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King's wins entrepreneurial award at 'Oscars of higher education'

King’s has been announced as the Outstanding Entrepreneurial University at this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

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This award recognises the work that King’s does to support entrepreneurial thinking, skills and experiences amongst King’s students, staff and alumni.

Central to the award win is the King’s20 accelerator initiative, a year-long programme run by the Entrepreneurship Institute. The initiative supports individuals from King’s who are at the start of their business venture journey, or businesses that are already established and are looking to scale up.

To help these new businesses reach their full potential, the programme provides weekly support from Experts-in-Residence, unique access to investment, leadership growth, space and a supportive community. The majority of ventures have successfully launched and many have gone onto grow customer bases, employ people, raise investment and deliver impact.

Over the past the 12 months, the King’s20 accelerator has helped 20 teams gain nearly 400 hours of expert coaching and mentorship, and has generated £227,000 revenue and £430,000 of investment. Those involved have said that the programme has improved their self-confidence, decision-making, creativity and resourcefulness, and has increased their chances of success. Six King's20 entrepreneurs have also won national awards, including the Top 10 tech entrepreneurs in London under 30. 

The THE judges praised the Institute’s “broad and inspirational” activities, adding that “King’s College London demonstrates the powerful impact that can be created by fostering an entrepreneurial mind-set alongside a research focus.”

King's Entrepreneurship team after winning an award

Julie Devonshire OBE, Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute, says: 

‘I was once a budding entrepreneur, and so it’s a privilege to support all the creative and ambitious individuals that come through our doors, helping elevate them to the next level in business. 

‘Entrepreneurship is vital if we want to positively contribute to global challenges, support economies to develop and create a better society. We have ideas, big plans and aspirations for the future – there’s much more to come from us.’

‘King’s20 supports us without trying to change who we are.’

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(Image credit: Piers Vell) 

Olga Kravchenko studied for an MA in Arts & Culture Management at King’s and went through the King’s20 accelerator programme. She now has two businesses: Musemio, a virtual reality platform to engage children’s interest in the arts and culture, and Memento, which enables people to use their smartphones to create and share their memories in virtual reality.  

‘Being part of King’s20 has many benefits. The office space and the comprehensive mentorship are really beneficial for small start-ups like ours. Developing your business is challenging but the mentors give us clarity, as it is not uncommon for people in our position to get caught up in the flow of ideas we continuously generate. A great benefit has also been working alongside a bunch of other entrepreneurs so we can bounce ideas off each other, share our successes and failures, and support each other on our journeys.

‘The King’s20 Accelerator is so special because it offers a great range of opportunities for the entire year, including networking, so that we can get leadership training, find out about funding competitions and meet investors.’

‘King’s20 supports us without trying to change who we are.’