The third annual Rhodes Ventures Forum took place at Rhodes House 22 – 23 June to explore ‘From Idea to Impact: Building Sustainable Venture Ecosystems’. Over 150 delegates of Rhodes Scholars, Rhodes alumni and international business leaders came together to discuss innovation, entrepreneurship and investment as well as to explore how we can create ventures that improve the world. The year’s convenors were Roy Bahat (New York & Lincoln 1998), Head of Bloomberg Beta and Swati Mylavarapu (Florida & Wolfson 2005), Co-founder, Incite.org. The Forum focused on translation – the process of transforming bold ideas conceived within academic and research institutions into impactful ventures that last.
Saturday 22 June saw two keynote speeches: the first with Eric Braverman, CEO, Schmidt Futures and Matt Clifford, Co-Founder and CEO, Entrepreneur First who spoke about the qualities of an entrepreneur and the public benefit of venture start-ups upon society. Secondly, Sangu Delle, Managing Director, Africa Holdings, gave a brilliant reflection upon his entrepreneurial journey in building better healthcare across Africa. The panels covered a range of topics from the advantages and challenges of building ventures at universities and putting them into practise, the experiences of early-career Founders, and advice and tips to building a successful business from the founding NEST team.
Sunday 23 June continued with more inspirational stories of ventures and lessons learned from those experiences. We welcomed Patrick Pichette, Chairman of Oxford Sciences and Former CFO at Google, to speak on the rise of the B Corporation which was then followed by industry breakouts and lessons learned from seasoned founders such as Tony Abraham, Co-Founder and CEO, AI-media and Abigail Seldin, CEO Blue Bead Foundation.
The weekend was full of insightful and powerful conversations which will inevitably translate into real progression for ventures, benefitting many societies. The organisers believe entrepreneurship has a key role to play in contending with a world undergoing technological transformation in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution.
The 3rd Annual Rhodes Ventures Forum was proudly sponsored by incite.org.
Find out about last year’s Forum.