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Students visit London’s most innovative hot spots as part of the London Venture Crawl

Budding entrepreneurs recently took to London’s iconic red double decker buses as part of the London Venture Crawl, designed to teach students about entrepreneurship and innovative thinking.

London Venture Crawl
Birkbeck students and staff enjoying the London Venture Crawl

A group of Birkbeck students recently embarked on a 12-hour bus ride around the city to meet top entrepreneurial leaders and experience some of London’s top innovation hubs and workspaces from a range of industries. 

The event marks the third year that the Venture Crawl has taken place, and its popularity continues to grow, with over 250 students from 16 London universities embarking on the unique journey this year. Venture Crawls also took place in Birmingham, Manchester and Chicago on the same day. Students were given the opportunity to talk to experts about their business ideas, build their networks with like-minded individuals, and learn more about setting up their own start-up.  

Guest speakers spoke about innovation and how to stay ahead of the curve, as well as intellectual property and branding. Speakers included Kofi Oppong, Founder of Urban MBA, that runs a training programme designed to equip young people not in education, employment or training and Lou Dalton, men’s fashion designer.

The tour stops included Bootstrap Charity, that provides workspace and an enterprise bootcamp for young people; Poplar Works, a range of studios dedicated for those working in fashion; and Plexal, a workspace for tech start-ups and scale-ups.  

Students’ comments on the day included: “Bootstrap Charity really inspired me”, “The speakers were great”, “My favourite part of the day was learning about companies that help the community”, and “All the speakers were fab!” 

During the day each bus held a pitching competition and students on the buses pitched their ideas, with each bus’s highest voted pitch put forward to a competition at Plexal. The winner of the ‘Pitch for the Day’ was student Emmy Tanimura, with her idea of innovative clothing solutions for homeless people, such as a warm winter coat that can be transformed into a rucksack. 

Lucy Robinson, Business and Enterprise Employability Consultant at Birkbeck, commented: 

“Venture Crawl is an ambitious and full-on day, but it’s truly one of the best ways to experience London’s vibrant start-up scene and it’s something we look forward to every year. We get stuck into so many different aspects of entrepreneurship like social enterprise, innovation, intellectual property and pitching – there’s something for everyone, and it’s also a great way to network with like-minded enterprise students.” 

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