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LCF students place in the UAL Creative Hack

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  • Written byM. Ashton
  • Published date 07 October 2021
UAL_Creative Hack gif
LCF students place in the UAL Creative Hack

— M. Ashton

The UAL Creative Hack was the first cross College event of this style. It was an exciting online event to help students develop their entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills – with the opportunity to win a substantial cash prize.

Collaborating, UAL students and graduates, created solutions to major challenges for the City of London, linked to 4 themes of Environment, Tech, Creative Industries and Health. The ultimate aim was for each team to generate ideas that could make the UK's capital a better place to live, work and visit. Across 3 fast-paced days, all involved had access to workshops, mentoring, industry experts, and amazing key note speakers, which culminated in a final pitching competition where 2 teams were victorious.


  • Catarina Rio, CSM
  • Gabriele Raudaityte, LCF
  • Kiwi Chan, CCW
  • Lucy Crayton, LCC

Runners Up:

  • Sebastian Ervi, LCC
  • Sophie Nadel, CCW
  • Yuan Chen, LCF

We caught up with the LCF winners to see how they feel since the Creative Hack and what their next steps are.

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Hi Gabriele, how does it feel to have won?  

Gabriele: It feels great! I am very glad that I took part in this competition!

And Yuan Chen, how does it feel to have come runner up, again all the other students who attended the competition?

Yuan: It's delightful to be the runner-up for this competition, and I'm glad to share this experience with my teammates.

Tell us about the UAL Creative Hack experience - the set-up, your team, etc.  

Gabriele: The set-up was very well made, we had some presentations, introductions, and hacking time with a team where I met students from different universities, from completely different courses than mine. Together we managed to work hard and come up with the innovative idea that leads us to be a winning team!

In the beginning, we were 5 people group, but one lady could not continue and left, which left us to be 4 people group.

Advice for future hackers would be - make sure that you can invest time and full two days for this competition, but in the end, it is worth it!

Yuan: It's amazing and lucky to work with Sophie and Sebastian. The development process is smooth and refreshing; we shared our notes and ideas every day, then approached the problems with our own experience and design methods. By sharing these notes, we can iterate questions and tasks easily. Following the set-up, the group meetings brought our works together and shaped the idea heuristically. The tutorials and talks gave us a clear picture of what to achieve and prioritize in the limited time.

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What was it like pitching to a virtual judging panel?  

Gabriele: Personally, it was probably easier and less stressful than in-person seeing a crowd looking at you. We had a presentation of “Perfect pitch” with Andrew Tollinton, which was helpful for the UAL Creative Hack competition, as well as for possible future presentations. Although it is pity that this event had to take place virtually due to the pandemic, as I would have loved to meet people in person!

Yuan: It is natural to us; we also decided to do it more like an elevator pitch. Keep it clear and simple, and relatable. Both George and Andrew's speeches gave us useful tips for virtual communication as well.

How do you feel taking part in the Hack has helped you plan for your future career and take things to the next level?

Gabriele: It was great practice for team-working skills as I never worked with a group that would have a very different experience and education than mine. Winning Creative Hack helped me to consider the entrepreneur pathway and realise that I can do much more than I thought I can.

Yuan: It helps me to learn more about how to develop an idea into a business prototype.

What do you feel makes a successful entrepreneur in today's climate?  

Gabriele: Thinking out of the box, staying creative, taking risks, making decisions, willing to learn new skills, and listen to other people and their opinion, confident and not giving up.

Yuan: And good communication skills and determination!

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What are your next steps?  

Gabriele: Regarding UAL Creative Hack me and my team would like to push our idea forward and see what are the possibilities to make it a reality. From a personal perspective, I am currently freelancing as a womenswear designer, working on different projects both locally and abroad, looking for a full-time opportunity, as well as thinking to start my own brand as a side activity. Considering to study in UAL in possible future, once covid situation settles down.

Yuan: I'm looking forward to sharing my future project with my teammates. Maybe we can bring our project to the next stage too.

What would be your advice for other students looking to take part in LCF Graduate Futures activities?

Gabriele: As an LCF graduate, I was very grateful to access graduate futures activities, I attended a lot of workshops, presentations, and 1:1’s. I would suggest other students find time and attend as many workshops as possible, even if you think that it takes extra time from your assignments, etc. There are very valuable activities that help you to be prepared for a future career, as well, it is a good way to meet other students and broaden your connections.

Yuan: I say, just enjoy yourself and be a good listener.