Creative Start-Up Day

UAL’s first Creative Start-up Day took place on 30 October 2019 and was a great success. The event launched Career and Employability’s year-round Creative Start-up programme in our enterprise learning space not just a shop. More than 100 students and recent graduates attended from Colleges across UAL.

The day was made up of a series of parallel learning sessions, which attendees could sign up to on the day. The Welcome session launched the programme of events for the year before students chose between the first morning sessions: How to Write a Profile; How to Protect Your IP and How to Sell Online. These were followed by: How to Network; How to Pitch and Win Awards and How to Price your work.

Alumni panel (Photo credit: Emmi Hyyppä)

Information tables in the Blueprint cafe provided participants with the chance to meet the speakers and enterprising alumni teams over lunch. Afternoon sessions were made up of panel Q&As, which provided attendees with a chance to hear from creative start-ups and UAL Creative Enterprise Award winners about how they launched. Contributors included tech start-ups, freelancers that have developed a portfolio career, and those that work on community projects

16 students took place in our live Pitch It! event, which saw a series of students pitching their business ideas to the panel for the chance to win £100. 11 students were awarded a £100 prize to support their idea.

The day concluded with a networking event in not just a shop, where the winners of our Pitch It! prizes were announced and attendees and speakers met and made new connections.

2019 Pitch It! winners (Photo credit: Emmi Hyyppä)

Feedback from those that attended Creative Start-up Day was resoundingly positive, with the overall event rated 4.4 out of 5 and 90% of respondents scoring the overall event a 4 or 5.

90% of attendees said that they intend to engage with Careers and Employability again following the event. Participant feedback included “It was informative and worthwhile”, and “Really good to make a network between UAL colleges”.

Attendees told us that it was particularly useful to hear about the journeys of alumni and business owners saying: “I got inspired and learnt more about how to start your creative journey” and that it was “Valuable to hear from those just starting and those who have established a successful business already”. Feedback from speakers and panel members – many of whom we will work with again – was positive too, with many saying the attendees were highly engaged.

The learning from the day has been condensed down into videos, a blog and shareable resources. And in terms of student engagement there has been a real boost in students joining other opportunities (such as the Starting a Social Enterprise programme which begins in November 2019) and looking at the Creative Enterprise Awards, which will open for entries next May.

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