Over 100 Students Network and Build Connections at Entrepreneurship Vibes Event
2 November 2018
An audience of over 100 students from across the Henley Business School and the University of Reading attended the inaugural Entrepreneurship Vibes event, led by Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship (HCfE) on 23 October 2018.
Entrepreneurship Vibes was set up to show the student body the numerous exciting initiatives led by HCfE, ranging from the chance to get advice on a potential business idea at the Business Idea Clinic from Jurek Sikorski, Executive Director of HCfE and an experienced business leader and angel investor, to entering the IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition and attending the Summer Start-Up Boot Camp.
Prof Andrew Godley, the Academic Director of HCfE, opened Entrepreneurship Vibes to the packed crowd of students by emphasising the importance of, in his words, “Putting entrepreneurship into practice.” Andrew made the point that entrepreneurship is something that any student can benefit from, whatever their course, and that practicing entrepreneurship outside of lectures and seminars as well as learning about the underpinning theory is at the heart of what HCfE strive for. This message of entrepreneurship in practice was captured by a short video that Andrew showed to the students.
Andrew’s talk was followed by Jurek Sikorski, the Executive Director of HCfE. Jurek gave the assembled students an overview about the IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition 2019, getting the audience involved with a Q&A session on how to enter and going into detail about the benefits of participating. Jurek cited how winners from previous years have been able to turn their business idea into a fully-fledged business. Magnus Ronning, IDEAFEST 2017 winner and founder of clothing brand Ronning Co, and the team of students behind Norma, the winners of IDEAFEST 2018 with their innovative vegan brownie product, were mentioned by Jurek as two shining examples of what students entering IDEAFEST are capable of.
Harry Good-Stephenson was the third speaker, offering the audience an introduction to Reading Entrepreneurs, the University of Reading’s Entrepreneurship Society. He spoke about how students can join and participate at the numerous events, featuring external guest speakers who have started and successfully lead their own businesses. Harry added that the Entrepreneurship Vibes event was so important because of networking with other students and hearing the opportunities available for them to progress.
Students then got the chance to engage in some networking, with Dr Lebene Soga launching the E-Buddy Programme to facilitate networking and conversation throughout the audience. The students were tasked with finding a partner at the event that they didn’t already know and sharing their details with them, from their entrepreneurial aims to ideas on what skills their partner could teach them. As part of the E-Buddy Programme students were encouraged to sign up to HCfE and Entrepreneurship Society events together and the energetic atmosphere showed that students enjoyed the opportunity to make new connections and put their networking skills to use.
The final talk was given by Tim Brownstone, a University of Reading graduate and the CEO of wearable technology company KYMIRA. Tim shared his experience of entrepreneurship and told the story of how he started KYMIRA, coming from a background of biological science rather than business. Tim discussed his successes, failures and lessons learnt before going onto give his advice on what it takes to lead as a CEO, how to take steps to start your own business and what successful leadership looks like in a company. With sales growing on all continents, KYMIRA has been identified as a future ‘unicorn’ (i.e. a business valued at over $1 billion).
The Entrepreneurship Vibes event closed with a serving of pizza and cake, which made for a truly interactive and engaging networking event.
Jurek Sikorski, Executive Director of Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship
Prof Andrew Godley, Academic Director of Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship
Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship
Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship is part of Henley Business School at the University of Reading which provides a hub for teaching and research in the subject, inspiring students from across the University to embrace, develop and apply their entrepreneurial abilities.
AACSB Entrepreneurship Spotlight Challenge 2017 Honoree www.aacsb.edu/esc
Feedback and Prize Draw:
We welcome feedback on the event and what we might do next time. Please let Jurek or Andrew know and enter a draw to win a free meal from QOOQn, a Korean food preparation and delivery service started by a Henley Business School graduate.