How to start a venture

The King’s alumni team host a series of ‘How to…’ events and webinars with expert advice for life after university.

Chaired by Ed Halliday, Head of Ventures at King’s Entrepreneurship Institute, our ‘How to start a venture’ webinar invited entrepreneurial alumnae Madeline Petrow (MSc Emerging Economies and International Development, 2015), cofounder and CEO of online ethical fashion marketplace MAMOQ, and Jessica Berlin (MSc Political Economy of Emerging Markets, 2014), founder and MD of Corporate Social Responsibility specialists CoStruct, to share their knowledge and experience about setting up a company.

Key advice

Know your business

  • Know your customers (and partners) and understand their needs before you build your product. Position yourself as an expert in your area.
  • Know your competition and find your Unique Selling Point.
  • Be prepared to be proven wrong by your customers.

Facing Challenges

  • You will face challenges – it helps to take the view that if there’s a solution it’s not a problem.
  • Seek out support and advice and be active in professional and business networks. Incubators and accelerators like King’s20 are a great support for new entrepreneurs.
  • Seek critical feedback. (Book recommendation: The Mum Test by Rob Fitzpatrick).
  • Innovation is difficult, you must engage with customers to change an existing market.

Mentors

  • Don’t be shy about asking for help.
  • There are a lot of organisations that link mentors with new entrepreneurs, research what’s in your area.
  • When you are asking someone for help, the way you ask influences their response – remember you are offering them an opportunity to contribute to something they care about. Both sides get something out of the relationship.

Final advice

  • Make sure you are doing something you are passionate about. You need to feel like your business is something you really believe in.
  • Take care of yourself. Don’t burn yourself out.

Find out more about the Kings20 Accelerator.
MAMOQ is offering King’s alumni a 10 percent discount. Find out more.
Watch Jessica Berlin's TEDx talk on your alumni blog.

Check out our top tips from previous 'How to...' events.