“There’s so much entrepreneurial talent at King’s and we want investors and VCs to know about it.”
Hayley Ard, who manages investor relations at the Entrepreneurship Institute, has been working hard over the past six months to find new ways to bring investors to King’s to meet and invest in ventures on the King’s20 Accelerator.
“In a short space of time, we’ve already had huge success: several King’s ventures have received large investments and there’s been a lot of interest. Investors often look to the private sector for ventures to invest in, but they’re increasingly looking to the public sector and recognising the expertise and investability of university ventures.
King’s ventures cover the whole spectrum – from health and education, to retail, social impact, AI and deep tech. We have something for everyone’s investment portfolio.
Davide Sangiovanni, Financier and Founder of Graffiti says;
"We are rethinking where we look for entrepreneurial talent. Along with the private sector, universities, especially in London, are where much of the top international talent is, where brilliant ideas are being generated and built upon and we want a piece of that.
King’s College London has extremely motivated young entrepreneurs, well supported by the King’s20 Accelerator Programme with ideas spanning from B2C to virtual reality, from B2B software to food tech. The mix of nationalities of the founders allows an investor to have a great overview of the London startup scene. The King’s20 Accelerator is up there with leading private sector accelerators and has challenged us to look outside the private sector and towards the public sector.”
We hold investor breakfasts every month for investors to meet ventures on an intimate and informal basis. In March 2019, we launched an investor fortnight, where investors joined us at the Entrepreneurship Institute every day for one-to-one meetings with King’s20 ventures, to give them valuable feedback and advice to make them investment-ready.
We also held a successful investor evening at Alibaba with their cloud technology team, where ventures were able to pitch and network with investors. Some 50 investors took part in these activities.
We’ve engaged with over 300 investors so far – both individuals and syndicates. These include Ascension Ventures, Startup Funding Club, Anthemis Group, Newable, Wharton Angel Network, Downing Ventures, ClearlySo, Octopus Ventures and RLC Ventures. They are mainly London-based, but in the run-up to our London Demo Day in September 2019 – where, for the first time in history, King’s, Imperial and UCL will join forces to showcase their brightest startups – we’re giving investors around the world access to King’s unique talent.
Our ambition is to secure investment commitments from the world’s top investors, so King’s ventures can grow and continue to have a positive impact on the world.”
For more information about the Entrepreneurship Institute, please see Kcl.ac.uk/entrepreneurship, follow @InnovateKings on Twitter or email Hayley.Ard@kcl.ac.uk.
Applications for the King’s20 Accelerator open in April 2019. Register your interest here.