtag. Good luck to the entrepreneurs participating.

Learn more about Virgin Atlantic here and the Virgin Group.

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.