Enterprise support

THRIVE: The official round up

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Thrive Group Shot

Oxford Brookes entrepreneurial extravaganza, THRIVE Festival, kicked off on Monday 12th November, offering students, recent graduates and staff a jam-packed, two-week programme of events, workshops and competitions. With emphasis placed on sustainability and the need for social good, those who attended feel more empowered and encouraged than ever before.

Delivered by the team at Oxford Brookes Enterprise Support, with the backing of Santander Universities (who support 84 partner universities), the epic event promoted original ideas, entrepreneurialism and employability.

Speaking at the event, Nicholas Davies, Deputy Relationship Director at Santander voiced the organisation's commitment to higher education stating, “It is essential to support the students in order to be able to support the UK.”

Opening celebrations burst into life on Monday 12th before inspirational individuals went back to back, sharing their stories at the sold-out Dream, Build, Succeed: Live event later that evening. Lucky attendees listened to Oxford Brookes graduate and founder of Mujo Drinks, Rich Goldsmith, who applauded the festival and its efforts at foresting an eco-system to support entrepreneurs. Other panel members included former BBC One The Apprentice finalist Bianca Miller-Cole; founder of the Luxury Student, Aileen Gilani; as well as the international recognised poet and campaigner Hussain Manawer, who gave the following rhythmical words of wisdom;

“If you have a dream in life, none of us can go with you. You have to go by yourself. But just remember, the day we tell you to break your leg, you will be in the best of health.”

On Wednesday 14th, spectators filled the Student Union Hall for yet another interactive panel discussion from well-known brands and personalities, this time from the UK’s creative industries. Comedian and Xtra-Factor presenter, Matt Richardson; Creative England’s Chief Financial and Operations Officer, Mehjabeen Patrick; and Oxford Brookes graduate Fred Goodall were among those who graced the stage at the Creative & Cultural Industries Live event, offering advice for those wanting to break into the arts, digital, film, technology, games or design industries.

From practising pitching at the pub and sharing top tips on how to prepare for the FUEL Awards competition, to listening to a crowdfunding expert, those with an idea gained a better understanding of ways to gain that all-important cash injection from the various funding sessions. Staff had the opportunity to get involved too with the EVOLVE conference featuring Enterprise Education UK - discussing bringing the entrepreneurial spirit into the curriculum.

The festival also saw Jack Lowman, author of Hack Yourself, offer his tips on personal development to unlock your potential.

Moving into week-two and highlighting the need for social good, The Forum was filled with artistic entries submitted into the Ideas Change the World Exhibition for all to admire. And as the festival came into its final days some headed to London for Innovation Open Doors, to get exclusive talks and advice from some of the capital’s most exciting organisations, including IBM, Seedrs and Bethnal Green Ventures.

Bringing the successful two-week stretch to a close IGNITE Bootcamp, spanned three-days to help those with the spark of an idea turn it into a business, social enterprise or career opportunity. Attendees learnt how BizGive Founder, Louise Downing has created a technology platform for consumer-led corporate giving, and how Where the Wild Is, an exciting new travel startup, is on a mission to clean up plastic littered along the Arctic shorelines.

Speaking at the end of the festival, Oxford Brookes Enterprise Support Manager, Lydiah Igweh commented:

“We’re absolutely thrilled at the success of THRIVE Festival 2018, which saw over 1000 students, graduates and staff attend a fantastic programme of events”

The good news is, it doesn’t end there. Attention now shifts to the FUEL Awards, the University’s in-house idea pitching competition, and the eight-week Summer Catalyst Accelerator.

To keep up to date with all the latest events and news from Enterprise Support and to see all the photographs from THRIVE Festival, follow us on social.

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