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12 November 2018

Silicon Valley comes to King's

For the first time, King’s has partnered with Silicon Valley to inspire and advise the entrepreneurs of the future.

Silicon Valley comes to the UK
Silicon Valley comes to the UK

For the first time, King’s has partnered with Silicon Valley to inspire and advise the entrepreneurs of the future.

At an event run in partnership between the Entrepreneurship Institute, and Silicon Valley comes to the UK (SVC2UK), big names in business and technology discussed challenges in growing businesses, ‘fear’ in adopting AI, and entrepreneurial opportunities presented by AI and how they could serve societies rather than threaten them.

Speakers included LinkedIn Co-founder, Reid Hoffman CBE, former US government Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith, entrepreneur and Angel investor Sherry Coutu CBE, Digital Education expert Professor Sir Tim O’Shea, and UK student turned million-dollar business owner, Ruzwana Bashir, who gave advice to those starting out in business. King’s Executive Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Prof Michael Luck and King’s Electronic Engineering with Management student Fatima Benkhaled helped facilitate the discussion along with Oli Barrett MBE, Co-founder of Startup Britain.


Life is a team sport not and individual sport - we need to learn from the network around us

Reid Hoffman CBE, LinkedIn Co-founder

Explaining why King’s partnered on the event, Julie Devonshire OBE, Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute, says: ‘More and more, King’s students are becoming interested in entrepreneurship.

‘Silicon Valley is world famous for the entrepreneurs that it produces and supports and hearing from those who have operated successfully in that ecosystem can be very insightful - listening to successes and failures, the challenges entrepreneurs have faced, how they overcame them and the lessons they learnt on the way.’

Students from across facilities, from Biomedical Engineering to Informatics and Computer Science, came to the event, bringing with them their own entrepreneurial ideas.

Sakeen, who studies Computer Science said: ‘As a final year computer science student who would like to start his own venture in the near future, the session highlighted to me that the ethical issues of AI are something that I need to consider more as I was not putting much emphasis on this before.

‘It was very encouraging to learn more about Ruzwana’s journey, as we have a similar background. It’s made me consider looking into Silicon Valley more for starting my entrepreneurial journey, as I thought it was inaccessible for people based in the UK.’


Student, Veronica, who is studying for an MSc in Big Data, is on the King’s20 Accelerator programme, said: ‘The SVC2UK events have been so valuable to both my company and personal development.

‘As well as this event, I also attended the SVC2UK: Growth Summit, which involved a diverse range of women within STEM discussing diversity and inclusion within our fields. This event was great to meet and listen to like-minded individuals who support and inspire each other.

Julie Devonshire said: ‘We’re so grateful that SVC2UK chose King’s and we hope to arrange more Silicon Valley events in the near future to inspire our budding entrepreneurs.’