East London Social Hack 2018

The qEnterprise team recently held our second East London Social Hack at Stour Space, in Hackney Wick. It was a roaring success, and we’re keen to tell you why and to encourage you to get involved next time. To start with, check out the video below.

What is it!?

The East London Social Hack is an intensive weekend bootcamp that gives 60 Queen Mary students and alumni the chance to create social enterprises – commercial businesses that exist primarily to address social problems, not make profit – in just 48 hours!


Because it shows what a fantastic vehicle (social) entrepreneurship can be for learning a huge array of skills, personal development and positive social change. It also demonstrates the phenomenal amount students can achieve in a short space of time given the right environment.

We’re especially pleased to use the East London Social Hack as a platform to engage with social issues local to East London. The weekend focused particularly on four broad categories: Health, Housing, Community Cohesion and Environment. Stour Space was the ideal space for this: it’s a thriving hub not only for local social enterprises, but also artists, activists and community members fighting for a fairer society. We can’t thank them enough for hosting us.

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What We Learned By Asking Entrepreneurs About Their Biggest Failures

The dominant image of entrepreneurship today is one of a shiny, Silicon Valley tech man. It is also one of success, because brand and revenue pressures incentivise entrepreneurs to suppress failure and doubt. But this is a narrow view of entrepreneurship. Not only do entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, but failure, as well as success, is of critical and everyday importance to entrepreneurs.

Emojione_1F926.svgThis is why we recently gathered three diverse entrepreneurs to speak specifically about their failures. The aim was to paint a more candid, human and reassuring image of entrepreneurship by acknowledging (without lapsing into humblebrag) that mistakes are inevitable, just fine and often valuable.

Up first was Julio Alejandro, a former political journalist and now serial blockchain entrepreneur who has, by his own admission, failed three blockchain startups to date. Alyssa Chassman then confessed some of her failures in founding The IDHouse, which connects and educates young people around the globe to develop solutions to social problems. Closing the show was Vanessa Faloye, a social entrepreneur, social-enterprise educator, writer and facilitator. She spoke of some of her failings when founding Artikle 24, an organisation designed to provide alternative leisure activities for young people in recession-ravaged Spain.

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Join The StartUp 2018 Volunteer Squad!

start up 2018We’re looking for passionate student volunteers on 13th January to join Enterprise Nation at the most exciting start-up show of the New Year at QMUL.

StartUp 2018 is the UK’s biggest start up show of the New Year for over 2,000 keen entrepreneurs. At this one day event, they will hear from inspiring entrepreneurs and experts who will help the attendees start or grow their own business.

What will I be doing on the day?

You’ll be part of a 50 strong squad of volunteers who will get paid to help direct guests as well as meet and great inspirational speakers. You’ll also help stage manage the logistics of our workshops and main stages to make sure the presenters have everything they need. 

What do I need to apply?

In order to apply, you must be able to meet the following criteria:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Be available to work for the event day on Saturday 13th January between 8.00am and 4.00pm  
  • Be personable, outgoing and friendly

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Calling all makers, designers and budding entrepreneurs!

On January 13th 2018, Queen Mary University of London will be welcoming Enterprise Nation to our campus for StartUp 2018, the UK’s biggest start-up show of the year. There will be over 2,000 attendees arriving on our Mile End Campus for a full day of talks, workshops and expert sessions.


A key feature of the event will be our Makers Market, featuring our best student entrepreneurs and designers. We’re looking for some of the finest budding businesses at QMUL to book a stall and showcase their products and services to our attendees.

Why showcase at StartUp 2018?

  • Earn money and showcase your product or service to an audience of over 2,000
  • Get feedback on your offer from entrepreneurs and customers
  • Get access to a FREE stall and build trading experience
  • Build networks with attendees and make new friends

Who is it for?

  • Current QMUL student or recent graduate (two years or less)
  • Businesses at all stages of growth, including pre-revenue enterprises (those not yet trading).
  • Businesses able to commit to hosting a stand on Jan 13th and able to provide their own marketing materials/products

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Where Our Students’ Business Ideas Come From (Part 2)

inquBusiness ideas are born in many different ways. To show this, and to demonstrate to students that coming up with business ideas isn’t rocket science, we asked the teams on our current InQUBEate cohort to tell us how their businesses were born. This is the second half of their responses; we published the first half last week.

If you’re inspired by what you read, be sure to apply to our funding awards – and an automatic place on InQUBEate – by 10th December.


Priscilla, Match Your Vibe

An inability to find fashionable couple outfits led us to envision a place where people could find matching outfits for different types of relationship and occasions. Match Your Vibe started to come to life when our fashion stylist put together the first matching outfit looks. The idea was to create a sample collection using different fashion brands to create the perfect looks. We then organised a photo shoot to create visuals that will tell the world what matching outfits meant to us. We have released the beta version of our website and now are hoping to launch the brand on the 6th of December and raise more funding to improve the user experience of our website.

Zsolt, Foundley

The idea of Foundley started four years ago when one of the co-founders was still in high school. He had the need to find a potential co-founder for his business idea but couldn’t find the right person through his friends. He therefore thought a platform through which like-minded students (high school and university) could connect and pursue their projects and activities could solve the problem.

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qEnterprise: 3DS Bootcamp

On Friday 12th November, qEnterprise had the privilege of welcoming over 60 aspiring entrepreneurs from QMUL and London Mentropolitan University for our 3DS Bootcamp. It was an exciting, intense and fast-paced weekend of entrepreneurial thinking where students were tasked with forming their own teams and building a business in JUST 3 DAYS.

We had lots of fun. Here’s our vlog of the weekend!

If you have any questions regarding 3DS or would like to discuss growing your business with our support, get in touch at: enterprise@qmul.ac.uk

Click here to hear more from the qEnterprise team.

Why starting up a business while you’re a student could be the best decision you ever make: an interview with PhD student Ovando Carter

ovOvando Carter won a Grow It award while he was an undergraduate to develop his parkour business. The business has gone from strength to strength, and he’s now continuing his education with a PhD at Queen Mary while starting up a brand new technology startup.

Tell us a bit about yourself

When I first started out I was studying an undergraduate degree in Physics, but I soon felt that there was something missing. Often I could find no connection to what I was studying in the lectures and the real world. Mostly, I wanted to get a good education so that I could get a good job, but the deeper I got into the education system, the less it looked like anything I was learning had any direct connection to the greater world. It was very hard to choose another path because I didn’t know much more about other degrees than I did for physics, and for me, reading about the courses in brochures and attending open days really didn’t help me at all. In the end, I decided to continue with the Physics degree but take on some modules from the Engineering department to see if I would find some larger purpose in them. 

When did you first discover you were entrepreneurial?

I was looking for a job but couldn’t find a company that either (a) offered jobs relevant to my degree or (b) would hire me. We were still recovering from the global recession, and a lot of graduate schemes were so competitive that they would discount you if your A-level grades were not to the standard they set. At this time a Careers Consultant at Careers & Enterprise found out that I was working on some part time projects that she noticed I was very passionate about. She asked if I’d ever thought of creating a business, and then directed me to some fun QMUL competitions, “Try It” and “Grow It”.

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