By Laura Wittka
In early 2019 several alumni and seniors from Hult International Business School joined forces to continue a legacy of outstanding service. With success in hosting their own summit, launching an energy solutions start-up through the Hult Prize, and completing consultancies for brands like Virgin Money and Ferrari, founders of the Vertex Ecosystem and their team of exceptional students are making strides in the world of entrepreneurial empowerment. This month, the Explore series celebrates its second event, inviting executives and CEO’s for a thought exchange event taking place in the heart of London.
On April 28th, companies like Nestle, Unilever, IBM, Snap Inc., and many high-growth startups including Receipt Bank, ClikD, and Enty will converge on an event supported by the Vertex Ecosystem’s Explore project for a day of engaging panel discussions with postgraduate business societies. The Explore team believes that connecting young-driven individuals such as excelling business school students and entrepreneurs with experienced leaders of industry is the best way to bring promising ideas into fruition. Because of this mantra, Explore regularly brings opportunities like this to promising business hubs with a special appreciation for those in the early stage.
Explore operates through two key initiatives that provide the best value to those at the start of their business journeys. The first of these is their Original project, where exclusive workshops are put together and hosted in marquee venues like WeWork. The intimate business setting is crucial for this type of event, where budding entrepreneurs and influencers can enjoy the perks of a shared workspace to be creative and engage with one another. Leading business executives are invited to host instructive workshops, most recently being Odolena Kostova, a marketing expert from Google who together with Alik Jebejian, the UK Manager of Sleed and Dr. Tanya Goldhaber, a strategy specialist from Founders Intelligence, delivered an expert panel discussion on the latest in branding technology.
Secondly, Explore offers Licensed events through which the team puts their full weighting behind empowerment opportunities in established universities and independent communities. Explore will invite high-profile members and speakers to appear at organized events, workshops, and relevant engagements that promise to connect them with students and early-stage entrepreneurs who are prepared to learn from their experienced industry leaders in a practical setting. From these events, new relationships are forged along with partnerships that can take business ideas to the next step.
Authors and researchers are also invited to to take center stage and promote the credible exchange of knowledge through Explore. Odolena Kostova shared secrets of branding that are detailed in her published book “How to Advertise Like a Social Media Agency”, just as with the upcoming Explore Licensed event, Sophia Matveeva is a regular contributor to Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. Also featuring as panelists at the thought exchange are Andy Dunn and Onyi Anyado who have their own original books published, on the topics of self discovery and leadership in the business world.
About the Team
Explore and the Vertex Ecosystem were founded by Josh Akobeto, Marc Watum, Fin Gnieser, Tareq Al-Ouri, and Eduardo Achenza, 5 experienced business school students who are motivated by social entrepreneurships. Between them, several startups and international empowerment programs have been facilitated, including innovation summits and institutional support in sectors such as energy and education. The young group works closely with students, and to date have had success in onboarding volunteers and collaborators from universities. Most notably, through their student-led Vertex Summit, where over 30 student volunteers worked extensively to deliver 300 attendees a revolutionary 2-day program inclusive of a start-up pitching competition, accelerator program, and 25 expert guest speakers and panelists.
With their eyes set on building a large online community through the Explore series, this team knows that engagement and delivering value personally is key. Through their regular workshops and empowerment programs, they’re on track to build a reputation as the go-to resource and knowledge-sharing hub for young businessmen and women. The level of practicality and networking encouraged through this initiative targets very specific aspects of the business process, and caters to people who need an edge that classrooms don’t offer. “Conversations and connections with those who have come before us will open our eyes to sides of business we’ve never perceived” Co-founder Marc Watum says, “and the opportunity to take it a step further is exactly what’s needed at the start of our business journeys”.
Explore is working to develop their project through 2019 with support from Hult International Business School and partners in the United Kingdom. Regular workshops, global outreach through social media and an upcoming YouTube channel, and consultancies with the most disruptive entrepreneurs will be their main focus.