04 Nov 2016 Alice Bentinck MBE Inspires Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre (The NCS) Entreprenuers To Be Leaders In An Engaging Lecture – In Video
What does it take to be the founder of a startup company? And why would you want to be one to begin with? These were two important questions answered by Alice Bentinck MBE who visited NCS students on November 2nd 2016. As a founder of “Entrepreneur First” – a company that supports engineers and scientists to build world-class technology companies – Ms Bentinck has had first hand experience of the highs and lows of taking on such a challenge and over the course of an hour she shared the experiences which led to her being named amongst the top fifty most inspiring women in European tech, in the hope it would inspire students to be more creative, dynamic and innovative.
Her talk started with some context. Having recently turned thirty she explained how she describes technology as a service, a sector which has developed immensely and changed the world over the last ten years. Ms Bentinck explained how the younger generation are ‘digital natives’ and with their expertise and insight have an immense opportunity to look at the world they live in and improve it.
“Your generation are often called ‘Digital Natives’ and that means that you have a real advantage over my generation and previous generations because for you this [service technology] is normal. The fact that technology is part of the fabric of life is really, really normal.”
With that in mind she continued to discuss that the main hurdle in creating a startup is finding the right idea and then ensuring it is shared as widely as possible to test the market potential. Of course finding that idea is often the thing that many are unable to do, on that point she passed on some wonderful advice before detailing some of the startups that she’s supported on incredible journeys to success.
“If you don’t have an idea [for a startup] the thing to think about is, what do you know about that you could use as an asset to build as a startup. Is there a problem that you experience every day? Is there an opportunity that you can see in your school, college or community? It’s likely that day to day you’re experiencing different problems and different opportunities that could turn into a startup.”
Ms Bentinck ended her talk stressing two important points. The first is that everyone should be learning to code in their spare time; large sections of her talk and stories reflected on the ease of creating software technologies but also their importance to the level of success. Secondly she addressed why she wanted to inspire many in the room to consider turning an idea into a startup after university.
“Entrepreneurial skills really can fast track your career. It means that you can build a really big company at a really young age, managing lots of people and taking on far more responsibility than you would in any other job. It also means that even if things go wrong you will have learnt the skills that will make you more employable which will build your CV and make sure you have a glittering career in other ways.”
Everyone at The NCS would like to thank Ms Bentinck for giving the time to visit our students, delivering such a thoughtful talk and answering a long line of questions about her career. You can watch the video of the talk below and you can also listen to the full talk and Q&A session in the audio player.
The Student View
``I thought that Alice Bentinck's talk was really inspiring and eye opening. She taught us that if you have a dream or ambition, don't let faliures and bad experiences stop you from striving. Take the risk because you don't know where that idea will take you.`` - Sahar
``An inspiring and very informative talk from an inspiring woman who showed us that age should never make us afraid to go and create our own business start ups and the fact that we are young should be something we use to our advantage. I loved every moment of it!`` - Precious
``I was honoured to have had the opportunity to see such an empowering woman speak about her continous successes in business, I truly can say she is an inspiration. She enlightened me on the idea that failing was just a perfect way to learn/develop and that no success could be obtained without taking risks. We became more aware of the different career paths available and obtained a deeper understanding regarding the world of business. Thank you, on behalf of myself and everyone, you are astonishing.`` - Arlina