Virgin Connect, an international telecom company, and personally its owner, the British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, have expressed vocal support of a large regional innovation promotion initiative in Russia, which is being put together in Nizhny Novgorod, in the mid-Volga area, by the region’s largest university, Lobachevsky UNN. Virgin Connect is now a Strategic Partner of InnoFest, the local festival of youth innovation to be held between November 18 and December 12, 2014.
Designed as an event of regional significance, InnoFest (please click here for detailed information) is bringing together more than 1,000 young scientists from among university students and postgraduates, as well as research fellows representing the region’s research institutes. High-level government officials and business people from both the domestic and international entrepreneurial communities are also expected.
Virgin Connect, a Strategic Partner of Russia’s InnoFest, is one of the numerous global assets of Virgin Group, a leading international investment alliance and one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands. Conceived in 1970 by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group has gone on to grow successful businesses in sectors ranging from mobile telephony, travel, financial services, leisure, music, holidays and health & wellness. Virgin has created more than 400 branded companies worldwide and employs almost 60,000 people, operating in over 50 countries with global branded revenues of $24bn in 2012.
Earlier this fall Virgin Connect opened an office in Nizhny Novgorod and announced plans to invest in regional Internet projects.
Sir Richard, an entrepreneur and a visionary
According to sources with knowledge of the development both at UNN and the partner company, InnoFest participants and guests may look forward to a personal video greeting by Sir Richard, 64, one of the world’s most renowned entrepreneurs, a famous traveler and world record breaker in hot air ballooning and sailing, and the seventh richest UK citizen with an estimated net worth of about $5bn, according to the Forbes 2014 list of billionaires.
From Virgin Records (the world’s biggest independent record label) in the early 1970’s to Virgin Atlantic (a leading global airline), Virgin Trains, Virgin Hotels and then some in the 1980-90’s, to the Virgin Earth Challenge (a $25m prize for scalable and sustainable ways of removing greenhouse gases from the air) in the new millennium, Sir Richard has become the only person to build eight billion dollar companies in eight different sectors while aspiring to provoke positive change globally in the process.