Past networking: what UK immigrant founders need from VC workplace hours

After facilitating extra than 300 enterprise hours for immigrant entrepreneurs getting into the UK market, what have we discovered about who these founders are and the challenges they face?

Delicate touchdown introductions may be essential, however the true worth lies in amassing substantive suggestions from skilled traders.

It’s about what your community can educate you and aid you achieve (e.g. a possibility to pitch), not simply the variety of connections you’ve.

We ran the primary model of the Blue Lake Worldwide Workplace Hours in 2022, which confirmed the primary proof that the pattern of VCs providing workplace hours can ship actual worth, particularly for immigrant founders getting into the UK ecosystem.

Within the second version, which ran in March 2023, we needed to proceed making helpful introductions, however we additionally needed to grasp extra systematically what, exactly, was so useful about enterprise hours.

To this finish, we developed our sign-up and post-meeting suggestions kinds to higher establish two issues: (1) pre-meeting, what founders say they’d most love to do with traders after workplace hours and (2) post-meeting assembly, what do they are saying they worth most? Put one other method, do founders find yourself valuing the features of the assembly as they consider they are going to?

First, who’re the founders who participated within the second spherical? The 125 candidates for the session hour from February 2023 got here from 39 nations throughout six continents and completely different nations when it comes to language, financial growth and different components.

International locations of origin embody locations as various as Australia and Azerbaijan, in addition to Ghana and Germany. The nations with essentially the most candidates had been Ukraine (33), India (11) and Turkey (10). There was additionally a mixture of 12 completely different major sectors recognized by candidates. “Different” was the biggest single class (22), adopted by fintech (18), market (17), cleantech (15) and deep tech (14).

Right here’s an illustration of how various the first sector combine was:

Picture Credit: Blue Lake VC

When it comes to gender, candidates had been predominantly male: 96 candidates recognized as male, 28 as feminine, and one as non-binary.

Again to our questions on what these various founders are and what they are saying they need from workplace hours. Forty-five contributors accomplished each the appliance type and the after-hours suggestions type; we analyzed the responses for this subgroup to check what they mentioned they needed to gather beforehand with what they handled and valued afterwards.

On the appliance type, when requested concerning the features they’d discover most respected, 60% answered “introductions/community”. Fundraising technique acquired the second highest variety of responses, with solely 13%. Gross sales and Advertising and marketing, Mentorship and Staff all acquired a small variety of votes.