Hi there! I’m Sophy. I’m currently studying Management and Entrepreneurship here at Cranfield School of Management. During my studies here, I was fortunate enough to participate/help out in a few start-up events.

My classmates and I visited Monaco in March to help at the CleanEquity Sustainable Technology Conference 2019. The journey began with a touchdown at the spectacular Nice Côte d’Azur Airport located right by the ocean. From there, we travelled to Monaco by bus. Since the heap of tasks for the event which was due to take place the following day was already waiting, we started tackling the tasks head-on. The event was opened by the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s keynote speech on SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The programme included panel discussions, pitches and networking sessions during which we had the chance to speak to CEOs and Managers from a range of organisations. After the two days of running around dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, the event had ended with success and I finally had time to reflect upon it. It was interesting to see how innovators make use of technology for sustainability. In the time of the looming climate change threat that necessitates urgent actions, it is somewhat comforting getting to meet serious activists and conscious consumers. As the conference attracted people who are passionate about sustainability, the conversations flow naturally around the shared passion. I also enjoyed watching the different start-ups doing their pitches. It was as though the theoretical knowledge we gained in our lectures are jumping out at us in real life. And sustainable tech or not, the investors’ questions revolved around the same topic!

During the first week of May, our cohort also had a chance to attend the EU Start-Ups Summit in Barcelona as delegates. The event took place over two days and featured a number of parallel sessions. I listened to a lot of fireside chats in which the founders discussed not only the lessons that they learnt but also explained their mindset and gave examples of the difficult situations that they faced along the journey. Entrepreneurship is never smooth sailing. More often than not, we hear stories of successful entrepreneurs and successful exits. But we need to bear in mind that when we are out there fighting fires on a daily basis, there will be setbacks and detours. Sometimes you have to push on but sometimes you have to know when to quit and turn a new page. Every entrepreneur’s journey is different. The fireside chats highlighting these facts will really help me not just for now but when I start my own start-up in the near future.

Being part of these conferences and getting to meet people from the start-up ecosystem has been an eye-opener for me and I would like to express my gratitude to Cranfield School of Management for such an opportunity.  

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