Meet The Founder

Julie Brangstrup

Julie was born in 1978 in Taarbaek, Denmark, the middle child of three sisters.

She began her career as an intern at Morgan Stanley in 1998, and after one month was hired; Julie worked in the Private Clients division from 1998-1999, where she gained the financial foundations that have aided her in her entrepreneurial success.

In 2000, she launched Vitaviva, a Danish health supplements online company, still operating today, giving her vital commercial experience for her next venture; Gumball 3000 Group which she co-founded with Maximillion Cooper.

Julie was the co-founder of the Gumball 3000 Group from 2001 – 2010 operating five companies under the Gumball 3000 name, including Apparel, Films, Licensing, Events, and Music. The Gumball 3000 name has developed into a global lifestyle brand valued in 2006 at £120 million GBP.

Julie is married to private equity Hedge-fund Owner Mark Brangstrup Watts, as well as being a full-time mother of seven, a keen skier and a lover of motor-sports.

Alongside her business and career ventures, Julie also graduated with a BA in Psychology and Business in 2002.

As a mother of a big family my children are the center of my world. I’m there in the morning to take them to school, and I’m there in the evening to tuck them up in bed. I’ve stood freezing on the sidelines of countless rugby matches, and sat in the audience at endless dance recitals. I taught my children how to ride a bike, how to swim; I help them with homework. I know my story as a full-time parent and a busy working mum is no different to the stories of thousands of other women out there.

But is this security, love and encouragement that I am able to offer my children on a daily basis, something that perhaps we take for granted as a society? What if I didn’t have the resources or the finances to give my children the medical, educational and emotional support they need? It was this thought, that inspired me to create Cash & Rocket. What if I could bring together 80 powerful, influential, inspirational women together to drive a four-day tour, raising money and awareness for three incredible charities. I wanted to revolutionize the landscape of how women talk about the social and economic problems facing mothers and children on a worldwide scale.

The Cash & Rocket Tour unites women of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities and professions, but for four days we stand together as one voice. It is a well-known fact that we can achieve more together, than we can alone. This is the Cash & Rocket manifesto: to emancipate women, allowing them to come together as a catalyst for good, through a unique lifestyle experience. It is my belief that women are an incredibly powerful force for change; this trip is about adventure, friendship, unification, love, and solidarity, in turn these positive emotions are what empower us to do more and be more.

The women who join me each year are mothers, but they are also businesswomen, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, models, designers, and journalists. The reason I wanted to involve such powerful female figures and international luxury lifestyle brands was partly because they have a unique access to a public stage. By taking advantage of personal and professional networks, we bring a bigger message to a wider audience.

I want to give 80 women the chance to see the impact they can make in four days with 40 red cars, and their own powerful voices. We are not simply anonymous donators who have found a convenient means of self-gratification. We are women empowering other women, mothers supporting other mothers. Once we raise the money, our long journey is only just beginning. Our work is to provide education, safety, opportunities and to make sure that the women and children get the chance they deserve. I plan to see through this until the very end. Since I founded Cash & Rocket, I have been back to visit the projects each year, to meet the children, to witness first hand what women can achieve when they get together for a common goal. This – for me – is the most important, and indeed most rewarding aspect of the Cash & Rocket concept.

I want to create a better life for families who do not have the means or the sustainability to achieve their dreams alone. We are helping young girls and boys in the Limpopo Province of South Africa to achieve a full education, from primary school through to university, so that they may grow up to be the leaders of tomorrow’s South Africa. We have given cash transfers and built ‘forever homes’ for families in Ghana so that they can care for their children, as well as give young people a safe, sustainable, supportive environment in which they can grow up.

In Sierra Leone we have invested in new schools, agricultural programs, adult literacy lessons and microloans for women. By investing in the community, we are investing in and transforming the landscape of opportunities. Possibilities open to many thousands of women and children. In the UK we are supporting young women who have been through terror and slavery by helping them with education, housing and future jobs.

These projects are not quick fixes, they are long-term solutions to real social problems, the effects of which will be felt for generations to come. I believe that adventure is a hugely underestimated catalyst. When people are passionate, they become productive; when people are inspired they become innovative. What we are doing is unique. We are uniting NGOs in Africa, UK and US with luxury international brands and powerful women in order to reinvent the way people initiate change; it will accelerate if you’ll open your heart, open your mind, and join in.