London Venture Crawl: encouraging entrepreneurship in students
The London Venture Crawl provided more than 200 university students in London with the opportunity to learn about the different business opportunities in the city
The London Venture Crawl, held in March 2018, took 200 students from nine London universities to visit a number of businesses and entrepreneurial ventures to learn about what it takes to start a business.
Students came from a number of disciplines and the following universities:
- King’s College London
- London South Bank University
- Brunel University London
- University of Westminster
- Loughborough University (London campus)
- Birkbeck, University of London
- University of East London
- London College of Fashion
An iconic red London bus took students across the city to a number of businesses such as Wayra, Geovation and Deliveroo. Students were able to talk to experts about their business ideas, take part in activities and learn how to use virtual reality and artificial intelligence in business.
Some of the students who took part in the Venture Crawl explained why such initiatives are so important in encouraging entrepreneurship at university.
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Meryem Cicek – final year global health and social medicine student, King’s College London
A 12-hour tour on a double-decker bus, visiting some of London’s most innovative hot spots sounds exciting, right? It definitely was. A fun-packed and insightful trip with exclusive access to enterprises, start-up accelerator programmes and innovation hubs, the London Venture Crawl 2018 was an unforgettable experience that left me inspired and motivated.
Stops included the Royal Academy of Engineering, Wayra UK, Geovation, Deliveroo HQ, Accenture Innovation Hub and Plexal at Here East. Listening to accounts from entrepreneurs from various sectors, from a variety of backgrounds and at different stages of their careers, was refreshing. It was interesting to learn more about the genuine experiences of start-up founders, about the successes and rewarding moments, the struggles and how they deal with challenges.
The many opportunities and support available for early start-ups and young entrepreneurs, such as accelerator and incubator programmes, has opened my eyes to the vast entrepreneurial ecosystem that London offers students and young people. With new insight and greater awareness of the opportunities on my doorstep, I feel motivated to commit more time and effort into developing my entrepreneurial ideas.
I feel fortunate to have participated in the London Venture Crawl, and I am proud of the Entrepreneurship Institute at King’s College London for pioneering this unique opportunity and encouraging other universities around London to get on board (literally) with this fun learning experience.
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Hannah Coombs – second-year industrial design and technology student, Brunel University London, president of Brunel Entrepreneurs Society 2017/18, founder of Hello Recovery
The London Venture Crawl was a one-of-a-kind event; I don’t think I have ever been to anything like it. The day started with the chance to network with other entrepreneurial students, then we were given first-hand insight into start-up accelerators and co-working spaces. We listened to a series of keynote speeches and were able to talk one-to-one with several successful entrepreneurs.
The day finished with the opportunity to pitch your business to students and staff from an array of London universities, which was a great opportunity to gain experience of pitching to an audience, alongside receiving feedback about your business idea. The day was packed full of learning and meeting new people, and has given me even more passion and drive to grow my business and make the most of opportunities available to me as a student.
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Jean Cavallera – MSc student in entrepreneurship, finance and innovation, Loughborough University London
To be able to discover the London start-up ecosystem through the London Venture Crawl was an amazing learning experience. From sharing ideas in the bus to visiting incubators and accelerators around London, every moment was memorable. I loved the insight into the world of creative entrepreneurs that we gained, and discovering the incredible success story of Loughborough graduate Laurence Kemball-Cook, Founder of Pavegen.
The networking, sharing and discussion about my ideas and projects with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures was also great. It was a golden opportunity offered by my university. During such events, you realise how important it is to combine soft and hard knowledge, by learning from real-world experiences and from successful entrepreneurs, supporting the learning in your university degree.
Molshree Vaid – MA fashion futures, London College of Fashion
London’s start-up ecosystem is so vibrant and to navigate it on the iconic red bus in the company of budding entrepreneurs from nine universities was an experience like no other. Kudos to the architects of the day’s itinerary as they successfully kept me from checking my phone, except for tweeting memorable moments from the sessions.
I particularly enjoyed the candid and casual tone of interaction with entrepreneurs across business sectors and scales, investors and start-up consultants. Collaboration was in the air as Enterprise team members across colleges joined up to keep us entertained and energised during the crawl. A fun-filled pitching session by students at the evening party nicely capped off a day that was high on inspiration, bold ambitions and fresh thinking.
Read more: Why universities should encourage student entrepreneurship