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If you are an entrepreneur then things can get a little lonely. It’s not easy to forge ahead with no help whatsoever, and entrepreneurs are normally surrounded by not so entrepreneurial types.
So what’s the answer? Entrepreneurial meetups.
So, what exactly is an entrepreneurial meetup? Well, they are generally exactly what they say on the tin: a place for entrepreneurs to meet. These meetings are often the chance to make new contacts, pitch ideas, speak to investors and find out more about the industry that you are in and hear directly from the key players who make it tick.
If you are setting up in a specific sector, entrepreneurial meetups can give you unparalleled access to industry knowledge. It can also help by putting you in touch with other entrepreneurs to help forge partnerships which can be very useful as you make your way in the business world.
Why Attend A Meetup?
As we touched on briefly in the intro, entrepreneurial meetups are a great place to gain fresh industry knowledge, as well as make contacts. These meetups usually have a guiding topic and are ideal for those who are looking to discuss or learn more about an issue or topic. Many of these meetups are also held by industry-leading businesses who offer their support to the community which is normally built around their product.
Meetups can be a great place to go to make useful industry contacts. Many businesses rely on other businesses to progress. These meetups can help to put you in touch with other businesses in your sector and help you to push your business to the next level.
Can Foreign Entrepreneurs Attend A Meetup?
There is rarely any kind of exclusion attached to an entrepreneurial meetup, and those who are visiting from abroad are likely to be very welcome to join and gain from the experience. If you are looking to set up a business in the UK, these entrepreneurial meetups can be an invaluable part of the process. It will not matter which visa you are on in the UK if you wish to visit one of these meetups, as even on the Standard Visitor Visa, you are allowed to attend events which can benefit your business (as long as you are not being paid).
If you are planning to expand your business to the UK or even set up in the country, having a way into the industry is vital. You will often find there are strong communities attached to these events and you will be able to make contacts that will help your business succeed in the long run. Indeed, even if you are just visiting the UK for leisure, there may be lots of value in popping along to one of these events to get talking to some industry insiders. Even if you are not planning to move to the UK, these outside opinions may give you a fresh perspective on the business you are doing abroad.
As well as giving you some great advice, these meetups can also lead to encounters with would-be investors. The UK has a great history of angel investing, and often these investors get involved in meetups to ensure they have early access to great ideas. If you are looking to move to the UK on either a Start-Up Visa or an Innovator Visa, gaining seed investment is a key part of your immigration journey. For these would-be entrepreneurs, we would highly suggest attending events such as these to give your business the best chance of attracting seed investment.
Where Do Meetups Take Place?
Meetups take place all over the UK, but as you can imagine, the vast majority are based in the UK’s biggest cities, such as London. It may be worth doing some investigation before your UK visit to find out exactly where those in your target industry go to discuss it. With so many events held in the UK every year, it may be hard to pick a specific event to attend!
As meetups tend to be informal affairs, they tend to take place in almost any kind of venue you can think of. From conference centres to local pubs, meetups can take place anywhere and at any time. They are often great social occasions and a great way to make new industry friends in a more relaxed setting.
Which Organisations Hold Events In The UK?
With the UK being something of a hub for entrepreneurialism, there are events taking place up and down the country all of the time. But there are some big names such as Entrepreneurs in London who have been helping entrepreneurial Londoners to connect for more than a decade!
There are also other groups in London, such as:
London Entrepreneurs Network – who help entrepreneurs at any stage of their journey connect to useful contacts. They also offer training events that can help entrepreneurs to grow their skills and their businesses.
London Enterprise Technology – this network offers great options to connect entrepreneurs to enterprises. They also offer amazing panels that can help entrepreneurs to hear the latest developments from some of the most important players in the field.
Tech City Coffee – If you are in the early stages of developing a technology business, Tech City Coffee is a great option. Helping you to not only connect with other entrepreneurs in the tech space but also industry leaders, they can also help to put you directly in contact with investors.
These are just a few of the amazing events that are available in London. As we have said, there are events just like these up and down the country. By doing some cursory research, you can find an event in your local area. We really think that these events are vital to startup entrepreneurs who are looking to make the most of their big business idea.
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