Most entrepreneurs have attended a networking event in a less than glamorous setting. Inspiration can often be hard to come by when making acquaintances in a cheap hotel conference room, thankfully Virgins chief networker likes to do his negotiations in a slightly more playful setting.
Kicking off another long year of work and play, Richard Branson this month invited twenty of the worlds top investors, entrepreneurs and professional kiteboarders to his island home of Necker.
The Mai Tai event, which was hosted by Austrian entrepreneur Constantin Bisanz, attracted fun-loving business folk to the island for a week of parties, networking and kitesurfing. The event gained its name through founders Susi Mai (kitesurfer) and Bill Tai (venture capitalist), with Forbes Magazine estimating a collective net worth of $7 billion for those in attendance.
In the past two years over 20 start-ups have launched at MaiTai and several companies have secured start-up funding from fellow attendees on MaiTai, including mobile services like Tango and Voxer, which were in the top 30 most downloaded in the apple store in 2012.
Enjoyed a fascinating, fun-filled MaiTai gathering on Necker this month. We brought together a whole host of kitesurfing enthusiasts and forward-thinking entrepreneurs, reflected the Virgin Group Founder on his blog.
The events are perfect for meeting interesting new people, letting your hair down and building some great connections. Plus there's lots of kitesurfing, which is always fine by me!
MaiTai is a non-profit organisation which aims to build a global community, helping foster global relationships between entrepreneurs and athletes to push the limits of life, business and sports. Later this year MaiTai will hold events in Brazil, Dominican Republic, Hood River, Utah, Maui, Perth.
If youd liked to find out more, head over to the Mai Tai website.