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Creative Business Accelerator: The Demo Day

A room of people watch a presentation on the Creative Business Accelerator
  • Written byCareers and Employability
  • Published date 06 May 2022
A room of people watch a presentation on the Creative Business Accelerator

UAL’s Careers and Employability team empower UAL students and graduates to make a living doing what they love. This is reflected in a 2020 study conducted by Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance which showed that a higher percentage of UAL's graduates go on to become business leaders than from any other UK university. Programmes such as The Creative Business Accelerator support this natural entrepreneurship with the tools needed to grow a sustainable and successful creative business and build professional networks.

The 2021 Creative Business Accelerator programme recently culminated in a Demo Day celebration on 28 April. The hybrid event hosted at London College of Fashion, gave potential applicants a chance to see how the programme could help their business succeed, as well as providing an update from the 2021 businesses.

Graduate Enterprise Practitioner Lucy Nicholson commented,

One of the main aims for the future of Creative Business Accelerator is that we want to expand the programme internationally - to increase the number of international graduates and businesses that can be supported. This means that we will keep the programme online so that we can keep that element. Tonight, for example, we have some of the international graduates joining us online from Germany and Canada, which has been made possible by the technology and lessons learnt during the last 2 years of the programme.

The event started with an introduction from Richard Sant, Head of Careers and Employability, followed by some words of encouragement from David Mba, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise. Over the course of the evening, 13 businesses shared presentations about how the programme has helped their work and the progress they have made during a very difficult time for start-ups. Each business had 3 minutes to present, and the session was a mix between pre-recorded videos and live Q&A’s with each founder.

It's been a great evening hearing other people's stories. It's been so touching just to see how everyone has developed their work since the accelerator programme.

– 2021 founder of Inthegrain, Darren Appiagyei

Originally developed by UAL Careers and Employability in partnership with Google for Startups, Creative Business Accelerator is open to all UAL graduates who have been awarded a Bachelor, Masters or PhD degree, and applications can be made up to 5 years after graduation. Over 6 months participants of the programme take part in a series of workshops with industry professionals and peer to peer mentoring to support them in taking their business to the next stage. They also benefit from mentoring from an industry professional.

Applications close for the 2022 intake close on May 9, 2022. You can find out more about the application process on the Creative Business Accelerator webpage.

The Dots Founders and Freelancers network launch 

Also at the event was Pip Jamieson, founder of The Dots, a professional creative networking website. As a creative founder herself, Pip shared some thoughts and inspiration on what it takes to succeed as a business owner and even offered to connect with people in the room in real-time on The Dots app, so they could follow up with questions.

Pip’s presence marked the launch of the new ‘UAL Founders and Freelancers’ private channel on The Dots. A supportive space to network, meet and collaborate with other enterprising students and graduates from University of the Arts London (UAL).