Exeter event invites budding entrepreneurs to sample the startup world and give back to society

13thNov 2017

Entrepreneurs can pitch ideas about a new concept or product and begin creating their own business at an event, later this month in Exeter.

Startup Weekend, a 54-hour event, will help people develop solutions and ideas that have the potential to make a positive difference to society.

The weekend takes place from 17 to 19 November 2017 at University of Exeter’s Business School and is open to anyone with a novel product, idea or code - with the drive to turn their ideas into a startup business.

Teams will be supported to build a product or service and then present their idea to a panel of experts.  Mentors will be on hand throughout the weekend to provide expertise and give talks on their experiences in the fast-paced world of startups.

Adam Lusby, Circular Economy Specialist at the University said: “The Business School is delighted to be hosting Exeter’s seventh Startup Weekend. I am particularly pleased that this edition will focus on creating business with purpose, which reminds participants about their core values, helping to create a more engaged and connected society. All businesses want to make money, but the majority also want to make a difference and we are eager to help them with that.”

The University of Exeter, Business School was recently voted as having the top MBA program for sustainable social change with a score of 95.6 per cent according to Corporate Knights, a magazine for clean capitalism, in its 2017 Better World MBA results.

Some of Exeter’s most recognized entrepreneurs, supported by Think:Try:Do, the University’s Student Startup Programme, will be returning as mentors for the event. These include: Tom Charman of Kompas, a digital travel app, who is also pitching at the SETsquared Accelerating Growth Investment Showcase event in December as they look to complete their current investment round.

Speaking of his role as a mentor, Tom said: “It’s great to be back in Exeter again as a mentor for Startup Weekend. I've mentored for a couple of Startup Weekend events, and I really enjoy seeing the ideas that develop over the 54-hour period. My aim is to support participants by helping them narrow down their objectives, research a market, and execute their idea while helping them avoid pitfalls that people in the startup scene regularly encounter.”

Exeter entrepreneur, Matt Morley is co-founder of Explaain, a plugin for news websites that instantly makes articles interactive and user-friendly. The team are working closely with Google’s Digital News Initiative. Matt will also feature as a mentor.

Another Exeter alumnus, Chris Howard, founder of The Rattle, a community and co-working space for music makers and entrepreneurs (which recently overfunded their Crowdcube raise) will be in Exeter for the build up to Startup Weekend, during Global Entrepreneur Week (13-19 November) to run a session helping people deliver a one minute pitch.

Remarking on the pitching sessions, Chris said: “Since graduating from Exeter in 2004, I've come to learn how important it is to say something authentic yet convincing to progress out of university. Pitching is a great example of that, and a critical tool if your progression lies in entrepreneurship. I am honoured and excited to condense everything I have learned having founded over 5 companies in the UK and USA to help and support Exeter's flourishing startup alumni.”

Natalie Collard, Business Coordinator and co-organiser of six Exeter Startup Weekends to date said: “I absolutely love supporting Exeter’s Startup weekends. It’s a real community here and it’s so exciting to witness the passion and ingenuity participants develop. This is clearly indicative of the passion we share for Exeter as a hub for smart business.”

Tickets for the weekend are available from Eventbrite.  For more information please contact Natalie Collard.