Each Bethnal Green Ventures programme will incubate ten social ventures teams. During the programme we will help teams focus on three key activities – each phase lasting one month:
- Design: challenging key assumptions behind the founding team’s idea and testing business model with real users and customers
- Build: producing a product or service with beta users
- Grow: developing a brand and building relationships with people who will pay for or invest in the service
We’ll support teams in these areas through the following sessions:
The main BGV sessions are twelve Monday evenings 6-9pm that include dinner. Sessions will be focused on introducing you to new people and sharing practical ideas and advice. Each evening will have a different theme and begins with an hour of content based around that theme. Typically, this will take the form of a speaker coming to share their practical experience of doing something similar – it might be someone who’s set up a successful company, someone to talk about their experience of working with service users or someone who knows all about product development. The second part of the evening will be about sharing your own experience and getting advice and support from everyone else in the room focused on a specific challenge you are currently facing – both fellow BGV participants as well as the BGV team and invited guests.
Throughout the twelve weeks, the BGV team will meet on to one with the teams for an hour each week to help in whatever way we can: from introducing you to people who might be able to help, to being a friendly ear to bounce ideas off.
Wednesday lunchtimes will be a chance for the teams to ask BGV team and each other for help on the legal and administrative side of running a business. Accountancy club is a forum for teams to ask questions they may not need a lawyer or accountant to answer. Some of these sessions will be focused on particular topics, for example: VAT registration, employment law or bookeeping, and bring in professionals to brief the teams and address specific questions.
Friday afternoons we will bring all the teams and mentors together to practice their pitches and receive feedback. Pitch practice are a chance for the teams to start selling their product from the very beginning of the programme as well as work on their pitching skills in the build up to Demo Day.
Alongside these scheduled activities we will also host fortnightly workshops on topics such as: user research, metrics and measurement, technical project management, brand development and PR, business development and sales and investment strategy.
Founders Day and Demo Day
Towards the end of the programme we organise two other important events. The first is Founders Day where all the teams get to practice their presentations on a friendly audience of BGV alumni and advisers. That will happen on a Saturday afternoon. The second event is Demo Day which will take place at Nesta or Google Campus. That’s your chance to pitch to an invited audience of potential investors and partners and show how much progress you’ve made during the BGV programme.