On Thursday 26 June, four Exeter graduate start-ups shared and pitched their innovative businesses to more than 100 investors, mentors and entrepreneurs at SETsquared’s first Graduate Acceleration Showcase at Deloitte in London.
The event brought together 19 of the brightest graduate start-ups that have emerged from the SETsquared partnership, including ChargedUp, Lyster Surfcraft, Intro and Paddle Logger from the University of Exeter. The showcase was a real celebration of young entrepreneurship and graduate talent, revealing a host of forward-thinking graduates whose creative business ideas offered sustainable solutions to social and environmental issues.
Each business had their own stand where they were approached by business owners, investors and manufacturers inspiring useful conversations and connections that could be used to take their businesses to the next level. David Walker, who showcased his start-up Paddle Logger – a water sports app which is now used by 20,000 people worldwide – said that the event provided “vital experience for start-up development”. Exeter alumni Duncan Lyster was also part of the line-up, and exhibited his eco-friendly surfboard company Lyster Surfcraft to various industry experts who were interested in collaborating.
There were 3 sessions of pitches in front of an audience of around 80 people, which included experienced business professionals and SETsquared delegates. The experience gave graduates invaluable pitch practice, building on the pitch training that they had already received through the SETsquared programme.
Breaks between sessions provided further networking opportunities, enabling students expand their professional network through face-to-face conversations with industry experts, as well as sharing stories and experiences with fellow SETsquared participants. Exeter graduate Max Beech, co-founder of app Intro said, “We met some fantastic people at the event who offered us some great support and advice”. Intro, an app which aims to transform the way businesses interact and connect with customers at events, was first launched at SETsquared’s 3-day start-up programme in 2017.
The invaluable opportunities that stem from participation in this event will undoubtedly inspire current student and graduate startups, providing them with a milestone they can really aim for, which could accelerate their fledgling business.
SETsquared is an enterprise partnership between Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which provides award-winning support through a series of programmes to help students develop their business ideas into a reality. For more information on how SETsquared Exeter can support your business visit the website.