Posted Thursday 10 March 2022
Kingston University welcomed a panel of investors into the RIBA award-winning Town House for the Human Face of Venture Capital event.
Aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners from across South London were invited to hear about the human side of what can often be considered intimidating investors. The four investors included Kingston alumnus Matthew Cushen, founding partner of Worth Capital, and the event was hosted by Ian Roberts, head of Kingston Business School.
The question and answer session with the panel covered topics such as the investor experience, coping with the pandemic, pitching business plans and female entrepreneurs breaking barriers. The entrepreneurs then had the chance to have one-to-one conversations with the venture capitalists and receive advice on how best to access capital finance and take their business forward.
Mr Cushen explained how his time at Kingston Business School helped him start his enterprise. "My business studies degree gave me a grounding in becoming an entrepreneur. I also met the co-founder of my firm while studying at the University," he said.
"It was great to see so many entrepreneurs from all walks of life at the Town House event and I really enjoyed talking to them and finding out their business plans."
Head of Kingston Business School Ian Roberts explained the importance of the event for the University community. "Kingston has always been known as a champion of entrepreneurship, so it is great to host an event like this. We want to help develop an entrepreneurial mindset in our students and the local community so I am proud we can hold events like this one," he said.
"The beating hearts of events like these are diversity and inclusion, so it was great to welcome such a varied panel of investors and entrepreneurs in the audience," he added.
The event was organised by the Kingston Business School in partnership with British Business Bank (BBB) and Worth Capital. Dr. Yuliana Topazly, who is an enterprise educator at Kingston Business School, asocial entrepreneur as well as the founder of the Kingston University Women in Enterprise Network (KUWEN) and David Woods, a Senior Manager UK Network from BBB, were behind the initiative: ‘It is great to see we can make it happen, break the bias around capital markets and make it accessible for all," Yuliana said.
The event was co-organised with fellow London universities Roehampton University and Brunel University. Other members of the panel included Sarah Barber and Jeffrey Faustin, chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Jenson Funding Partners, and Saket Narula, investment director of Fortunis Capital.