Hello there, and welcome to LSE Generate! Whether you’re a brand new student who has just set foot on LSE soil, maybe you’re back for another year of your course, here on exchange, or perhaps you’ve left but just can’t get enough of us and are back for more as an alum (you’re only human!), you are all really welcome and we cannot wait to meet you! We at Generate are just putting the final touches to our exciting new 2016/17 programme and are really looking forward to sharing it with you, with the hope that you’ll book onto some really useful and inspiring events, meet some fabulous contacts to accompany you on your journey and start to watch your entrepreneurial dreams develop into a reality. Our job at Team Generate is to encourage you to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career alternative. That might manifest itself in different ways and historically we have seen a variety of students come through our doors:
The ‘Try before you buy’ student
It’s no easy task starting a business from scratch, especially if you are new to the game, faced with a mountain of loan repayments, and are not even sure this whole startup thing is for you anyway! So, instead of taking a U-turn and heading straight for the investment banks or putting your ideas on hold altogether, one option many students consider is joining an established startup or social enterprise to get a feel of what it might be like, with less of the risk factor involved. These kind of businesses offer insights into how an entrepreneurial hierarchy (or lack of) might look, what your day-to-day workload might consist of, and the kind of team members you might meet if you decide to go down this path – all of this with a (more!) stable salary and some training. A bit of track record in the startup arena might also offer you more influence when you meet with investors with your own idea in the future. City Falcon, Hey Success and Kazooloo are all examples of scaled up companies.
The ‘YOLO’ (you only live once) student
These types often embody the risk-taking, opportunity seeking characteristics that are so often associated with entrepreneurship. This kind of entrepreneur has their business idea at the ready and embraces the potential uncertainly of the market with excitement and drive, launching their project on a full-time basis. Often with the help of parents, friends and family members, they manage to support themselves (bootstrap is the technical term!) and invest time and money into ensuring their project is a success. The steep learning curve, autonomous lifestyle and immediate recognition for their work is a very attractive scenario for many entrepreneurs and it is for this reason that many go do it alone. The great thing about London is that there is a lot of, often free, support available for new startups and we are also on hand to sign-post you to the relevant party who can help with your request.
The ‘Best of both worlds’ student
These clever types have found a way of receiving the structure and (relative) security of a corporate whilst immersing themselves into the startup world. How can that be, I hear you cry? Intrapraneurship, my friends. Intra-what? Yes, it’s the idea that corporates can operate with innovative initiatives and entrepreneurial responses to problems. This allows entrepreneurs to utilise their skills within a large company. Examples of this might include Google, Apple and Facebook to name but a few.
The ‘Not for me, thanks!’ student
These students go through the process of exploring entrepreneurship as a careers option via internships, attendance at events, and private research and come to the conclusion that it is simply not for them. Now you might be sitting there thinking well, that is a bit of a ‘cop-out’ response, but in fact it is a really important process to go through and leads to enormous clarification career-wise, setting students on a route that is much better suited to their skills and values. Who knows, this type of student may end up interacting again with the startups later down the line, hiring them as consultants or even incorporating their services or products within their larger organisation.
So what’s next?
We hope the above goes some way to explain that wherever you are in your entrepreneurial journey, we would love to work with you and have you interact on our programme! We’ve got some new events this year that we can’t wait to introduce, including a Hackathon, a Brexit focused panel in our Debate Club series, an inter-university competition and a new Develop your App coding course. If you would like to find out more, browse through our Michaelmas Term programme on CareerHub, book an entrepreneurship appointment for a Wednesday morning, come along to our Launch Party on 7 October here at LSE or tweet/email us and we’ll do our very best to get back to you quickly! You can also have a look at what previous entrepreneurial LSE students have gone onto to and find out more on our website.
Phew, as you can see there is a lot on so have a look at the programme and select the events that would be of most use to you and your future enterprise. See you very soon!