Jake Millar interviews his hero Richard Branson
Monday, 13 June 2016
New Zealand’s most connected young businessman, 20-year old entrepreneur Jake Millar, has finally met his business hero, Sir Richard Branson, after being invited to San Francisco for an exclusive one-on-one interview with the Virgin Group Founder.
The co-founder of Unfiltered, an exclusive business education platform launched in November 2015, Millar was inspired when, aged 16, he read Branson’s autobiography ‘Losing My Virginity’ and the following year turned down a $40,000 law scholarship to the University of Otago to start a business.
The pair chatted on the record for 40 minutes and the interview will be used to help leverage Unfiltered’s expansion plans into the United States and Australian markets. The Unfiltered business education platform allows entrepreneurs, investors and executives within the corporate and SME worlds to tell their stories and share their advice unabashed.
“Richard Branson is why I got into business in the first place,” Millar says. “He was singlehandedly responsible for that decision so it has always been my dream to meet him. He was pretty chuffed to see I even had a tattoo of his famous phrase “Screw It, Let’s Do It.”
As a 20-year-old Millar regularly rubs shoulders with the likes of Stephen Jennings, Eric Watson, Mike Pero, Peter Cooper, Kevin Roberts, Rob Fyfe, Dr. Don Brash and Julie Christie to discuss fresh plans for a career that already includes the sale of his first business venture – motivational website OOMPHER – to the New Zealand Government, just nine months after he established it aged 18.
In an online world where content is king, Millar and co-founder Yuuki Ogino have been busy since the video education site launched just over six months ago on 5 November. They’ve posted 55 in-depth interviews with top New Zealand business people including Renaissance Capital founder Stephen Jennings (his first interview in New Zealand of this kind), jeweller Sir Michael Hill, beer baron Sir Douglas Myers, Internet entrepreneur Seeby Woodhouse, tech genius Claudia Batten, fashion icon Karen Walker, Prime Minister John Key and corporate business legends Sir Ralph Norris and Theresa Gattung.
“We’re trying to tell in-depth stories in a New Zealand context that haven’t been told before in a lot of detail. Our interviewees trust us. Guys like Cliff Cook, Ian Wright and Stephen Jennings rarely talk to media but they talk to us because we’re all about education. My strength is getting in the door and selling our vision.”
It is the international names that are stepping up to chat that are now commanding attention. Unfiltered has secured globally significant interviews with the CEO of Virgin Galactic, George T. Whitesides; New York Celebrity Chef, Todd English; former CEO of EA, John Riccitiello; Founder’s Fund partner, Scott Nolan and Y Combinator president, Sam Altman.