May 15, 2018 6:27 pm
Updated: May 15, 2018 6:35 pm

British billionaire Richard Branson awards winners of Virgin Mobile Canada’s ‘Pitch to Rich’ contest

WATCH: British philanthropist Richard Branson is in Calgary this week discussing energy and entrepreneurship. Sarah Offin spoke with him about how young people are redefining business in Canada.


British billionaire and philanthropist Richard Branson was making the rounds in Calgary on Tuesday, while speaking at the Energy Disruptors conference.

He’s also meeting with the winners of Virgin Mobile Canada’s Pitch to Rich Contest.

Siblings Alexander and Stephanie Florio from Toronto launched an app called Swob in November that links employers to job-seekers.

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“I started looking for other roles and just through my own frustration thought: ‘There has to be an easier way to look for jobs,’” Alexander said. “I kind of had the idea and I came home and spoke to Stephanie about it and we’ve just never looked back.”

“I was told I wasn’t allowed to use the comparison,” Branson said, “but it’s like Tinder for employment.”

The Florios not only received $10,000 as winners of the contest, but also a chance to discuss their business plan with Branson, who founded the Virgin Group in the 70s.

“Canada was and still is dominated by a lot of very big companies but big companies get fat and flabby and therefore that leads to good opportunity for entrepreneurs to come and stick their finger in their stomach and shake them up a bit,” Branson said.

“A country benefits from thousands and thousands of young entrepreneurs with thousands of different ideas trying to make people’s lives better.”

Branson said he hopes to launch Virgin Airlines in Canada at some point in the future.

When asked whether he would be attending the royal wedding this weekend, the 67-year-old said: “My kids are. I’m of the generation that went to Diana’s wedding.”



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