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'Venture Crawl' buses secure gender parity supporting Alison Rose review

Hundreds of student entrepreneurs took part in London Venture Crawl yesterday, a tour exploring the top innovation hubs and workspaces for entrepreneurship in the City.

Classic red London bus in front of The Shard
Students on board classic red bus for London Venture Crawl

King's has collaborated with 15 other London universities to run ten buses to explore London's start-up network first-hand and meet top entrepreneurial leaders. This year, the Venture Crawl buses required passenger gender parity to tour the City.  

This year’s Venture Crawl comes just days after Alison Rose,  British banker, and the CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland Group and who published a policy paper with the UK Government, the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, announced the next phase of her campaign to support female entrepreneurs, chiming with King’s Entrepreneurship Institute’s priority of tackling gender inequality in the entrepreneurial world. 

To help combat this gender inequality, Coutts, the private bank and wealth manager, has partnered with the Business Growth Fund to launch the UK Enterprise Fund. The partnership will identify and address equity gaps across the whole of the UK entrepreneurial ecosystem, with specific initiatives and programmes focused on female-led businesses and increasing the diversity of management teams. 

Venture Crawl is designed to give students the opportunity to connect to real-world businesses, be inspired by the UK’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, and gain skills in self-confidence, creative-thinking, resilience and leadership. VIP passengers hop on board the buses to share their stories and stimulate conversations, peer-to-peer learning and idea sharing. The students took part in behind-the-scenes tours of leading brands, talks and activities and attended a major ‘pitch-off’ event at the end of the day, bringing together 400 students. 

Becoming entrepreneurial versions of ourselves is vital for future societies. Many universities are alive with entrepreneurial talent and are based in vibrant, urban ecosystem for entrepreneurship. It’s the job of any modern university to introduce their innovative people to the local ecosystem to give them a better chance of solving problems and making change. That’s what the Venture Crawl was designed to do and it has grown and grown.– Julie Devonshire OBE, Director of King’s Entrepreneurship Institute

Over the years, King’s Entrepreneurship Institute has expanded its network of entrepreneur and investor collaborators, not just across London, but around the globe. For the 2020 London Venture Crawl, students from 16 universities across London took the classroom outside, touring on ten London buses on 11 March 2020. Exploring other ecosystems for entrepreneurs, Venture Crawls took place in Birmingham, Manchester and Chicago on the same day.  

Justine Clark, Operations & Partnerships Manager at IDEALondon, Capital Enterprise, said: 'We think it's really important keep in touch with upcoming talent and Venture Crawl has given us a great opportunity to share our work with Entrepreneurially minded students.'

Holly Tucker, Founder of Not on the Highstreet, was also part of the event and was joined by Greg Kyle-Langley, Coutts Head of Entrepreneurship; Briony Lim, also from Coutts in their corporate finance and private investment team; Angela Middleton MBE, Founder of Middleton Murray and serial entrepreneur; Laura Mimoun, Founder of Kaleido, one of the fastest growing businesses in the Natwest accelerator; Michele Tieghi, Founder and CEO of German Kraft Beer; and Madeline Petrow, CEO and Founder of Mamoq, who spoke on the King’s touring bus. 

The King's Entrepreneurship Institute exists to support entrepreneurial thinking, skills and experiences amongst students, staff and alumni.