How I ended up at STARTUP2020 and why should you go as well

In this article I am telling you a few things about the event I attended on Saturday. Young entrepreneurs, small businesses, business advisers and start-ups that have succeeded, over 140 speakers, 14 zones, 85 seminars, business plans, digital marketing, branding and a lot more which you are about to find out if you keep reading.

Buying the tickets

Last week I was checking a few stories on Instagram and I found Iulia’s Story about StartUp2020, she was asking “Who’s coming?”. Obviously when I saw it, I instantly replied, “Me, me, me <3”.

One reason why I miss home is because of this kind of events and their accessibility. I love learning new things from great people, and as you can imagine I don’t have fortunes to spend on it.

When Iulia replied and asked me if I have already purchased my ticket, my mind has already gone to a £200 amount. But to my surprise I went on Eventbrite and found the tickets with only £20. What a bargain!

I purchased my ticket and sent the event forward, to Crina. I knew she wanted to come as well.

Planning the agenda

Then I saw how nice the event was structured and also the impressive numebr of almost 150 speakers (you need to understand that the maximum I have experienced before was about 20 to an event, so judging:)) )

The purpose of the event was to help young entrepreneurs and small start-up businesses, or people with just an idea of business to understand the best practice in starting and growing their business to the point of making profit and further.

The organizer, Enterprise Nation is a network of small businesses and business advisers which you can be part of if you become a member. This gives you access to business advise, networking with other entrepreneurs, masterclasses and many more.

I was an ignorant and I didn’t get my free 3 months membership, afraid I will have to pay a lot every month after those 3 months. Guess what? The membership is only £99 a year and it gives you access to so many perks. Among them, useful tips from professionals, as well as the opportunity to share your experience with other people that started their own business.

When we got our tickets, we have also received the event brochure, which made me understand how a truly great event is organized. I am not being paid to write this article, I am just doing it so other people can learn, because I did as well.

Going back to the brochure, we could find there some information about how to start a business and how to do it when you are still on a full time job. Also, we had the maps to help up find the rooms where the seminars were taking place as well as the agenda with all the seminars, split into 14 zones of main topics.

Here’s the brochure, so you can see yourself where you could have ended up. Just to give you a hint: the hardest thing was deciding how’s my agenda for the day gonna look like.

Headless Chickens

On Saturday, of all days, when we experienced a below 0 temperature, I didn’t take my hat with me. Luckily I left early enough to do some shopping in Asda before the sun was rising. After this I took the slowest possible train to Waterloo, being happy I finally have time to read a bit more of Sir John Hargrave’s “Mind Hacking”.

I arrived there quite early, so I waited for Crina, then we decided to walk to King’s College, as it was quite close and it was a sunny (freezing) day after all.

We eventually found the right building and after having our tickets checked, there were these 2 zones, the Exhibition and the Member Zone. There we had the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and business advisers, share our ideas, learn about other businesses and make connections. Sounds amazing, right? That’s what we said as well, but don’t imagine we really managed to get the most out of it, because we were too busy getting the most out of caffeine.

After grabbing ourselves a coffee and trying to figure out where we should go for the first session, we found our way to the Centre Block, 4th Floor. The seminars were about to start, and we didn’t want to miss anything. Well, we actually did after all, because we lost valuable time of moving between rooms and floors to join a nice prize draw organized by Dell. How could have we missed the chance of winning a XPS 15 2-in-1?

The inspirational part

As I told you earlier, we were able to create our own agenda. The 85 seminars were split into 14 zones, so we had to choose those ones we truly madly deeply wanted to attend. We didn’t really stick to the agenda, but the initial plan was this:

  • 9.40AM – 10.00AM – Morning Secret Sunrise experience including meditation and dancing to inspire your day at StartUp 2020
  • 10.00AM – 10.45AM – Transforming your small business through technology
  • 11.00AM – 11.45AM – Business plan 101: Creating a business plan that actually works 
  • 12.00PM – 12.45PM – Understanding your customers’ behaviour
  • 1.00PM – 1.45PM Curating photography for your brand on a budget
  • 2.00PM – 2.45PM How to choose the right e-commerce platform for your start-up
  • 3.00PM – 3.45PM Diary of a Young Entrepreneur podcast live recording

After the whole day of listening to impressive stories, here’s two people I absolutely loved:

Emma Alexander, founder at Mother Bran

Emma is a photoshoot producer, with over 16 years of experience and she had a presentation about the importance of photography for your business and how to do this on a budget. Check her work here, she is amazing and so is what she is doing for a living.

Nick Coleman, founder at Snaffling Pig

This man has grown a business starting from frying pork crackling. The proof that you can really make money with anything, as long as you are open to it and willing to try. In the country where I am coming from (you guessed, Romania), we are pork crackling lovers, this is basically a light motive of our nation. However, no one ever thought of frying it, adding some flavour and selling it in so many different ways. At least not before I left home, 3 years ago.

The passion these people had when doing their presentations and the pride in their eyes when talking about their businesses will make everyone say, “I can do this as well!”

Last but not the least…

Overall, this was an amazing event, from structure to content. I would have definitely made it longer, with a bit more time in between the sessions and split it in at least 2 days so people can have the chance of attending more than 6 of the seminars.

And would have certainly included a lunch break. 😀

If you’re in Manchester on the 25th of January, check out the event and get your tickets. The agenda is already made, so you won’t have the hardest choices to make. Also, they do have there a lunch break, so you will have time to fill up your tummy throughout the day.

Also, here you can find an infographic journey created by the James McLaughlin, in case you want to start-up in 2020.

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