Thank you to everyone who engaged with our events and especially to our speakers, volunteers, and partners who made this all possible. Here is a review and highlights of what we hosted during the week in Oxford, Cambridge and London.
To kick off SVC2UK 2018, Cambridge University explored the transformations that technology is driving in industry and society and the threat to trust as it does so. Each speaker presented a different view based on their experience to the moderator Tabitha Goldstaub (Co-Founder, CognitionX) encompassing consumer tech, industrial disruption and societal transformation, as well as what the future may hold.
Speakers included Irina Kofman (COO, Google AI), Nicole Quinn (Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners), Susan Alzner (Co-Founder, Strategy & Ops, shift7), and Sarah Hunter (Director of Public Policy, X).
The Cambridge masterclasses were a chance to reach out to the student community and local entrepreneurs to highlight 3 key areas which should be considered when trying to scale and succeed in today’s business climate. Our panellists from both the US and UK discussed how to start and scale a business, how to access the US market and how an inclusive and diverse workforce can help to drive innovation.
Masterclasses were led by Christie Pitts (General Partner, Backstage Capital), Kara Goldin (Founder & CEO, Hint), Rahul Vohra (Founder & CEO, Superhuman), Ashley Sumner (Co-Founder, Quilt), Susan Alzner (Co-Founder, Strategy & Ops, shift7), Karen Appleton Page (Investor), and Megan Smith (CEO, shift7).
Oxford alumni and bestselling author Jeetendr Sehdev delivered the keynote address, encouraging students to consider the opportunity for technology to transform popular discourse, the evolving new rules of branding, and what this means for the future of innovation.
Thank you to Marc Ventresca for running a number of our wonderful SVC2UK events in Oxford.
This was a truly special event as Reid Hoffman (Co-Founder of LinkedIn and SVC2UK itself) was able to join us and talk us through his journey of how he got to where he is today with the release of his latest book ‘Blitzscaling’. Reid Hoffman was joined on stage by Sherry Coutu (Chair, Founders4Schools), Megan Smith (CEO, shift7), and Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea (University of Edinburgh). The discussion centred on the role of AI in society today and the good it can continue to do for humanity for years to come. Ruzwana Bashir (CEO, Peek) was in conversation with Fatima Benkhaled, a student at King’s College London, and Professor Michael Luck, to talk all things entrepreneurship.
Good Growth Summit
Since its debut in 2017, we knew that this event was something where SVC2UK could have real impact in and build a community for women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses. It was empowering to have so many inspirational, ambitious and intelligent women in one room talking about their personal journeys and growth, as well as hearing students share their thoughts on topics such as STEM. The 2018 featured speakers included Megan Smith (CEO, shift7), Kara Goldin (Founder & CEO, Hint), Ashley Sumner (Co-Founder, Quilt), Karen Appleton Page (Investor), Nicole Quinn (Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners), and Alexis de Raadt St. James (Managing Partner, Merian Ventures).
Hosted at Rise London, we had 3 panels in which our speakers offered advice and tips for accessing finance to scale globally, using technology to scale, and how founders from diverse backgrounds can access these opportunities to scale. We hope that those who attended were able to come away from such an insightful session and use these tips with their own businesses. Our impressive masterclass panels included Kara Goldin (Founder & CEO, Hint), Ashley Sumner (Co-Founder, Quilt), Karen Appleton Page (Investor), Rahul Vohra (Founder & CEO, Superhuman), Jenny Gove (Mobile Payments UX Lead, Google), and Bob Goodson (Founder & CEO, Quid).
SVC2UK 2018 was host to our flagship CEO Summit, hosted by Cal Henderson (Co-Founder & CTO, Slack), who shared his insights and tips for scaling a business. The CEO Summit brought together over 100 top tier serial entrepreneurs and investors from Silicon Valley with first time scale up entrepreneurs and scale ups looking for mentoring in order to help to scale their businesses. The round table discussion format was designed to facilitate an intimate setting for serial entrepreneurs from the US and UK to provide insight and mentorship to the CEOs of some of the fastest growing companies in the UK.
General Magic Screening
We were thrilled to host an exclusive screening of ‘General Magic’ where co-Director, Sarah Kerruish, shared her emotional documentary with us. Featuring a talented team of entrepreneurs, engineers and designers, we saw the ambition, drive and determination to make their epic forward-looking vision a reality.
The screening of General Magic was followed by a panel on funding for life science ventures. This session was moderated by Dr Danuta Jeziorska (The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine) and featured life science investors, including Simon Bayly (Business and Corporate Development at Oxford MEStar), Rebecca Todd (Investment Director of Longwall Ventures) and Lachlan MacKinnon (Principal of Oxford Sciences Innovation), who shared their stories and challenges and offered suggestions for raising money at multiple stages.
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