Students inspired by entrepreneurs at Festival of Digital Disruption 2021
The FoDD is a week-long networking event aimed at opening up opportunities for careers or start-up businesses in the creative, digital and tech sectors for young aspiring entrepreneurs across the Thames Valley.
The event, held between 18-22 October, brought together 28 entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors, including technology, health and wellness, food, creative and ecommerce. Some of the speakers already had connections with Henley Business School, such as Zara Ransley of MyPocketSkill, a previous Henley Business Angels applicant. All of the speakers had either built businesses, worked for an inspiring company, or had changed careers to focus on what they are truly passionate about.
The speakers were interviewed by the students to share their stories and explore their diverse backgrounds, with 46% being female business leaders and 43% being BAME founders. The entrepreneurs explained what inspired their entrepreneurial ventures, the challenges they faced along the way, how they surmounted various hurdles and how they have stayed successful and continually adapted during the turbulent times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students attending the events were inspired and challenged to consider opportunities that go beyond seeking employment. Some of the highlights included stories from the 'Tech for Good' session, where founders shared how they chose to solve real world problems with social purpose, and the 'Creative and Careers' session, where entrepreneurs shared their unconventional journeys into creative and digital businesses.
Shlok Maheshwari, a BA Business and Management student who participated in the FoDD 2021, said: "The FoDD gave me the opportunity to learn and interact with founders who are so unique with their approach and dedicated to serving society. My view on what entrepreneurship entails has widened and I’ll definitely incorporate the lessons in my own entrepreneurial journey."
The 2021 FoDD culminated in the launch of the Thames Valley Young Digital Creatives group at the Curious Lounge in Reading. This group is for anyone aged 30 and under looking to meet other young creatives to share ideas, learn new things and find others to collaborate with on entrepreneurial projects.
Find out more about the Festival of Digital Disruption.