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King's Entrepreneurship Institute announces new accelerator participants

Posted on 05/10/2016

King’s Entrepreneurship Institute has officially launched the first 20 startups it will support as part of its new accelerator programme. The announcement was made at a launch event on Monday in the University’s new Bush House buildings, Aldwych.

Over 12 months, the accelerator will provide the ventures with mentorship from leading entrepreneurs, revenue generating support, access to investors and accelerator space equivalent to £30,000 worth of investment for free.

Startups, from areas such as MedTech, FinTech, hardware, data management, education, logistics and distribution, tourism, media and consumer goods, will take part in the programme.

The event kicked off with a welcome from Mark Chaffey and Razvan Creanga, Co-founders of Hackajob, who joined the King’s Pop-Up Incubating Space in March 2015 and have now grown to an international team of fifteen working across a community of 25,000 job-seekers and 200 employers. They stressed how valuable the accelerator support had been to their own careers and urged the new entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Speaking ahead of the networking reception, President & Principal Professor Edward Byrne AC, emphasised the importance of supporting student entrepreneurship in the build up to the new Business School at King’s and congratulated the students and the institute on their achievements.

Rajesh Agarwal, Deputy Mayor of Business, Greater London Authority, followed and also stressed that failure should not be feared as it helps entrepreneurs to learn from their mistakes. He said: 'Accelerator spaces play a very important role because they bring people together. People ask me whether entrepreneurship can be taught, and my view is that I’m not sure whether entrepreneurship can be taught or not, but it can definitely be caught, when you surround yourself with the right people and have the right kind of entrepreneurial ecosystem.'

American businesswoman Cynthia Carroll, used her speech to explain her views on what being a good leader entails: -

‘No matter what, leaders must never be satisfied with good performance because change happens fast, no matter what industry and size of the business. Becoming the best is great, staying there is even better.’

Edward Halliday, Accelerator Manager, Entrepreneurship Institute, provided the audience with more information on the programme itself. Over a quarter of the ventures are led by a female entrepreneur and the 55 students, staff and alumni involved across the teams are of 22 different nationalities, with 70% of the 20 lead entrepreneurs being from BAME backgrounds.

entrepreneurship big photo

The accelerator is unique in that the focus is centred on developing the individuals as entrepreneurs, helping participants gain not just technical business skills but leadership skills like decision-making, collaboration, and self-efficacy.

The accelerator has also formed a partnership with the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom to help the ventures develop resilience, and King’s expertise in psychology and psychiatry is being used to look at the behaviour and personality traits of entrepreneurs.

Start-ups taking part in the programme include Cycl, a company making LED bicycle direction indicators, WingLights that provide 360 degree visibility in all light and weather conditions; Cancer Calculator, an app to help doctors diagnose cancer, and Moovr, the Uber for cows; a social enterprise that puts farmers in developing countries in contact with truck drivers to help them get to market.

The accelerator will also focus on the wider socio-economic contribution the startups make to job creation, wealth creation and impact, and on making them robust in terms of revenue, team size, and investment.

Professor Edward Byrne AC, President & Principal of King’s College London said: ‘King’s College London has a long history of entrepreneurship, from the discovery of the structure of DNA, to research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar, and we continue to find, develop and support that entrepreneurial spirit today. 

‘The startups we’ve chosen reflect the fantastic diversity and talent that make the entrepreneurial ecosystem at King’s so successful. We’re looking forward to working with the first cohort of ventures and know that they will go on to have a big impact on the global entrepreneurship scene, create jobs and wealth, and contribute to solving some of the world’s biggest challenges.’

 

For more information, please contact the King’s College London press office on 020 7848 3202, pr@kcl.ac.uk.

 

More information about the 20 ventures can be found in the Lookbook.

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