Oladoyin Oladapo ’14 was selected to receive an Enrichment Grant from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. This funding subsidized Ola’s spring break trip to attend the International Conference for Startups in Ravensbourne, England, and the African Development Forum at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Read Ola’s story below, and visit the PCSE website to learn more about our grant programs.
My spring break was most productive! With the help of the Patricielli Center, I was able to travel to London, United Kingdom and engage in a number of activities in relation to my entrepreneurial career. I will highlight two of these of experiences.
1) I attended the International Conference for Startups in Ravensbourne. The conference was an impressive gathering of great minds from around the world. I was given the opportunity to pitch my ventures and recieve critical feedback. Further, it useful for me to watch other’s pitch their ventures so I could learn from them as well. The workshops were also very helpful for me. Business leaders and entrepreneurial giants from around the world came to share their insights and offer guidance. The networking opportunities were immense and they marked what was truly a pivotal experience in my career.
2) I attended the African Development Forum at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). This event was especially important to my trip because it allowed me to engage in with entrepreneurship from an academic standpoint. SOAS is a school in the University of London and the forum gathered professors, students and entrepreneurs alike to come together and discuss ways in which entrepreneurs can see to the development of Africa. This is, of course, a topic that is very near and dear to my heart, but the reason it was so impactful was because of the people there. The mix of entrepreneurs currently on ground with professors from universities all over the world made the event less about theoretical debates on development and more practical discussion towards change on the continent.
In addition to the conferences and programs I attended, I was also lucky to be able to meet with potential investors, incubators and a number of other helpful people. I left the trip feeling very optimistic about my entrepreneurial career (not to mention ready to finish my thesis)!