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GEW 2019: Overview and Highlights

Global Entrepreneurship Week (18-23 Nov) was incredible! Here at Warwick Enterprise we were delighted to be able to host or co-host a number of student-focused (and student-led) events. In this article, the Enterprise team look back over the week and celebrate GEW2019 – and look ahead to 2020.

On Monday and Friday last week, we ran our second Warwick Secret Challenge, this time on the topic of ‘Creativity at Warwick’. As part of our ongoing work on the Creative and Digital Initiative, we asked 46 students to explore the role of creativity in their curricular and extra-curricular activities, and to propose new ideas about what they would like to see in the future. Lots of weird and wonderful concepts emerged from the group discussions, and in the end the winners of the popular vote went home with stylish Secret Challenge t-shirts (and a box of chocolates). The sessions were expertly led by Ptolemy Banks, Luke Netherclift, and Giacomo Bottoli.

Highlights 1

Also on Monday, we were involved in organising and supporting the WMG Accelerator’s Entrepreneurial Match-Making event – this was a fantastic opportunity for Warwick’s enterprising students to get to know each other and connect with staff and alumni. You can read more about it here, and watch this space for similar networking opportunities next term!

Tuesday and Wednesday saw the continuation of two ongoing projects we’re very proud to be running: Her Innovation Collective, a networking and professional development programme run by women and for women (in association with NOI Club) and the NatWest Pre-Accelerator, which provides early-stage businesses with an online and in-person learning and networking environment to test the viability of their ideas.

On Thursday we ran a four-hour ‘Spotlight On: Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship’. We heard from The Prince’s Trust about their enterprise support programmes (come along to the taster session we’re hosting on 03 Dec to find out more), from Warwick SEED about their sustainability events and Development Ball in the spring term, and from an initiative called Ingenuity20 which we look forward to launching in January (but can’t say too much about yet…) We also hosted a presentation by Luke Netherclift and Ptolemy Banks about the World Innovation Challenge, scheduled to take place in March: students from the University of Warwick, Monash University, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University will form international teams to compete in a 24-hour challenge, attempting to create solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. Finally, Ceara Webster convened a fascinating and in-depth roundtable on Sustainable Banking, with special guests Shreya Thummar (Warwick Finance Societies), Timo Fukar (Warwick Trading Society), and Saif Muhammad AliVava'u Durrani (Warwick GSD Society).

2

On Friday, Sakshi Mittal ran another of her popular Innovation Meetups on Networking, and for the final event of the week, Giacomo Bottoli ran the LEt’sGO Enterprise Challenge on Saturday. This was an exploration of the use of Lego as a tool to design and communicate business ideas and prototypes. The Lego Society kindly supported this event and provided enormous quantities of Lego, which were much appreciated! We’d love to do more events like this next term, to give students a chance to showcase their creativity in new and unfamiliar ways. 4


3We’ve already mentioned several of our Innovation Fellows, and last week we felt incredibly proud (and lucky!) to have them as part of our team. Special thanks should go to Xanthe Blain for her tireless help with delegating tasks, arranging timetables, and putting together marketing materials. As well as conceiving of and running events, the Innovation Fellows have been writing all the content for this section of our website (including the most recent articles on the four GEW themes), promoting us around campus in hostile weather conditions, and attending events when we didn’t have time to. On that note, you can look forward to reading their accounts of Warwick Entrepreneurs’ Impact Summit and NACUE’s Tata Varsity Pitch Competition next week. 

The Warwick Enterprise team would like to thank everyone who attended our Global Entrepreneurship Week events. It was so inspiring to see students from so many disciplines, with so many different approaches to enterprise and innovation, coming together to celebrate GEW2019. (You also did a really good job of eating the free food - thank you!)

Here’s looking forward to a great year in 2020. We hope you’ll join us in promoting enterprise and innovation at the University of Warwick.

If you would like to get involved in any of the ongoing or future initiatives referred to in this article, please email enterprise@warwick.ac.uk.