SVC2UK 2018: The week in review
Thank you to everyone who engaged with our events and especially to our speakers, volunteers, and partners who made this all possible. Here is a review and highlights of what we hosted during the week in Cambridge and London outside of the two very special dinners we held. Thanks too to Marc Ventresca who ran a number of fantastic SVC2UK events in Oxford too.
To kick off SVC2UK this year, this event at Babbage, Cambridge University, we explored the transformations that technology is driving in industry and society and the threat to trust as it does so. Each speaker presented a different view based on their experience to Tabitha Goldstaub (Co-founder, CognitionX) encompassing consumer tech, industrial disruption and societal transformation, as well as what the future may hold.
These masterclasses were a chance to reach out to the student community and local entrepreneurs in Cambridge highlighting 3 key areas which should be considered when trying to scale and succeed in today’s business climate. Our panellists from both the USA and UK discussed how to start and scale a business, how to access the US market and how inclusivity and diversity in the workforce can help to drive innovation.
This was a truly special event as Reid Hoffman (Co-founder of LinkedIn and SVC2UK itself) was able to join us and talk us through his journey of how he got to where he is today with the release of his latest book ‘Blitzscaling’, which he kindly gifted to all attendees. The discussion centred on the role of AI in society today and the good it can continue to do for humanity for years to come. Ruzwana Bashir, (CEO, Peek) was in conversation with Fatima Benkhaled, a student at King’s College London, and Professor Michael Luck, to talk all things entrepreneurship.
Good Growth Summit
Since its debut last year, we knew that this event was something where SVC2UK could have real impact in and build a community for women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses. It was empowering to have so many inspirational, ambitious and intelligent women in one room talking about their personal journeys and growth, as well as hearing students share their thoughts on topics such as STEM. Make sure you keep an eye out for more events to come in March 2019 to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Hosted at Rise London, we had 3 panels in which our speakers offered advice and tips for accessing finance to scale globally, using technology to scale, and how founders from diverse backgrounds can access these opportunities to scale. We hope that those who attended were able to come away from such an insightful session and use these tips with their own businesses.
Our flagship CEO Summit took place on Friday morning at St. James’s Palace, we were delighted to see 75 companies benefit from this session. The aim of this event is to provide mentoring by serial entrepreneurs from the US and Europe to CEOs of some of the fastest growing companies in the UK. Guest speaker Cal Henderson (Co-founder & CTO, Slack) shared his valuable insights on how he has been able to scale Slack. His honesty, modesty and incredible tips were very well received by our scale ups in the room.
We were thrilled to host an exclusive screening of ‘General Magic’ where co-Director, Sarah Kerruish, shared her emotional documentary with us. Featuring a talented team of entrepreneurs, engineers and designers, we saw the ambition, drive and determination to make their epic forward-looking vision a reality. As we turned our smartphones off to enjoy the film we saw the transformational journey of what it took to make them by General Magic – a company most will not have heard of yet but has paved the way to technology as we know it today. Megan Smith (former Magician) then took the stage with Sarah for an interactive Q&A with serial entrepreneur Emma Sinclair– a wonderful end to the week!
Oxford alumnus and bestselling author Jeetendr Sehdev delivered the keynote address, encouraging students to consider the opportunity for technology to transform popular discourse, the evolving new rules of branding, and what this means for the future of innovation.
There were 2 masterclass events; the first was led by Joyeeta Das (co-founder & CEO, Gyana and Oxford Saïd alumna) targeting students who are trained engineers or technical experts thinking about making the transition from techie to entrepreneur and the second saw Constantin Coussios (Oxford professor, Director of Institute of Biomedical Engineering and serial medtech entrepreneur) describing the challenges of academic entrepreneurship and the change of mindset that needs to occur in translating research into technology and commercial success.
General Magic screening and Panel
SVC2UK 2018 finished in Oxford with a screening of General Magic, followed by a panel on funding for life science ventures. This session was moderated by Dr Danuta Jeziorska of the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine and featured life science investors, including Simon Bayly (Business and Corporate Development at Oxford MEStar), Rebecca Todd (Investment Director of Longwall Ventures) and Lachlan MacKinnon (Principal of Oxford Sciences Innovation), who shared their stories and challenges and offered suggestions for raising money at multiple stages.
We are now busy planning our activities for 2019 building on the great success of this summit. Do please share your thoughts as keen to hear from our community. You can share your thoughts here or via Twitter.
Thank you all so much!
Check out some pictures below…….