Developing an entrepreneurial mindset at Hack LBS
Filippo Tamburini (MBA 2021)
Filippo Tamburini (MBA 2021)
I was looking to develop a more entrepreneurial mindset and apply it to my career, bringing a new energy to my experience as a management consultant.Read more
In the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, how can budding entrepreneurs get the head start they need to launch their first venture? HackLBS, the School’s flagship Hackathon, brings together business professionals, hackers and designers for the chance to get their ideas off the ground and launch new businesses.
I was looking to develop a more entrepreneurial mindset and apply it to my career, bringing a new energy to my experience as a management consultant.
I got involved in HackLBS because I knew I needed to be around similarly-minded people. I wanted to meet individuals who had experience in more structured sectors but who had the mindset, curiosity and passion needed to explore entrepreneurship further.
Unlike a typical hackathon, HackLBS is focused on your own unique idea. Normally, hackathons involve trying to solve a specific challenge set out by someone else. With HackLBS, you pitch your own idea and build a bespoke team to help you develop it, before presenting it to a jury. Working on an original concept means you’re immediately more passionate about it from the start.
Not only does HackLBS allow you to turn your vision into a reality, but it’s also great for those who want to try things out. For people who are curious about entrepreneurship, it’s a risk-free environment in which to experiment.
At HackLBS, there are only 48 hours between pitch and presentation. This kind of rapid prototyping forces you to consider any issues and holes in your business and pushes you to seek feedback as soon as possible in order to solve problems and refine your idea.
The connections and network you build through HackLBS is one of the most valuable parts of the experience. You’re surrounded by people with a passion for entrepreneurship, many of whom who are used to operating at a senior level within organisations, but who are new to the start-up world. This puts everyone on a level playing field, and creates a sense of comradery and a strong support network, which is hugely beneficial when working through the uncertainties that inevitably come with early-stage ventures.
Connecting with mentors and professional investors is a rare opportunity for first-time entrepreneurs. In a real-life business context, you’d rarely have the opportunity to interact with these people in a risk-free environment. HackLBS lets you test your idea with people who are established in their fields, while you begin to build relationships that can be leveraged in the future.
The reward can be used to kick-start your business and do things like buy a domain, rent an office, seek consultancy advice or employ staff. This year, ‘VersedAI’ took home the £1000 prize alongside the opportunity to pitch at Launchpad - with their venture that used AI to map multi-tiered supply chains. We also offer a technical prize, which this year was £5000 worth of product development hours with our technological partner CodeAddict. The winning team for 2020 was ‘Not a Robin’, who developed a mobile game requiring users to take pictures and learn about plants and animals, in a bid to drive public engagement with wilderness and restore public interest in preserving nature.
HackLBS is a team effort, which is what makes it so successful. For 2020, I was the event’s Project Manager, leading a team of five in event coordination: Petra Zilincanova, Agnes Salguero, Kathryn Larin, Philipp Staggata and Arjun Chopra. Planning started in November when we began to ideate, reach out to potential judges and mentors, and lock down the logistics. It involved a lot of flexibility from the team – we were juggling everything from marketing to operations. It’s hard work, but it’s a labour of love and something we’re all passionate about.
We’ve recently developed a new event called ‘Hack for Impact’ in partnership with the Social Impact Club. It focuses on sustainable development goals, and we’re currently restructuring the event as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges of running a physical event.
Our aim is to make HackLBS even bigger and more diverse than ever before and we’ll do this by building stronger partnerships with other institutions. As an LBS event, it already covers a large portion of London’s entrepreneurial community, but branching out to create connections with other schools will bring a whole new pool of people – each with their own unique perspective and skillset.