A toast to the next round of BGV social startups
It is pub night at Bethnal Green Ventures, and the nine new teams raise a well-deserved glass or two in honour of their first week on the BGV Winter 2014 programme.
It has been an intensive first week for the 31 founders, with back-to-back workshops on everything from startup culture, to service prototyping, the social business model canvas, customer development, finance and impact measurement.
In a change to previous BGV programmes, this time they have frontloaded a lot of the structured teaching at the beginning of the programme. These crash-courses are designed to provide founders with the knowledge, skills and tools to prototype, test, develop and grow their ventures in the months ahead.
This week also saw the first opportunity for founders to meet with the BGV mentors in a somewhat frenetic speed dating event. There was a lot of high energy in the room, and as BGV partner @lilyashsakula points out, this environment allows for those special sparks of chemistry to fly.
Interestingly, there is a high proportion of BGV alumni in the mentor group this time around, there to share their experiences and to help founders navigate and make the most of their six month journey ahead.
How are the founders feeling so far? Exhausted, is what I hear the most. But they’re also resoundingly positive, and itching to focus on their projects next week when the real work starts.
A description of the nine teams on the programme can be found here.
Nesta is one of the funders of BGV, alongside the Cabinet Office and Nominet Trust. As part of Nesta’s ongoing research on accelerators and startups, @JessStacey and @vkmocker will be observing the BGV Winter 2014 cohort and sharing their experiences and insights on the Nesta blog.