UCL and the National Student Enterprise Conference

21 April 2010

Computer Science student Tom Stone, President of the UCL Enterprise Society, describes his experience of the National Student Enterprise Conference, hosted at UCL last month.


Brainstorming at the 'Business not as usual' conference

“UCLU Entrepreneurs Society, UCL Enterprise Society and UCL Advances partnered with the National Consortium of University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) to host the UK’s premier conference for student entrepreneurs and enterprising students on 27–28 March.

The conference brought together 200 students from across the UK. Championing innovation and entrepreneur-led economic growth, this year’s conference, ‘Business NOT as Usual’, sought to bring together academics, researchers, investors, policymakers, international corporates and global entrepreneurs.

Its aim was not only to inspire, inform and connect young entrepreneurs, but also to further the discourse, thought leadership and policy awareness around enterprise and innovation needed to drive the UK economy forward.

The event involved more than 40 speakers, eight panel sessions, nine workshops and three innovation garages, 20 exhibitors, a funding clinic, a £1,000 pitch competition and networking throughout.

Julie Meyer, founder and CEO of Ariadne Capital, co-founder of First Tuesday, dragon on BBC’s Online Dragons Den and weekly columnist in London’s City A.M., gave a powerful opening keynote speech. Penny Power, Founder of Ecademy (which helps business people achieve success through online tools, community and friendship) closed the event with an equally inspiring presentation.

Audience members at the 'Business not as usual' conference

Shell LiveWIRE’s  £1,000 pitch competition saw over 23 delegates pitch their ideas to the company on the Saturday, from whom three were selected to deliver their pitches to the audience on Sunday afternoon. Edwin Broni-Mensah, a student at the University of Manchester and the Founder of Give Me Tap, walked away from the conference with the prize money after giving a solid pitch for his unique social enterprise to the packed auditorium.

The quality of talks, presentations and discussions was excellent. The panel discussions proved a great success, and topics ranged from software and mobile technology through green business to finding funding and social media marketing.

The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and activity. The UCL Engineering Cafe provided a perfect space for mixing with exhibitors, before delegates were steered to a local bar for further networking.”

Images from top: Brainstorming and delegates at ‘Business NOT as usual’

UCL context

UCL Enterprise is a society dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship amongst the research community at UCL. It aims to work with our associates and affiliates both at and outside UCL towards building an ecosystem to support enterprising research.

UCL Enterprise Society’s next event – ‘Emerging Trends in Technology’ – will take place on Wednesday 28 April at 6pm in the Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre (G06), Roberts Building. See the link above for more detail.

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