The day began when we met the students at the steps of the grand St Pauls Cathedral, ready for a day of out the classroom learning. The first part of the trip was a walking tour of London’s business and financial hub where we stopped off at places such as the Bank of England, The Royal Exchange and Leadenhall Market. Along the way students were taught about the history of the buildings and markets. It was a new experience for many students to be walking around the financial district, seeing and learning about important landmarks and places they had not been before.
After an interesting interactive walking tour around the city and a firm background knowledge of London’ business and financial hub, it was time to get more hands on and get students thinking innovatively. Students had the chance to enter a co-working breakout space and from there divided into groups to brainstorm ideas for their own start-up company. One of the groups came up with the exciting idea of starting a food delivering drone business, beating the traffic on the roads and being able to deliver to parks and rural locations. We had some brilliant ideas bouncing around the room.
This next part of the trip was a highlight for most, the talk from a start-up. Today’s speaker was Thevindu Edririsinghe from Filli Studios. He spoke about the challenges and his experience of setting up a company, and what he did to get where he is today. The students gained valuable insight into the world of start-ups, and alongside the practical advice, Thevindu also stressed the importance of having confidence, and focusing on building a business around something that really interests you and not purely the money. This was a brilliant opportunity for the students to hear from such a young and successful entrepreneur and show them that anything is possible with some hard work.
After a short walk to the Old Spitalfields Market students were more than ready to settle down and tuck into their food/packed lunches in the open outdoor space.
Next, it was time to explore the Barbican, a world class arts centre. Students regrouped and fine-tuned their ideas based on the day’s experience. Finally ending the day with pitches from each group on their product and their plan for how they would fund it. The best start-up idea was voted by the students and the winners received their prizes.
Time to head home. A successful and inspiring day for all.
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