Tag: start-up

Cass Innovate 2019: Entrepreneurial challenges put under the microscope

I attended the event Cass Innovate which took place on the 13th November 2019 at Cass Business School.

Cass Innovate is an annual conference with the purpose of discussing entrepreneurial challenges and leading research within the entrepreneurship ecosystem. These topics are, thereby, discussed with the best of both worlds by drawing from both theoretical research and practical knowledge. The edge of this event is that everyone aspiring in entrepreneurial topics can attend – you can be a student who strives for gathering the latest research in this field or a founder of an existing business who wants to discuss recent challenges with other founders.

I was one of this year’s volunteers that supported running the event, welcoming the guests and speakers in the morning, answering questions and guiding attendees to the correct panels, workshops or talks as well as looking after the smooth course during the day and of the final panel in the evening.

As an MSc Entrepreneurship student, it was an incredibly valuable experience for two main reasons:

1) Hosting an event

I learned many things in terms of event organisation and what it takes to successfully set up and run a conference this size. The organiser Aurore Hochard gave us the responsibility to organise ourselves, react flexibly to upcoming challenges and, of course, decide when to ask for help.

2) Networking

Networking and discussing the raised issues with entrepreneurs and industry experts gave me great insight from the perspective of people who have been working in the field for 20+ years, which has definitely changed my opinion on some of the topics.

Professor Scott Moeller: What should a startup do next? IPO, Acquisition or Dual Track

My perspective on the topic of a founder exit was that it was a question to deal with in the later stage of launching a company, after successfully running it for several years. However, after attending Professor Scott Moeller’s session “What should a start-up do next? IPO, Acquisition or Dual Track”, I had a conversation with him on this topic, and he said it is crucial for an entrepreneur to think about the exit even when you haven’t yet founded your company.

From my own experience, I would encourage everyone who is an (aspiring) entrepreneur or interested in these topics to keep an eye out for next year’s conference.

Fabian Ronig, MSc Entrepreneurship (2020)

Study tour to Berlin

When I found out about the international study tours offered to MSc Management students, I jumped at the opportunity to join. The study tours gave my cohort the chance to visit Lisbon, Berlin or Prague. I chose Berlin as I had the chance to discover the culture, the architecture, the food, but also to meet local entrepreneurs. We went to explore how their businesses are run, what issues they face and how they resolve them.

There is a world outside the classroom ready to back up young people who are willing to work hard. If you have a good idea and the character to pursue your dream, if London won’t be your home, Berlin could be. Personally, I have already worked in France and the UK, and I will now definitely take Berlin into consideration as another option. Cass Business school gave me the possibility to visit the city from a professional prospective that I could never had otherwise.

We met inspirational entrepreneurs who made us see the city through their own eyes. One of them in particular invited us to see beyond the cold German architecture and the cloudy weather, and instead look deeper to appreciate the thumping heart of the city, so open, dynamic and cosmopolitan. Germany is a country that has stood up twice from its own ruins, and both times it became stronger than before. The future is bright in Germany’s capital.

We mostly visited start-up incubators, so since the first day, I started questioning myself and wondering whether I should set my own business instead of working for somebody else. I had never thought seriously about this option, as it once seemed to be a world so far away that it was hard to imagine what it would really look like. However, by meeting these professionals who so openly talked about the failures and the challenges they had to face to get where they are now, I think I now have a realistic overview of what it takes to be an entrepreneur:  a mix of passion and resilience.

I was really inspired by the quote: “ask yourself where the pain is bigger.” This was told to us by Maurice Grassau, CEO at Architrave, which develops digital processes and solutions for the real estate industry. He delivered an incredible speech about launching a start-up that I will remember forever. He explained to us that from his experience, if you will ever find yourself looking for a valuable idea to base your start-up on, you should focus on what is the factor that causes more issues to get done, the thing that is so tricky or time consuming that people would love to pay for getting it sorted. During his speech, he gave us other important insights about managing a business, such as choosing a partner who will often challenge your ideas and thinks differently from you. He also imparted that you should always acknowledge the pressure on your co-workers, as he said “you can’t keep people on stress mode for 12 straight months”.

I’d like to thank Cass for the possibility to listen to such experienced people and see another part of the world. Sometimes we are so focused on the textbooks that we forget that the things we study are aimed to be applied. This trip was a good reminder of that.

Prost!

 

Bianca Gabellini, MSc  Management (2019)

 

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