Raphael Levy is co-founder of the new LSE Alumni Start-Up Club and committee member at Acfpu.org.uk, which organized the recent funding competition for Chinese investment at Canary Wharf-based tech accelerator, Level 39. LSE Entrepreneurship’s Knowledge Exchange Manager, Dr Carol O’Connor, was on the competition’s judging panel and took the opportunity to find out more about Raphael and why he’s set up this new club

Raphael, you’re an LSE alumnus – when did you graduate and what did you study?

Raphael Levy, founder of the LSE Alumni Start-Up Club

Raphael Levy, co-founder of the LSE Alumni Start-Up Club

I graduated in 2011 with an MSc in International Management.

You work a lot in China – how did this come about?

For many years I have been interested in its language, its history, its economic momentum and its different cultures and arts. I moved to China in 2011 through the exchange program between the London School of Economics and Peking University. After this program I stayed in China for more than two years where I worked in private equity and founded a start-up.

I am now based in London but the construction of economic, cultural and artistic bridges between Europe and China has remained a major and highly stimulating goal; my horizon, as it was.

What is your connection to Level 39?

I am Head of Foreign Relations of the Association of Chinese Financial Professionals in the UK (ACfPU). ACfPU co-organized a start-up competition with DealGlobe, the online M&A platform and social network, which was hosted at Level 39 for the International University Innovation Alliance. This is in turn supported by Investment Promotion Agency of Ministry of Commerce of China CIPA).

What caused you to co-organise this event?

Acfpu and DealGlobe decided to co-organize this event to support building stronger ties between the European and Chinese tech eco-system, to promote cross-border business incubation, and foster cooperation between Chinese & UK universities.

So is it a spirit of cooperation that you hoping to foster among the alumni network?

Yes it has been created with the goal of activating a global network of alumni involved with, or interested in, start-ups and to help with three key aspects:

  1. International expansion: LSE has the most extensive network of alumni globally. We would like to find local connectors in each major city in the world who would be able to assist start-ups looking to expand overseas.
  2. Human resources: We would like to work with LSE Careers to assist LSE students or recent graduates in finding jobs or internships in alumni companies
  3. Investors: We would like to help angel investors to connect with LSE alumni start-up founders


What does the future hold for this group?

Alumni clubs are time consuming and extremely difficult to sustain interest and remain active in the long run. We are convinced that we need the school support to make it sustainable. These activities should be managed by the school and operated by alumni with each alumnus involved for a specific timeframe.

We are confident that both the alumni community and the LSE would benefit from creating a global start-up network with these activities.

All LSE alumni are welcome to get involved and join both the Facebook and LinkedIn pages

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/lsealumnistartupclub/

LinkedIn page: http://bit.ly/lsealumnistartup

Alumni are also more than welcome to give us feedback and invite former classmates or LSE connections to join this group.