The Entrepreneurship Panel (“EP”) was formed for WCIT members who were previously, or are currently, entrepreneurs in a technology company as well as those who give advice and support to them. In the context of EP, an entrepreneur is, “an innovator who develops new technologies and embodies these within a corporate structure in the hope of improving the world and/or making a profit.”
The level of assistance which EP seeks to provide is broad. The mandate is to offer a wide range of practical guidance and support to technology entrepreneurs, ranging from financial to commercial and tactical to strategic. Whilst EP is restricted to tech entrepreneurs, the sectors in which they market and sell their innovations are not limited.
EP supports the WCIT’s four key areas of activity: Charity, Education, Industry and Fellowship
- Charity: Offering free mentoring services to Entrepreneurs in early stage IT-related businesses.
- Education: Making the membership’s expertise accessible to Entrepreneurs via seminars and related events.
- Industry and Commerce: Supporting wealth creation through the pragmatic and innovative application of IT.
- Fellowship: Having fun while delivering all of the above.
How does EP support Entrepreneurs?
EP is extending the number of support activities it provides both directly from EP members as well as via connections to third party organisations.
EP has access to pitching services via the Innovation Warehouse. These are aimed at earlier stage companies seeking angel investment.
In addition, details of how other specialist investment funds can be approached on either a direct basis or via third parties– ranging from venture capital to full private equity – is being arranged. One example is Tech London: https://www.tech.london/investors
EP has built a strategic and operational framework to assist companies in improving their chance of achieving a successful exit. It comprises a two-stage approach: a tool to assess the current status of a business; and mentoring to move forward towards the desired outcome. In addition, a video library provides more assistance from experts within the EP.
Video Library – EP is creating a video library or ‘playbook’ that will capture and provide access to the knowledge, experience and tools which WCIT members have gathered over the years. The video will be on specific topics and last between 90 and 120 seconds, i.e. they will be short and to the point. The playbook will be a free-to-access, comprehensive video resource to support tech entrepreneurs across the full business lifecycle: from start-up through scale-up to maturity and eventual exit.
Events – Growth Tech
Growth Tech events allow three entrepreneurs and a keynote speaker from a specific sector (e.g. FinTech, MediaTech, PropTech) to highlight the near-term IT issues which are impacting them and how these are being overcome.
The events are open to members and non-members of WCIT and are usually attended by around 40 to 50 people. The presenting companies gain access to the other EP support services. EP has enabled more than a dozen entrepreneur led tech companies to present at Growth Tech events; and these have a combined value of over £50m and employ more than 100 staff.