Next Generation Networking?

Entrepreneurs with the Big Idea are always looking for the Big Break. Two small business owners in Boston have decided that a meeting with Richard Branson, eclectic entrepreneur extraordinaire, will be theirs. And rather than wait for it, they’re going to go hunt him down.


There’s always been a blurry line between being a little nuts and being entrepreneurial. Chet Harding and Norm Laviolette, owners of Improv Asylum, a $1.5 million, 50-employee comedy theater in Boston, have decided to embrace the nutty. The two have a “comedy business” idea, which they are keeping under wraps, and flying to London to track down Branson, using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, and, well, “ask every single person we meet if they know Richard Branson,” says Laviolette. The pair, followed by a cameraman to document the quest, will fly from Boston to London on Sunday night. Fans can follow their adventure on the company’s Web site and Twitter.

The initial plan is to secure a meeting in London within five days, but “we’ll go until we get the meeting,” says Laviolette. The two don’t intend to get into stalker territory or any other sort of funny business while they’re there, but are determined to secure that meeting.

“This is meant to be comedic,” says Harding. “And, you know, a good business strategy.”

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