Happy Birthday City Unrulyversity!
Pop-up university celebrates two years of supporting Tech City start-ups
Tech City's first pop-up university is celebrating two years of providing free education and advice to London's entrepreneurs.
City Unrulyversity is a joint venture between City University London and Unruly, a digital video advertising company and one of Tech City's home-grown success stories.
Since launching in January 2013, City Unrulyversity has run 54 free teaching sessions helping more than 1,500 budding entrepreneurs grow their early stage businesses.
Academics from City's Cass Business School and other parts of the university deliver the interactive classes every Wednesday evening together with speakers from top companies which have included the BBC, Twitter and Framestore.
Cass's Dr Caroline Wiertz, who was instrumental in setting up City Unrulyversity, said: "City Unrulyversity is now firmly rooted in the Tech City scene. Since it was launched in January 2013, the average number of entrepreneurs attending each session has more than trebled from 20 to 65. Around one third of these own or work for a start-up and another third are in the process of setting up a new venture.
"City Unrulyversity helps entrepreneurs to fill gaps in their skills and knowledge. With its mix of academic theory and practical business advice, it's helping many entrepreneurs to grow their early stage companies and expand their network of contacts."
The curriculum is developed with input from the start-up community and covers a wide range of business, design and tech topics. Sessions have included 'How to build a great start-up team', 'Tackling Common Problems in Technology Start-Ups' and 'How to Build Strong Business Models in Times of Uncertainty'.
Other classes covered 'How to Ace Twitter: Business Impact in 140 characters', 'Marketing on Shoe-string' and 'Project Management for Start-Ups: Delivering Projects the Agile Way'.
Aneesha Lowni, cofounder of Springy Thing, which designs interactive children's storybooks for mobile phone apps, said: "City Unrulyversity is an ingenious idea - it has brought together great theory, practices and professional expertise in the form of friendly, accessible and informal presentations. I have loved the way each week I have come away with information that is useful and relevant to what's happening in the market today."
Chimezie Onwuama of Milton & Cross Legal Consultants, which helps start-ups develop effective corporate governance and compliance management systems, said: "City Unrulyversity was highly beneficial to me; the classes on branding, intellectual property protection and creating a positive customer experience have helped me look at business and entrepreneurship from different perspectives."
Following a relaunch in January, Unruly HQ is also now the home of the Hangout, City's student enterprise hub. The Hangout celebrated the move to its new location with the first Founders' Thursday event of the year. This monthly event sees three entrepreneurs share the highs and lows of founding a startup company with City students and recent alumni. Speakers included Michaela Jedinak, founder of Michaela Jedinak Dress Designers; Nadia Finer, business coach and founder of Smartli.co and George Burgess, founder of educational app, Gojimo.
Lotta Olsson, Community Manager at the Hangout said: "The Hangout is City's student enterprise incubator, where students and recent alumni get the support needed to test and launch their business ideas. We are very excited about building on our relationship with Unruly, embedding the startup community at City within the Unruly Hive. It is just fantastic to be able to celebrate our first Founders' Thursday of the year in The Hangouts' new home!"
City Unrulyversity pops-up every Wednesday night during three nine week terms per academic year. It is currently funded by the EU's Capital Accelerator Program.
Detailed descriptions on each session is available at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/unruly-and-city-university-london-3063527624