JPC at Imperial College London ThinkSpace Start-up week
2nd April 2014 – 4th April 2014
Imperial College London ThinkSpace hosted a series of start-up surgeries in collaboration with JPC designed to inspire, motivate and provide invaluable insights to individuals looking to start up their own businesses.
Located within Imperial College’s Ugli building in White City, the ThinkSpace Media Lab is a creative campus community – an ideas hub – a think tank if you will, brought to life by JPC’s interior experience design. A place designed for creative energy to transcend the ordinary and cultivate success – the perfect setting for an event intended to stir the nascent entrepreneur.
An array of aspiring, curious entrepreneurs arrived, each bringing with them their own ambition and agenda.
Entrepreneurs today have access to a variety of resources, a wealth of knowledge, support and access to funding. However, many who dream of starting up their own business are filled with trepidation when setting out because of the barriers that society and they themselves put in their way.
These barriers could include financial, legal, and perhaps most significant of all, psychological – fear can paralyze you.
A brilliant idea might be brilliant, remarkable even, but the creator may find their idea eclipsed by the formalities of the business world. Financial difficulties and the attitudes of banks to new business owners is just one of the barriers that stands in the way of the creation of new enterprises. Highly specific governmental regulations relating to policies, licenses and permits is another. Other factors might be a lack of time, confidence and social pressures such as conforming to the status quo of climbing up the corporate ladder.
ThinkSpace invited several speakers to come and share their insights and experiences on a variety of topics, including Creative, Tech and Social. Start-up speakers included Rebecca Gregory, founder of Thinking Bob, George Aliferis, founder of Orama, Keshav Malani founder of Powrofyou, Ben Byford, founder of Eulergy and Henry Morris from Upreach. Key note speeches were given by Dr. Nadia Danhash from the Royal College of Arts, Faz Aftab and Matt Poole from ITV and Yvette Cook from Social Enterprise UK. Hearing their success stories inspired a renewed confidence in their audience that their own ideas could become a reality. The speakers talked about how they overcame various pitfalls and sourced new opportunities. Their successes are testament to the fact that although there may be various obstacles, starting up a new business is not impossible.
A particularly memorable quote that was invoked by Ben Byford was “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky. I think that this quote encapsulates one of the key messages that many of these speakers alluded to. It seems that a certain ‘dare to fail’ mentality must be adopted if your business is going to succeed. George Aliferis, founder of Orama made the comment – ‘you need to be prepared to get in front of the camera for your business’, in other words you will need to do things you don’t want to do and will face challenges that you had not expected.
Imperial College’s ThinkSpace presents the opportunity for entrepreneurs to build a network of innovation partners. Spaces like ThinkSpace and other hot desking venues for incubator businesses are cropping up all over London and are the ideal place for entrepreneurs to network with others who share the same goals and ambitions. Through this collaboration of insights and ideas, they can start to move their ideas forward when developing their own business.
Commercially illiterate, financially unenlightened, economically ignorant, these shortcomings are by no means ominous signs that an entrepreneur does not have what it takes to start up a business. Drive, commitment, resilience and passion, these are the essential qualities that any entrepreneur must possess in order to excel in today’s business world.