Start-up supporters and businesses gathered at the Business School yesterday for the return of London's largest free event for budding entrepreneurs.
This year’s LaunchPad Day brought together people looking to start their own businesses with over 50 exhibitors, including some of the UK’s leading start-up organisations, at a networking event open to students and the public.
Visitors were able to explore how to turn their business ideas into reality and gain insight into the latest trends from the capital’s start-up scene including digital technology, healthcare and climate change.
Companies participating in this year’s event included the Digital Business Academy, an online platform that provides digital and business skills to anyone looking to start, grow or join a digital business, Seedrs, a leading equity crowdfunding platform and The Bakery – an accelerator programme that brings together brands and technology companies to create new products and services.
Many young people now aspire to be digital entrepreneurs, so this event was an ideal opportunity for us to provide advice on the skills and experience needed to enter this popular and competitive industry.
– Ben McClure
Country Manager, UK Access to Finance, EIT Digital
These companies were joined by rising stars from Imperial’s own start-up community such as MeshPower, a business that aims to provide affordable, renewable, 24 hour electricity through solar-powered nano grids to small communities without access to energy in the developing world.
One of the new exhibitors to this year’s event was EIT Digital, a European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation. Ben McClure, Country Manager, UK Access to Finance at EIT Digitalsaid: “Many young people now aspire to be digital entrepreneurs, so this event was an ideal opportunity for us to provide advice on the skills and experience needed to enter this popular and competitive industry. It was also a great opportunity to extend our own network and forge closer connections with the Imperial community.”
This year’s event included the first ever Imperial LaunchPad Accelerator, where 10 start-ups from across Imperial were invited to pitch their business ideas in a competition. A follow-up pitching competition will take place at the Business School on 21 June in collaboration with HEC Paris.
Dr Paolo Taticchi, Principal Teaching Fellow at Imperial College Business School and organiser of this year’s event said: “It was great to welcome so many people to this year’s LaunchPad Day and to see lots of students engaging in discussion with visiting companies.
“One of the strengths of the Business School is that we encourage students to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams by connecting them with businesses, so it was fantastic to see so many people taking advantage of this opportunity to network and build relationships. The LaunchPad Day at Imperial is now a key fixture in London’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
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