Today marks the 5th birthday of King's Entrepreneurship Institute, a small group of people with huge aspirations to support students, staff and alumni to add ‘entrepreneurship’ to their DNA.
Leading the Entrepreneurship Institute has been an honour, a challenge and a lot of fun. Some of the things I am most proud of include the community of +30,000 people that we have built including +400 investors along with the +260 jobs that have been created through ventures who have been supported in our accelerator. Also, the career-enhancing entrepreneurial skills that we have imparted to students, and our first-ever cohort of ventures with where +50% are led by women.
And winning the Times Higher Education Outstanding Entrepreneurial University award.
The five key things that I have learnt over the past five years are that:
🎂 Building a community for our audience and for our internal and external contacts, where everyone feels like they belong, has been really important. Links below if you would like to join too.
🎂 Diversity of thought is of the utmost importance in entrepreneurship. Diversity, inclusion and belonging feature in everything that we do.
🎂 Accelerators only work if there is clear evidence that impactful knowledge has been imparted to entrepreneurs, that investment has been raised by the entrepreneurs and, most importantly, that there is a strong focus on routes to market, customers, sales strategies and everything to do with revenue. Accelerators should always be able to demonstrate that ventures have started better and scaled and that founders have become better entrepreneurial leaders as a direct result of their intervention.
🎂 Start-ups are great, but they are not the be-all and end-all of the entrepreneurial world. There’s something bigger and more inclusive. If you’re serious about your career, whatever that might be, you need to be able to answer the new hot interview question – “What makes you entrepreneurial?” Or to quote the Chief Commercial Officer of Crowdcube, “How are you entrepreneurial compared to your peers?” We are learning to become expert in answering the question, “What does it mean to be entrepreneurial?” The seven skill of an entrepreneurial mindset can start you on this journey.
🎂 It’s essential to create and offer activities that are impactful, compelling, fun and lean. My favourite is the Venture Crawl. Taking the classroom outside, the Venture Crawl is a one-day exploration of your local, urban ecosystem for entrepreneurship. Started in 2016 at King’s, 40 entrepreneurial students toured the London scene for entrepreneurship on an iconic red London bus visiting entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators, innovative corporates and co-working spaces.
On March 11th 2020, the fourth Venture Crawl will take place in 3 UK cities, with 20 universities participating to support more than 400 entrepreneurial students. The Venture Crawl even has its first international participants as students in Chicago begin the ‘crawl’.
It’s been such an honour to help entrepreneurs on their journey over the past five years – my very special thanks to my marvellous co-workers, Hemali, Rachel, Holly, Katherine, Hayley, Leonie, Lea, Sarah, Armandine, Alex and Holly.
So, sending supportive vibes to entrepreneurial people around the world on our fifth birthday. Be more entrepreneurial every day.
We would love to hear your stories about how you’re entrepreneurial; where you are on your entrepreneurial journey; or about something an entrepreneur has done that has inspired you.