Campus London Experience

campus london

Traveling to England’s capital city from my place of residence in Surrey, I frantically browsed through maps in my phone to make my way to Old Street station from London Waterloo station. I had to reach Campus London at Bonhill Street, Shoreditch, in time to attend an awesome event. This was a while after I had finished a master’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Surrey, England. It was my pursuit of technology entrepreneurship that brought me to London on that particular day embracing the beautiful colors of autumn as well.

Campus London is a space operated by Google for Entrepreneurs in London. It is situated in Silicon Roundabout which is London’s technology cluster, comparable to Silicon Valley. It provides entrepreneurial support in every possible way. There is a café in the building which provides an excellent networking environment and many big tech companies actively support the cluster.

I went to Campus London to attend an event called “How She Did It: Starting A Tech Company Without A Tech Background”, which was held by Lu Li of Blooming Founders. What was truly peculiar about this event was the fact that the founders were female entrepreneurs leading tech companies. The combination was rare. It intrigued me because I was a young female engineer who had a long way to go. The panel consisted of Emily Forbes (founder of Seen-It), Sara Hill (founder of TreatNOW) and Shelley Taylor (a native of Palo Alto).

The three entrepreneurs shared their struggles and experiences. They advised the audience on the value of a stable minimum viable product (MVP). They proceeded to tell us how investors valued teamwork, which is why they wanted to see a co-founder. Investors would hesitate if they saw only a single founder.

It was of absolute necessity, to build a network and then retain it. It was far more important to understand the customer, consumer behavior and the market, which is why every entrepreneur should get out there, speak of the product/service and receive feedback for improvement.

They advised us to surround ourselves with mentors who had been through the early stages already, and to not hesitate if we lack a certain skill, since the gaps can always be filled.

Through this event, I met various people with whom I have kept contact ever since. A friend who now runs a company! An actress and a career coach who happily coached me for free! If you love technology and entrepreneurship and you happen to be in London then Campus London is definitely a place to check out. You may arrive with just an idea and leave with a team and investors. If you never try you will never know.

Written by Rumaisah Munir