Innovation & Enterprise


UCL students go on a bus crawl and share ideas with London’s innovative businesses

16 March 2018

UCL Innovation & Enterprise took 30 students on a Routemaster bus to bounce ideas off business leaders and visit some of the capital’s most innovative companies as part of a ‘London Venture Crawl’.

London Venture Crawl 2018

The group stopped off to hear inspirational talks, including from UCL alumni speakers at Balderton Capital and OakNorth as well as IDEALondon, Zinc Ventures and Bootstrap Company.

During the 12-hour day, students had to pitch an entrepreneurial idea to a panel of business and creative leaders. The ideas ranged from organic bracelets, eco-friendly experiential travel and data science for small farmers to new technology parasol umbrellas.

Maria Zielińska (UCL BSc Arts and Science) said: “I’ve met some incredible people, listened to truly inspiring speakers and crossed the doorstep of spots on London's startup map that I didn't even know existed. Most importantly, I returned home with a massive confidence boost and raised hopes for my future activity on the creative industry front.”

The event, which took place on 14 March, gave students the opportunity to connect to real-world businesses and get inspired by industry leaders. They also got feedback about early-stage startup ideas and gained skills in self-confidence, creative thinking and leadership.

Piloted in 2017, the London Venture Crawl is a partnership between nine London universities – UCL, King’s College London, London South Bank University, Brunel, the University of Westminster, Loughborough (London campus), Birkbeck, University of East London and the London College of Fashion. 

Dr Celia Caulcott, UCL Vice-Provost (Enterprise) said: “At UCL Innovation & Enterprise we encourage a spirit of enterprise, transform ideas into action and accelerate UCL’s innovation and impact. London Venture Crawl is a great example of this, using our network of alumni and London businesses to inspire future entrepreneurs and create opportunities for our students.”

Rishi Khosla (UCL alumni, CEO and co-founder of OakNorth and co-founder of ACORN machine) said: “As an entrepreneur, I know how hard it is to take the plunge and start a business on your own, which is why initiatives such as the London Venture Crawl and UCL’s Innovation & Enterprise are so important. It was at university where I met my co-founder – we’ve since founded and scaled two businesses together, as well as selling one of them. It’s been a pleasure to meet the students and hopefully inspire them to pursue careers in entrepreneurship themselves.”

To find out more about UCL Innovation & Enterprise entrepreneurship opportunities and the support our team offers, come along to one of our BaseLates networking events. Our next event (22 March) will look at innovation and entrepreneurship in health, and on 17 April we'll be celebrating social innovators and entrepreneurs.

Read more news from UCL Innovation & Enterprise.