Eight weeks ago, if you asked me to define a start-up, I probably would not have been able to give a straight answer. I thought it had something to do with computers or — I’ll spare you my misinterpretations. After a summer of visiting several universities and first-hand experiencing other students, not much older than me, pitching their ground breaking ideas, I can officially say I know what a start-up is!
When I was first told that I would be working with NACUE, I had no idea what to expect. ‘Would I like it?’ ‘What am I going to do?’ ‘Will this help me?’ These are all questions that crossed my mind before traveling 3,000 miles across the pond. I am beyond happy to say that this summer has been nothing short of enriching and I cannot thank Yani and Holly enough for their efforts in letting me learn!
Having the opportunity to learn what young talent can pursue has been very inspiring. As I reflect on the past eight weeks, there are a few highlights I would like to share. The first event I attended was at King’s College for the King’s 20 Demo Day. There were many different start-ups pitching, from Panakeia’s “universal engine for one-step precision cancer diagnosis,” to Musemio’s VR ed-tech platform that allows children to see cultural institutions all over the world through VR technology, and many more! Needless to say I was blown away by the immense talent filled in one room.
I remember a similar experience sitting in a room at the Santander Semi-Finals, watching a young lady pitch her idea of a fashion brand that works with social enterprises in the UK and India, combining both fair labour and environmentally ethical resources. Her website says, “Manimekala wants to do more than make beautiful clothes; we want to transform lives.” This was not the only start-up that put emphasis on making the world a better place. I saw countless students create products that use environmentally ethical resources and processes all with the purpose of having a social impact.
All of these experiences allowed me to see the importance of opportunity. NACUE is truly committed to advancing student’s education and access to opportunities. Besides the Varsity Pitch Competition, they also organize conferences and workshops with various universities with the objective of learning more about enterprise and entrepreneurship while also forming important relationships.
I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity, and I cannot wait to apply this knowledge further in my studies. A huge thank you to everyone at NACUE!
Written by: Isha Nigam