On Wednesday 10 March, we once again explored the entrepreneurial ecosystem for start-ups and heard inspirational stories from entrepreneurs, all in one day - minus the iconic double-decker bus!
Over 750 students from 17 different universities joined the first-ever Virtual Venture Crawl. Despite our students usually boarding buses and travelling across the London Entrepreneurial Eco-System together, this year they boarded the Venture Crawl virtual platform to explore a huge content bank. The platform encapsulated an interactive map with over 80 fantastic resources for students and recent graduates to uncover – from pre-recorded workshops and panels to successful entrepreneurs sharing their stories and providing invaluable insight to budding entrepreneurs. Also, a huge 14 live events took place throughout the day, which focused on all aspects of entrepreneurship – from delving into sustainability to learning how to pitch.
This was not your average online event – the day started with a welcome and fantastic keynote from Sara Osterholzer, a serial entrepreneur. The world of business is changing and Sara Osterholzer is leading the change. Co-founder of The Good Business Club, and a mentor to the next generation of leaders looking to redesign the world of business - for good, Sara advocates for purpose-led business. She believes that there’s a different way to do business that positively impacts people and the planet while still being profitable and is demystifying what that looks like to support business owners create sustainable businesses, for themselves and the world.
At lunchtime, we joined the other universities in a huge networking session, where our students could communicate with other like-minded students and graduates, not only from across London but also other universities took part this year in Europe – including students from Tempere University in Finland! It was great to see so many engaged students networking, discovering and sharing their passion for all things entrepreneurial.
Between live events and exploring the interactive map of content, we provided networking sessions via Zoom every hour for Brunel University attendees only and kept in touch through an optional group chat, creating a space where our budding entrepreneurs could meet, talk about content they had unlocked and share recommendations throughout the event. This is where we could create a real buzz for the final live event of the day.
To round off the event, the famous London Venture Crawl Pitching Competition took place. All London based universities taking part in Venture Crawl have the option to put forward a student representative to pitch their business idea to be crowned Venture Crawl Pitching Champion of 2021. This year, final year Product Design Engineering student Paramveer Bhachu, the co-founder of Lava represented us at the inter-university pitch off.
The judges included: start-up advisor Folu Fabowale-Makinde, international motivational speaker, mindset growth coach and early stage invester Indie Gordon, Gary Stewart the founder and CEO of FounderTribes and Venture Crawl Pitching Champion of 2020 Emi Tanimura.
After all students pitched their ideas for 90 seconds, Paramveer was voted runner-up and also won ‘People’s Choice’ – congratulations!