Our second annual “Networking & Nibbles” evening was held at the offices of Calls9 in Leeds city centre on Wednesday 19th October 2016.
Calls9 is a digital firm founded by Pete Mills, former Leeds student and one of our Enterprise Ambassadors (many thanks Pete for hosting!). The event was held in the magnificent atrium area with glass-fronted offices all around. A diverse group of academic staff, Spark (student start-up) staff, students, and Enterprise Ambassadors (entrepreneurs) were there to meet with students from MSc Enterprise, MA Fashion, Enterprise & Society, and from the undergraduate “With Enterprise” programmes.
The evening started with a welcome from Dr Steve King, Director of the MSc Enterprise, followed by brief profiles of each of the staff and Ambassadors present.
Then the fun and games started! As this was a networking event it was only right that we have some “ice breakers”! First up was “True or False”. Everyone stood in the centre of the atrium with one side marked “True” and the other “False”. Steve read out a series of statements such as “Usain Bolt is Cuban?”, and the attendees moved to the side that reflected their answer (true or false). So it was essentially a cross between a pub quiz and musical chairs. But there was a twist – if you got it wrong you were “out” (cruel but fair!). After a close fought battle the winner emerged – Sathish Anantharaj from MSc Enterprise (pictured left).
Next we moved on to “People Bingo” where each person was given a sheet with a number of statements on it, such as “Has a tattoo”, “Prefers winter to summer”. The aim was to circulate and meet new people, and ask them if they matched one of the statements. This went really well, and soon the room was abuzz with questions, answers, and laughter. This time the winner was Pratibha Kumat, a MA Fashion, Enterprise and Society students (pictured left).
After all this hard work, it was time to eat! The attendees tucked in to succulent home-made sandwiches, crudities, and cakes supplied by the Opposite Café – a business run by another of our Ambassadors, Lou Henry.
It was great to see everyone circulating and new relationships being born and we received some great feedback from the students.
“Thank you for inviting me. The event was really enjoyable. The games and food were also great. Actually, I am a very introvert person, sometimes I even suffer from social phobia. But last night, when I talked to others in the People Bingo game, I felt quite comfortable. I think I made a progress and improved my communication skills. Looking forward to attending more events.” Zhiya Dong , MA Fashion, Enterprise and Society
Several of the students took the chance to discuss their new venture ideas with the Spark staff and, with Spark Enterprise Scholarships currently on offer for up to £5,000 the timing could not have been better. We look forward to the next step in this evolving story.