A few weeks ago, MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management students left the lecture halls and books behind, and dove into London’s booming enterprising scene for a day-long “Startup Ecosystem and Tech City” event.
Arriving at the Huckletree co-working space at the heart of Tech City in the early afternoon, we started off with a presentation from Startup Insights, which gave us an informative overview of the buzzing entrepreneurial ecosystem growing right here in our backyard. From bare-bone stats on thriving sectors in the city to tips on what networking events we should attend, every bit of information was useful.
This was followed by an honest and open panel discussion. One of the speakers, Andrea Bonaceto, Co-Founder of HiredGrad is an alumni from our program and has gone on to do what we all hope to do one day – turning their dreams into reality and starting their own business. In fact, 22% of MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management alumni have gone on to start their own business. We also heard from Paul Connor, Product Marketing Manager at GoCardless and Lora Schellenberg, Marketing Lead at General Assembly.
Our time wrapped at Tech City with a bang, with start-up demos from the CEOs of Acasa and the WhereApp, Nick Katz and Charly Harrison. Seeing practicing entrepreneurs pitch their real businesses to us proved to be especially useful as the next week we would go on to pitch our own concepts to investors to mark the finale of our program.
We then made our way to Runway East’s Hangar 58 – my favourite part of the day. Runway East is a co-working space dedicated to offering space and support to London’s tech start-up community, with the Hangar 58 cafe helping to caffeinate their entrepreneurs and also a bar that kick starts conversations.
In groups of three, experts spanning from founders to corporate innovation experts, to professionals working in incubators and accelerators, rotated around the room every 20 minutes. It was an awesome opportunity to ask questions to active players in fields we are all so passionate about! We had the opportunity to meet Elena Manole at Keboola, James Lethem from Google Launchpad and Laura Muñoz at Empowering Futures.
The day wrapped up mingling with my fellow colleagues and new acquaintances, where in the down-to-earth atmosphere, we continued our chats over pizza, cold beers and (in true start-up fashion) ping-pong.