Innovators Hub Catalyst – the graduation
The 10th and final day of innovators hub was going to be a big one.
The day started off with an introduction to the We Are Nova team - the people we would be pitching to today.
We were shown two pitches, performed by Nova - one very good, and one very bad. They were both pitches set in the infancy of Uber. The bad pitch was very tense; the presenters were constantly looking at note cards, demanding investment without offering convincing details for it, murmuring and offering no eye contact. Obviously if this was the real pitch then no one would have invested.
The good pitch showed real promise for the company and had me wanting to invest; they presented case studies and facts, had good engagement with the audience and they sounded confident. These are all things that you know a good pitch would have but seeing them enacted in person made me realise that our pitch had to shine.
We were each given a member of the Nova staff to work with our teams for final adjustments and help with the pitch. We were assigned Luke which was great as he is responsible for getting a lot of pitches put through into real application. He asked us where we were up to currently and was pleased to see how much work we’d done. We told him about our idea: greenspace - an app that would allow users to weigh their recycling and get rewarded with points, which could then be transferred into pounds and vouchers for users to spend within the community and help it thrive. It would use AR and Gamification to make it appeal to young adults.
Our group had been working through the week on ideas and a presentation to use. It included real facts about recycling in Liverpool and how our app would help to combat the issues the city is facing. We wanted to focus on why the community in Liverpool would thrive by using greenspace. Luke was very impressed by the work we had put into it and was intrigued by our idea, we were all feeling pretty proud.
We had about an hour with Luke before we were all given the chance to pitch in front of the groups. The first few teams to pitch did well. They presented solid ideas with great confidence. It was obvious that all the teams had worked together well and had used their time during the week wisely – a true testament to how much the Innovators Hub meant to all of us.
It was now our turn to pitch and we made our way to the front of the group...
We seemed to have everyone engaged and offered some great points. I was happy with how everything went and I enjoyed seeing all the teams perform theirs and seeing how much work we’d all put in. If I was an investor I would want to invest in all of them!
Our final session for the last day involved a few talks around the topic of resilience - one with Andy and one with John and Matt from Us Two. Andy’s talk was based on the highs and lows that he had experienced in his life at Angel. He told us about how he worried when times were tough, and described his stubbornness for letting go of something that wasn’t doing well. Andy Kent is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met and one of the main people I will miss seeing on a weekly basis.
John and Matt’s talk was a bit different. I’d never met these guys before, but they were so interesting and fun and they’d been with the Innovators Hub from the beginning, and being such a large company with offices over the world, it was interesting listening to what they had to say. They had been in business for 17 years and had grown substantially, building apps and designing some amazing work, including the hit game Monument Valley!
After the sessions were over we left to go get ready for the graduation.
The graduation took place at Oh Me Oh Me on the Waterfront, and was quite frankly beautiful. It was so great to see everyone dressed up and enjoying themselves.
During the evening, we took our seats and Andy and Robyn took to the stage. Robyn told us about how thankful and proud she was of all of us. Andy showed praise to Robyn for what she had achieved with this program. We gave a round of applause to everyone who had helped and spoken to us throughout the whole of the 10 weeks.
After Andy and Robyn had finished, it was mine and Ellie’s turn. We surprised Robyn and took the mic from Andy. We had been secretly collecting donations from all the students to give to Robyn as a thank you/ birthday present and Ellie had been taking photos of everyone to make into a card to give to her. She was so shocked and it was so lovely to be able to show our thanks.
A few of us were also asked to give a sort of speech about our experience at the innovators hub. I was one of these, and if my words help to convince someone to join I would be so happy.
The rest of the evening was filled with drinks and laughs. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and enjoyed every second of it. I can’t even think of what I was like before these 10 weeks. I’ve grown and learned so much, as we all have. I can’t wait to get involved in the next ICH and help others learn as much as I did.