Wow, what a term we had here at Startup Soc… January, February and March have been a crazy ride for us - we’ve organised two huge events and seven smaller ones, hosted Mayor Andy Street on campus, joined the EPS Community, invested £4,000 in the University’s very own startups and business ideas, hosted some legendary entrepreneurs from the Birmingham area and we even went to a startup conference in Kent! And literally today, we have elected next year’s team! Interested in finding out more about all those exciting moments from the second term? Keep reading!
The second half of our annual speaker series was delivered by a great variety of entrepreneurs who visited us on campus to talk about their journeys and share their expertise. In total we hosted 5 speakers just this term!! We kicked things off in January with a visit from Paul Hutchens who spoke about starting up in competitive and highly-regulated markets (solar industry in his case). We then had the pleasure of hosting Phil Neale and Russ Makhauri, two young entrepreneurs working hard to make their ideas big. It was inspiring to meet people who have been in our situation not so long ago and listen to the advice Phil and Russ had about starting up as a young professional and finding a business idea. We have then invited Neil Wooding, an experienced freelancer (30+ years in the industry) who shared all the pro-tips for those thinking of working as solo designers, programmers, marketers etc. Lastly, we’ve concluded our speaker series with the legend of the University’s startup scene, Mohammed Ali. After 3 years of knowing Mohammed, I finally got to know his story and how he became the Startup Dad of the University - it was worth it.
BEC - the cross university collaboration between equivalents of Startup Societies from all 5 Birmingham universities. An initiative that allows us to share events, sponsors, conferences and most importantly network. This has probably been one of our biggest achievements this year.
The launch event featured Mayor Andy Street, James Eder (founder @ Student Beans) and a handful of other important figures of Birmingham’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Of course, we also had over 40 boxes of piping hot pizza.
The University’s one and only pitching competition, organized on annual basis by Startup Soc, concluded our programme this year. We’ve heard 12 fantastic pitches (six businesses, six ideas) who competed for a total of £4,000 in cash! It was a day full of pitches, startups and networking. What more does one need? Shout out to our lovely judges Tahlia Gray, Shahbaz Khokhar, Dominique Lescott, Ben Reed and Dominic Jackson.
And lastly, on Monday 25 March, we’ve held our annual elections where we’ve chosen the committee for 2019/20 academic year. And the next year’s team is (*drum roll*):
Startup Soc President 2018/2019
Some of you might know that the nominations for the EPS Societies' Awards are now open. So if you enjoyed our events, have been inspired by our speakers, loved meeting like-minded people on the BEC launch or participated in the Startup Games, please consider writing us a nomination!