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Thursday 24 April 2014

Entrepreneurship Festival: From Ideas to Success

Panel Discussion & Pitch Competition
ESCP Europe Business School, London Campus
19th November 2013

With economic recovery remaining somewhat patchy, organisations continue to struggle to succeed in an ever-challenging environment. This places an increasing value on capturing and nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit: as true for established businesses as for start-ups.

As part of a series of events putting entrepreneurship in the spotlight, ESCP Europe in London held an Entrepreneurship Festival for students during Global Entrepreneurs week in November.

The Entrepreneurship Festival gave students the chance to hear leading experts on the theme 'From Ideas to Success'. It was organised by ESCP Europe's Entrepreneurs Society, led by Master in Management (MIM) student Aurelien Labonde, with support from the School, and was a great success, attracting more than 100 people.

Five entrepreneurs delivered inspiring talks during the event, with MiM student Anne Limper-Menapace moderating the sessions.

The speakers were:

  • MARIAN SUDBURY, Director, Global Operations at UKTI on the new Sirius Programme for graduate entrepreneurs
  • Michelin starred chef PASCAL AUSSIGNAC on his 'Gascon-centred' eateries and Chip+Fish chain
  • LOUIE BEATTY, Managing Director Piggyback, publisher of international videogame guides
  • DAVID FITZPATRICK, Managing Partner, Progression Capital Advisors, an ethical entrepreneur now investing in Kean Bean to help 18-24 year-olds enter the job market
  • ESCP Europe Professor Davide Sola on minimising risks when starting a new business.

In-between the talks, four teams of students 'pitched' their ideas in 2-minute presentations on the theme 'How to improve social interaction in real life'. Ideas from apps to meet like-minded people for lunch or in new cities, to a drop-in pay-per-hour club, to after-school courses to develop soft skills, were challenged rigorously by the judges who were impressed with the high quality of the presentations and the amount of work and research that had gone into the ideas. The audience participated as well with red or green 'cards' to vote for the ideas (see below for details).

There is no doubt that events like these help develop an entrepreneurial spirit by giving students the chance to listen to the stories and advice of experienced professionals, and also, through simulations, to test their own ability to generate and present winning ideas.

There is a clear trend for graduates to join start-ups or start their own businesses on leaving ESCP Europe. Some already have the idea before they begin their studies and use the course material and case studies to develop and refine their business plans. The school continues to refresh its offer towards cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit among its students and alumni through events and new courses.


Team presentations:

Team 1 (The Winners): 'Do&Meet' by Luis Dinis and Maxandre Jacqueline, a website and an application designed for expatriates who live in capital cities in Europe allowing them to share activities together and get to know one another.

Team 2:
'Skills for Life' by Joseph Hermit, Thomas Gelin, Charles Huard, Luca Mobilio and Hugo Palmer, a global network of clubs that will give 11-18 year-olds the important life and social skills they do not get elsewhere; as well as improving social cohesion by integrating members of the local community and facilitating inter-generational transfer of skills

Team 3: 'Lunch Network' by Violette Lepicier, Carolina Sterpos and Sofian Medbouhi, an iPhone application, which should allow people to network and share their professional or personal interests at lunchtime.

Team 4: 'LIFE TIME'  by Ekaterina Ktnikova, Salavat Galeev and Marsel Nigmetzianov, a new concept café/club: you pay only for time you spend, 10GBP per hour with access to board games, free drinks, wi-fi and thematic evenings, for example art or movie nights


"I thought it was an inspiring event and the participation levels from students, staff and panel were really, really high. Congratulations ESCP Europe for arranging such an animated and fruitful seminar, everyone seemed to get something from the event – a real success I think."
Louie Beatty Piggyback, MIM alumnus

"I was impressed by how professionally it was organised, the calibre of my fellow speakers, the quality of the students who pitched and of the questions from the students in the audience. Truly a tour de force!"
Marian Sudbury UKTI

"The event was a very interesting occasion for both the organisers and the audience to understand better what entrepreneurship actually means, to meet successful entrepreneurs and ask them questions about how to undertake the big jump and start a business."
GianLuigi Demurtas, Master in European Business (MEB) student


Media Contact
London: Shireen Fraser, UK Head of Public Relations

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