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London (& Manchester) Startup Events You Don’t Want To Miss In April

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It may be April Fool’s but before you start to take everything the day throws at you with a colossal pinch of salt, read our guide to the best events taking place this April in London, and one not to be missed start-up extravaganza in one of Europe’s most founder friendly cities; Manchester. Steve Wozniack will be there – and no, that is not a wind-up!

Incubus Future of Work With PWC Passing Out Parade – Fri April 8th, PWC Embankment Place

Incubus, London  start-up-accelerator-on-a-bus have put 6 startup’s hoping to disrupt the future of the workplace through their paces, with help from consultancy firm PWC and mentors, including Jon Bradford, MD Techstars and co-founder of F6S, and Will King, founder of $50m global startup success story King of Shaves.

On Friday 8th April the teams will “enjoy” a dedicated passing out parade – like the army version, the event will celebrate the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into honing this cohort’s companies into agile instruments of change, but for the startup, the work won’t be completed (and the beers on hold) until they have delivered a knockout pitch to an invited audience of investors, media, and the founder community.

The teams include Cloud based Cyber Intelligence Service ShareOptic and motoring data analytics platform AutoEmo; all have pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in the fields of IoT, Cyber Security, AI, tech, mobile and online; ignore them (and this event) at your peril; as Bill Gates put it, “always be friendly to a geek, one day you’ll be working for one”.

Millennial 20/20 Summit 13th-14th April, Victoria House, Holborn

Quite possibly London’s flagship event of April, Millennial 20/20 will attract more than 3,000 startups, with speakers as influential and diverse as Yath Gangakumara, Senior Strategy Manager at Sky Sports, Mike Balfour, founder of Fitness First gyms (son James, co-founder of disruptive fitness club 1 Rebel Gyms will also be there), Lewis D’Vorkin, Chief Product Officer at Forbes, and England footballer turned pundit Rio Ferdinand.

The heavyweight line-up will be supported by 4 industry sector tracks, 40 experiential exhibitors, 4 live immersive showcases, competitions and unlimited networking opportunities. The event is themed around the way that millennials are changing the dynamics of industries such as retail, mobile, social, payments, advertising and even big data, by demanding more and refusing to take no for an answer.

Millennial 20/20 is a sign that startups and entrepreneurs across all industries are sitting up and listening to what millennials have to say, and working with them to try to create the proverbial “better world”.

F*ck Up Night 5 – Stories about failure; Tues April 12th, Impact Hub Kings Cross

A typically unpredictable move from Hipsters, Hackers and Hustlers’ ringmaster-in-chief Robert Fenton (rumour has it he is planning a startup accelerator in the Caribbean), the fifth edition of a movement that began in Mexico is set to take place at Impact Hub, Kings Cross on 12th March.

Don’t be fooled by the name, F*ck Up night is strictly for those who want to learn and improve by sharing stories of past failures and learning from them. Because let’s face it, as the blurb says, 9 out of 10 startup’s still fail. Speakers on the night (“f*ckupreneurs”) will talk about their projects, what went wrong, and what they would do differently if they had a second chance.

The audience will be invited to quiz the speakers, which include life-coach and strategic communications consultant Chi Chan, who abandoned a Corporate Health and Wellbeing company in the nick of time upon realising her true calling lay elsewhere, and Ecuadorian social entrepreneur Francisco Abad, founder and President of the LSE SU Social Innovation Society.

If it’s thrills, spills and networking you’re after, this a must-attend. Liquid refreshment is also provided – you may need it.

Don’t Pitch Me Bro – Thurs 28th April, Venue TBC

Want a realistic assessment of your product before you begin the madness of the marketing push? After all, before you take the plunge you want to get feedback from people who have been there, done that, and will provide an honest assessment of where you’re at, right?

That’s exactly what Don’t Pitch Me Bro does; “Get the feedback your product deserves, not the feedback your pitch earns” is the tagline; early stage founders can get down to the “nitty gritty” of their product and receive the kind of advice that every founder wants but can be so hard to find. Why wait until you find yourself in a room full of investors to raise those fears about  UI and UX, iron out those glitches and find the right roll out strategy?

Launching a startup is a painstaking process and there are clearly defined stages – find out what they are, and how you can execute faultlessly by opening up in front an audience of well-wishers, mentors and the “techerati” at the 3 Beards Don’t Pitch Me Bro night.

The 3 Beards team, led by Head of Operations and Community Vicky Hunter, and backed by advisors who have experienced everything the startup scene can throw at them, like Bryce Kean, founder and director of Albion Drive, and GLA member and all round entrepreneurial “good egg” Benjamin Southworth, this is the perfect opportunity to take another small step towards “investment readiness”.

Business Rocks –21st-22nd April, Manchester Central, Windmill Street

Manchester is quickly making a name for itself as one of the UK’s fastest growing startup cities and on April 21st and 22nd the city will play host to “Business Rocks 2016”, a Tech, Music and Investment summit that will attract some 5,000 attendees, from startups, brands and devs, to VCs, mentors, accelerators, universities and government bodies.

Top influencers in attendance include Steve Wozniack, Brian Fanzo and Jeff Hoffman, founder of More than “just another event”, Business Rocks promises “48 hours of exclusive networking, pitching, learning, partying, a global life-changing Hackathon, cinema screenings, live music and so much more!”

BR 2016 also features the Innov8 Awards, a pitching battle for early stage founders with a £50,000 prize fund – 100 startups will battle it out across 3 theatres as 20 judges run the rule over some of the hottest properties in European Tech.

As if you needed another excuse to experience “Madchester” in all its entrepreneurial glory – BR 2016 looks to be well worth the ticket price and you can sign up here.

Happy hustlin’ ; )


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