While San Francisco and New York may still be the leading centres for start-ups, London has slowly become the convergent zone for some of the biggest tech companies in the world. The bustling capital city is a cultural hotspot attracting people from all over the world. Whether they are in the city to do sight-seeing or commerce, London is the perfect place to mix business and pleasure.
We all know that London is one of the major financial cities in the world. It is also no surprise that start-ups choose to establish their companies here because of the countless prospects and support received from both public and private institutions. One of such support is Startup Britain, a national campaign launched in 2011, created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. It aims to “harness the expertise and passion of Britain’s leading business people to unleash the entrepreneurship spirit across the UK.”
According to Startup Britain’s statistics, there are about 608,110 start-ups registered in 2015. It will be no surprise that the number will rise this year.
City University London has committed itself to support the up-and-coming entrepreneurial talents within its student and graduate community. Located on the doorstep of Tech City, London’s version of Silicon Valley and Europe’s largest cluster of digital and technology start-up companies, City knows that this strategic location will be beneficial to the studentry. Its postcode, EC1V has emerged as the top UK postcode for starting a business and has accounted over 15,000 new businesses started in 2015 – three times as many as other postcodes in the country.
Due to the benefits, City has become the top choice to study entrepreneurship. The university focuses on Enterprise Education which was designed to help all students develop the entrepreneurial mind-set and skills needed to thrive in an increasingly competitive and challenging world.
Let’s Run the (Tech) City
One of the projects initiated by City University London is the CityStarters, a team aiming to inspire budding entrepreneurs of the City and establish the institution as the “best place for kick-ass student starters.” They run a wide range of activities, Enterprise Education events, as well as programmes – all of which are very accessible to City students and graduates. Best of all, they’re free of charge!
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Under this initiative is CitySparks, a “business design and doing” competition where City students can win a whopping £3,000 to develop a new business idea, test it out, and make it happen.
Here, There, and Everywhere
City University London goes out of its way to assist student entrepreneurs. The Hangout, is an incubator space that has everything – free desk space, meeting rooms, and wifi, plus a chance to interact with fellow students and graduates entrepreneurs, so you can all work together and get free business mentoring from the experts.
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Another stand-out project, the City Unrulyversity – a free pop-up university which aims to inform, inspire, and empower future entrepreneurs. Held every Wednesday, these sessions are taught by leading academics of City University London and combine practical relevance with academic rigour, theoretical underpinnings, and the latest research. The interactive classes focus on sharing knowledge, discussing ideas, challenging assumptions, and reflecting on your own business practice.
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Start-Ed is a free walk-in centre which offers assistance for small businesses and tech startups. Run by law students of The City Law School and supervised by local legal professionals, this centre provides advice regarding business and legal matters.
Bringing together students, staff, and alumni from City, as well as members of the local Tech City members, the Made@City is an end-of-year celebration to showcase and reward the best projects from the final year student of the University. It is also a great opportunity to network and get to know the innovative products and technologies developed by the City Students throughout the academic year.
From The City and Beyond
Taking the business to the world requires tremendous funding and support – and The City understands this needs. With the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund, a £10-milluon venture capital fund, your start-up and/or early-stage company can be provided with growth equity. Since its inception in 2010, it has helped financed several high-growth businesses.
The Peter Cullum Centre of Entrepreneurship (PCCE) also aims to help budding and established entrepreneurs across the Cass network. The centre can guide you in turning your idea into a reality by developing your skills and connecting you to networks successful entrepreneurs, financiers, and business leaders. Its aim is for you to succeed and for that to happened, the centre can provide you ample resources, a wide range of short courses, and ancillary services to support you and your emerging business.
To find out more about City University London’s programmes and initiatives, visit city.ac.uk.