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  1. Startup Seminars

Startup Seminars

The Startup Seminar series is a free nine week evening lecture programme, providing business and startup skills to all those wanting to find out more about the process of taking a business from idea to a successful venture.

Delivered by expert practitioners every Tuesday from 6.30pm until 7.30pm, with FREE drinks and networking afterwards, these lively and engaging seminars provide hands-on tips and advice you can actually apply to your own business ideas or businesses.

What does it cover?

10th October -  How to come up with a business idea

How to come up with a business idea - spotting problems and coming up with ideas

Want to start a business, but not sure where to begin?
You are not alone - inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere, and even then it can be hard to know how to turn that idea into a business.

The opening talk will be led by the king of iced coffee, Jim Cregan, who will be sharing insights from how he came up with the idea of 'Jimmy's Iced Coffee' and turned it into a multi-million pound business!

There will be an opportunity for a few audience questions and then some drinks and networking straight after!
Book your tickets now to learn from legends, and in the words of Jim - "Keep your chin up"

17th October - Know your customer

Know your customer - who/what is your target customer?

You've got the best new business idea - but do other people feel the same?
Whatever you think about your business it is never going to be liked, wanted or needed by everyone - so you need to find out exactly who loves your idea and make sure they know about you and your business.

Get ready to hear some home truths, find out how to get useful feedback and be prepared to pivot!

This talk will be led by serial entrepreneur and chief 'fixer' Jody Orsborn. Jody will be taking you through her journey of starting The Backscratchers including the twists, turns and pivots along the way that created the right market fit for her customers in order to offer a service that they needed rather than wanted.

Additionally you will also learn about Jody's latest side hustle of creating her very own all female Bruce Springsteen tribute band and finding a surprise fan base, going on tour and getting a record deal!

Come along and find out if you were 'Born to Run' your own company!

24th October - Build a community around your startup

Build a community around your startup - Create a fan-base that want to pay/subscribe to your service/product

Imagine having a tribe of Little Monsters, Beleibers and Directioners that loved your company and everything it stands for! With the right use of social media, emails and blogs you could develop your own community to follow, support and buy anything that your company comes out with (have you heard of Apple?!)!

This talk will be led by Brenna Holman, solopreneur and adventurer behind This Battered Suitcase. Brenna has built up a huge following across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and her blog that actively follow and learn from her experiences as a solo female traveler visiting countries around the globe. Brenna will be giving away some trade secrets that have helped to grow her followers and maintain their interest and engagement in her travels.

Don't be an outcast at this weeks adventurous startup talk!

31st October - Creating prototypes

Creating prototypes - discover how to create minimum viable products (MVPs) to test the market

'Fake it til you make it' is a mantra that every founder can relate to - especially when it comes to creating your earliest MVPs and Prototypes! Whether its a landing page fronting a manual database, acting as the middle man for an online shopping idea or creating a new laptop out of cardboard - it ultimately boils down to testing a business assumption in the quickest way possible with the smallest cost!

Find out the best tips and hacks to test your business from prototyping and innovation pro, Paul Dawson from innovation agency, Fluxx!

7th November - Create an awesome brand

What's the most important question in branding?

Simple. Why should I care? Whatever your idea you need to create a distinctive brand that answers this question, makes you stand out from the competition, and turns customers into advocates.

Creating an awesome brand is about a lot more than just drawing a pretty logo - Simon Coley, Founder of Karma Cola is here to tell you the importance of devleoping a story, voice and values that really bring products to life and keep customers not only buying products but buying into what the company stands for.

Karma Cola is the UK's first fair trade and 100% organic cola - not only tasting good, the bottles are pretty cool too but best of all each sale contributes to a wider Karma Foundation that helps farmers in Sierra Leone!

Find out how a brand can have the power of both looking good and doing good at the same time!

14th November - Build a business model

OK, so you have a great business idea but is it a viable business?

It's one thing having a good business idea but to build a successful business you need to develop a strong business model. This session will introduce examples of business models used by companies and cover some of the basics of Business Model Canvas approach as an entrepreneurial tool for bridging the gap between business idea and business reality.

Ege Akpinar is a serial entrepreneur with experience of starting businesses with a variety of different models, customers and users. During this talk he will cover some of the factors that have decided which models have worked well and other that have not and reveal the importance of knowing when to change your model to secure a successful business.

Sign up now to find the model that's right for you!

21st November - Fund your business

One of the biggest hurdles for all startups is getting enough money to turn an idea into reality

This week we will be looking at how to get initial seed investment to get your business off the ground. What's the best option for your business? Crowdfunding? Competitions? Angels? We will be exploring which source of funding suits your business best and the funding journey from seed to Venture Capitalist investment.

The talk will be led by Karan Shanmugarajah, CEO and founder of WealthKernel, a provider of automated wealth management solutions to institutional clients. Karan was a Portfolio Manager at Barclays in London overseeing $500 million in client assets. He was a member of the North American Equity Committee and a voting member of the Selection Committee responsible for multi-asset reference portfolios across the UK and Europe. Karan has also worked in Canada and Singapore. Alongside growing WealthKernel he is currently a director of a London-based charity that promotes entrepreneurship.

28th November - Think like an entrepreneur

What goes on in the mind of an entrepreneur?

From Richard Branson to Elon Musk, it is clear that entrepreneurs across the world tend to think differently from the average 9-5ers. Identifying problems and providing solutions, taking an idea and acting on it - this by no means an easy path to walk. This talk is aimed to look at the entrepreneurial mindset and hear about how the long hours, lonely work environment and months without taking a salary is combated by the sense of reward, determination and self-drive to seek entrepreneurial success.

Speaking from experience will be serial entrepreneur James Eder, founder of and Causr. James will let you into the entrepreneurial ingredients that have resulted in a recipe for successful startups.

5th December - How to pitch like a pro

In the end, all comes down to the pitch!

You can have the best business idea, business model, brand identity, marketing plan and financial projections in the world but if you can't communicate this to your target audience - be they customers or investors - in a way that is accessible, engaging, compelling and credible then you're going to struggle to get your idea off-the-ground and make it happen. This session will teach you the basics of good presentation technique and how you can stand-up and 'wow' your audience.

Andrew Tollinton will share his experience of successfully leading CEOs, founders and students to win pitches that have changed their lives. Learn how to create your first pitch deck that will persuade your first investors or customers to hand over their cold hard cash. Andrew has worked with 1000's of companies and individuals in order to share the secret sauce of successfully speaking in public - so don't miss out on this opportunity!

Who is it for?

The course has been designed for students, researchers and City, University of London staff members who want to find out more about starting a business. Attendees are also welcome from other universities as well as Tech City startups and founders looking to improve their business knowledge and skills.

Why should you attend?

- Learn new skills from experienced business experts
- Network with other like-minded people and local entrepreneurs
- Get support for your entry to CitySpark, our business design and doing competition
- Be the first to hear about other workshops, seminars and networking events all supporting enterprise and entrepreneurship
- Attend six or more seminars and receive a certificate of attendance