Creative Entrepreneurship: News

YCE Media Week: Tea and Techhubs

YCE Bassem Elhady dancing with an augmented reality partner

@ Anna Titovets. Presentation at Poke

@ Anna Titovets. At Inition

The Media tour goes into overdrive as our YCEs visit world renowned tech companies in Shoreditch, enjoy a tasty Tavolone dinner and pitch their business ideas to potential investors at a special Minibar event.

Having listened to the latest cross-media theories and initiatives at Power to the Pixel, from the comfort of the BFI’s cosy auditorium, it was time for our winning YCEs to get hands on with some local tech innovators in London.

In a day crammed with entrepreneurial insights and wow-factor technology, our entrepreneurs headed east, first of all to the Tea Building in Shoreditch, where some of the most exciting tech and media companies in the world are now based.

Starting at award-winning advertising agency, Poke London – go to guys for many big-name brands, and the brains behind Global Rich List and Baker Tweet – the group were treated to an enlightening presentation from Founder, Nick Farnhill, who gave the inside track on Poke's rise to success and the broader Shoreditch tech phenomenon.

A tour around Mind Candy's office

Just a lift journey away, and our entrepreneurs were in the technicoloured, forest-themed offices at Mind Candy, the team behind the worldwide, smash-hit game for kids, Moshi Monsters. Taking refuge in a log cabin / meeting room, they got the facts and figures behind the company's tearaway success and then toured the office, amidst the leafy fixtures and rows of tech talent.

A short walk away from the Tea Building, and it was time to plug in and play with 3D technology company, Inition. In a basement full of 3D printers, virtual reality visors and augmented reality devices, it wasn't long before our YCEs were pressing, waving and ogling at a range of state-of-the-art machines, employed by top commercial clients and used to assist cutting-edge medical research and architecture practices.

YCE Andrus Purde gets hands on with 3D technology at Inition

The cluster of tech businesses in the Shoreditch / Old Street area - nicknamed ‘Silicon Roundabout’ – is regarded as one of the most thriving techhubs outside of California’s ‘Silicon Valley’. And in the afternoon, our YCEs visited two contrasting co-working spaces that are assisting the growth of start-up businesses in the locality.

Arriving first at Google Campus, the group popped in for a chat with Seedcamp - Europe’s leading micro-seed investment fund and mentoring program - who have been helping entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level (with office space, mentoring and investment) since 2007.

Then, for the final site visit of the day our entrepreneurs popped over to The Trampery – an impressive and inviting co-working space, embellished with English country house furnishings and contemporary art generously displayed throughout. Now home to 14 of the hottest tech companies around, it’s proving increasingly popular. Founder, Charles Armstrong, gave our YCEs the background and theory behind the space and spoke of the collaborative spirit across the site's business community.

A well-earned rest gave our talented entrepreneurs time to reflect on the day, before a sumptuous ‘pop-up’ dinner party at Mother, arranged by ex-YCE Christian Ahlert and his team at Tavolone (Italian for ‘big table’).

@Diana Rikasari

Christian introducing the investment pitch event at Minibar

Christian and his colleague, Caroline Heron (Coordinator at Minibar and also General Manager at Mute Publishing), have been instrumental in helping to arrange and lead this year's YCE Media tour.

Guest chefs, Michael Pickard and Chris Payne from The Roebuck in the Yorkshire Dales cooked a ‘British feast’ for our YCEs and a specially-invited ensemble of leading entrepreneurs and practitioners from the UK creative industries. On either side of an impressively long table our diners shared their insights and experiences of the week over a sumptuous meal and glass of wine.

The following day was ‘investment day’. Expert advice was on hand from Rose Lewis, Matthew Stafford (Pembridge Partnership Ltd), and Samuel Payne (Mother) during seminar sessions in the morning, as our YCEs geared up for the final and potentially most important event of the tour – the investment pitch.

@ Anna Titovets

Investment Day seminar

In the penultimate session, Christian Ahlert chaired an engaging roundtable discussion with Paul BirchJon Marks (Co-founder, Kaldor Product Development Group), Daniel Heaf (Director of Digital,BBC World Service), Kevin Douglas (Partner, Antrak Capital), Itxaso del Palacio (Investment Analyst, EC1 Capital), and Oli Ashness (Investment Analyst, DFJ Esprit).

Then, to cap off a lively and memorable week of media voyaging, our YCEs stepped into the spotlight to each deliver their 2 minute pitch to a packed auditorium, in a special Minibar event. With a new audience introduced to their work and a valuable set of connections made, the entrepreneurs could reflect on an exciting week, new friendships and the prospect of future collaborations.


Blogs - Check out the blog from YCE Media participant, Andrus Purde on his experience of the week.

Nice blog and pics from Diana Rikasari on her YCE experience.

Find out more about upcoming Minibar events here.

Read about the start of this year's YCE Media tour here. Check out more images from the week on our Flickr page -