Social entrepreneur and experimenter

Founder: European Student Startups

I founded European Student Startups in 2011 whilst studying at the London School of Economics with one simple goal: to bring Europe's best student-led businesses and Europe's best investors together. 

After running LSE's legacy 'Pitch It!' business planning competition for a year, I was disappointed with the limited calibre of investors we were able to attract and also knew there were students with promising ventures at LSE who were choosing not to apply. I unearthed the chicken-and-egg issue of ventures not applying because of low-value prizes and low-quality investor pool, leading to poorer average entrant quality and therefore less opportunity for potential investors. The solution I came up with was to open up applications to the whole of the European university network, run a rigorous selection process to ensure all finalists would have at least a revenue, an MVP, contract or patent in place and then to have a Grand Final focussed on investment opportunities rather than prizes.

ESS ran 2012, 2013 and 2014 editions with hundreds of applicants from over 35 countries and high-quality Grand Finals before a 2 year hiatus. After a very successful return in 2017, there is now a great team in place to take ESS to the next level in 2018.

If you are interested in finding out more, feel free to get in touch with me or the day-to-day ESS team via the website. We're always on the look out for mutually-beneficial partnerships, sponsors, mentors and investors.