What it means to be a Branson Centre entrepreneur

Larren Peart

Just recently the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean welcomed its fourth cohort of promising entrepreneurs. Larren Peart, who runs a technology driven market-research company called Focus Research Ltd., is one of the 17 new recruits. In todays guest blog he describes his experience of being chosen, after making it through a competitive application and assessment process...

As if being shortlisted wasnt thrilling enough, I was invited to attend Assessment Day at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean. I had very high expectations, as the Branson Centre is the brainchild of one of my favorite global success stories, Richard Branson. I was asked to prepare a pitch for this day, but instead decided to make this my first challenge and just wing it. A successful entrepreneur must always be ready for impromptu elevator pitches.

On the day, I immediately felt welcomed upon arrival and was impressed with the open concept design of the Centre. I reasoned this was to further foster ease of collaboration amongst candidates and mentors alike. Additionally, I was glad to find out that the other candidates were from various backgrounds. It was evident to me at that point that if accepted, this would be a multi-faceted learning experience where I could also benefit from my fellow entrepreneurs own experiences.

After introductions, we were put into two groups and given a case study where we were to assess and determine the feasibility of a pending business acquisition. Luckily, I have a personal obsession with the TV shows Shark Tank and Dragons Den and I was able to draw on things I have learnt from them. This greatly assisted with my approach to the case study. Then, it was pitch time. After gathering my nerves, I delivered my best ten minute elevator pitch to two very inquisitive Branson Centre team members who were genuinely interested in my business, Focus Research Ltd., which is a technology driven market research company delivering real time survey results at a fraction of the traditional costs.

An in-depth interview followed, where I was grilled for the better part of 25 minutes on every aspect of my business and aspirations. I was forced by the questions posed to consider particular aspects of myself and my business that I may have overlooked prior. I was indeed grateful for this and remember thinking that it was for this reason I had applied in the first place. I am certainly looking forward to being a part of Cohort 4 and have no doubt that I will gain a level of thought and mentorship that will empower me to think critically and make the best decisions for my business going forward.

To read more about Cohort 4 and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean, check out the latest 2013 B:Inspired eZine. Alternatively, subscribe for regular email updates from the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean.

The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean is a joint initiative between Virgin Unite and Virgin Holidays.

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