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An inspirational evening at Hub Venture Labs in Westminster

Last week I attended a fantastic evening on social enterprise at the newly opened Hub Labs in Westminster. The Hub Labs are a fantastic shared office space for startups in London, particularly social enterprises. They are located on Haymarket, very close to Piccadilly Circus and McKinsey’s Jermyn Street offices.

The format of the event was fantastic and I really recommend anyone hosting a networking event to do the same: when we arrived, there were free drinks and people could mingle freely for a while. Then the presentations started. But there was no powerpoint, no long talks. Instead, the organisers had chosen 10 speakers to give a 5 minutes presentations each on what their organisation/startup does. This way, you hear from many interesting people, enough to know who you want to talk to afterwards and don’t get bored listening to a long presentation. There was no powerpoint. People just got up from their chair, talked and sat back down.

Notable speakers included

It was fantastic to see the buzz in London among people who want to make their communities better places to live.
I got to meet Servane Mouazan after the session and want to share a few inspirational stories. First, I found out she does Capoeira, and upon my comment that one must be really fit to do Capoeira, she replied
[quote]you GET fit by DOING Capoeira! It’s an important little change in your mind that you can apply to everything![/quote]
Unfortunately she shattered my only excuse left for lying on the sofa chilling out while saying I am not fit enough to do capoeira or martial arts. But more importantly, afterwards she showed us some of the women entrepreneurs Ogunte supports, and there were lots of impressive and innovative enterprises. You can find some examples here.
I especially love the BUZZBNK co-founded by Theresa Burton (who also happens to be a London Business School alumn). It is crowdfunding venture, which means it brings together social enterprises and backers and fans who can make a loan or otherwise fund the initiatives in their community that they want to see happening. Check out their website to check out some of their projects!
There were so many interesting people, but I have a baby at home so I had to take off after a couple of hours. The evening reminded of what a great place London is and how many fantastic and energetic people live here. Things are happening!
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