IE and the UK Trade & Investment department joined to offer entrepreneurs a space to pitch ideas to potential investors, win start-up prizes and meet hundreds of others from the start-up community. Those who attended the event got to listen to influential speakers, network with successful entrepreneurs, and watch the finalist pitchers.
The IE UK office launched the inaugural UK Venture Day with a reception at the Spanish Embassy in London attended by over 150 guests including IE alumni, VIP stakeholders and entrepreneurs. The Spanish Ambassador opened the reception with Santiago Iniguez, Dean of IE who then introduced the guest speakers Emma Sinclair, the youngest person to float their company on the UK stock exchange, and Diego Megia, MD of Barclays Treasury.
The following day the Venture Day, held in association with the UKTI, took place at Wayra with over 300 attendees and 20 renowned speakers (including TV presenters, the largest VCs in Europe, top entrepreneurs, the Head of AIM at the London Stock Exchange). We received over 130 applications to pitch from countries as far afield as Mexico and Pakistan. The ten finalists were pitching to win: places on the incredible UKTI Sirius programme (£12,000 per team member, visa endorsement and a 6 month accelerator place), a shortlist to Wayra, flights to Madrid & 3 months at the IE Venture Lab or a kriticalmass PR and crowdfunding campaign for a positive impact project. Six out of the ten independently selected finalists were either IE students of graduates.