And breathe! Last Friday signaled the end of yet another exhausting but wonderfully inspiring Generate funding competition and wrapped up the first term of our skills development programme. After organising this entrepreneurial extravaganza for five years now, the panel of judges and Team Generate were in total agreement that this was hands down the best year yet in terms of quality and innovation. LSE, you nailed it – congratulations!
Startups from sectors that we’d never supported before won funding and support from the competition and we’re excited to see money going into projects in Columbia and the States, spearheaded by our very own alumni entrepreneurs. Here’s a quick summary of our fabulous and deserving winners:
A software that enhances video chat through patent-pending technology, enabling eye-contact and a range of other features.
SECLIMA bridges the gap between insurers and farmers in Colombia by providing the technology to accurately calculate primes for index-based insurance, and design participatory methodologies to incorporate risk management tools into the business model of farmers.
Audible Data combines political insight, behavioural science, and innovative communications tactics into a consulting and podcast production firm that serves political, academic, and private clients.
Brilliantly Organic Tampons FLO is a sassy, socially-conscious, commercially-appealing brand of organic biodegradable feminine hygiene care that is made for women, by women, and gives back to women.
RootNote is building an education platform, investment structure, and mentor network for the next generation of musician entrepreneurs.
The spread of winners is reflective of the general increased interest and capability of LSE students in entrepreneurship as a potential career once they graduate. The judges, which included Serge from the VC fund TheFamily; Chris Morris, Founder and MD of E-Car Club; and Hannah Leach from the Fintech team at EY, decided on the eventual winners based on the following criteria:
- Pitch – Was the pitch effective? Did it develop and add value to the written application? Did the presenter(s) cope well with questions?
- Innovation/Market need – How innovative is the idea? Has it been tried elsewhere? Is there anything unique about the project? Has it proved its concept? Has the market need been established/validated?
- Level of research/preparation – Has appropriate research been carried out? Does the research support the proposals? Have reasonable efforts been made to develop the product/idea?
- Financial validity/Sustainability – Are costings reasonable and well planned? Is the idea financially sustainable? Is there evidence of other external funding? Can further funding be leveraged? Is there a credible revenue generation model?
- Capability/Motivation – Does the applicant/team demonstrate entrepreneurial qualities? Do they show the potential to run the project effectively? Does the team have the necessary complementary skills? Do they exhibit a clear interest/passion for their idea?
- Adaptability – Does the team seem flexible and happy to take advice? Are they willing to collaborate with others when developing the idea?
So that’s it for another Michaelmas Term but if you have an idea that you’d like to pitch in front of an experienced bunch of investors, academics, and fellow entrepreneurial alumni then look out for the opening of our Lent Term competition. Application will open just before the beginning of term and we would love to see as many as entries as possible – if they’re anything like this year’s then we are in for another treat!
Happy Christmas/Hannukah/holidays everyone!
LJ and Team Generate x