Photos from the MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019

On Friday and Saturday during the Welcome Week you took part in our hackathon with the Surrey County Council. We wanted to show you – not tell you – what Design Thinking for Startups module was all about. The goal: to guide you through the process of working from identifying and framing a problem to an idea and a prototype in under 24 hours. Why: to help you realise it doesn’t take months to get an idea off the ground and a business started – just a clear objective and a dedicated space.

All photos from the two days are below. You can download them and reuse on your blogs with the photo credit:

MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019 – photos by Claudia Weaver

Many thanks, Claudia!

Reflect, connect the dots, and take a leap of faith

Four weeks have now passed since we met during our Welcome Week.  This Friday in class we will register your teams with Young Enterprise, and you will all become startup co-founders. It is a great leap of faith to take, and it will require from you to learn, adapt, develop, and mature very quickly. Your team and your startup will most likely be your greatest challenge this year.  

Theories are helpful to describe what might happen to your startup and your team, but the actual path each team will take will be different. Are you ready?

Personality tests are helpful in an attempt to generalise about who you might be, but your real personality will emerge in relation to the real challenges you face and the attitude you take. Your CV is helpful to describe where you’ve been and what you’ve done before, but it cannot predict the future – where you go and which skills you ‘deploy’ (with passion) is, from here onwards, entirely up to you.

Everything we have done together since the day we met has been designed to lead you to the moment when you take a leap of faith on who you are, who should be on your team, and what you stand for.

Are you connecting the dots yet?

On our first day together, you were asked to share a little about yourself, and you all reached for your CVs. Three days later you already understood your CV was as good as a blank page if there was no human story to go with it. No human life is linear and no good story comes without struggle at the centre of it… Who are you and what is your story?

Our Welcome Week hackathon was a crash-course designed to illustrate what your MACE experience is about and what it takes. Hard work, no? Genuine curiosity is difficult.

MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019. Photo by Claudia Weaver


MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019. Photo by Claudia Weaver


MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019. Photo by Claudia Weaver


MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019. Photo by Claudia Weaver


MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019. Photo by Claudia Weaver


Thanks to the hackathon, in only two days you all went through the cycle of uncomfortable – comfortable emotions many times, and as you learnt, connected, and developed – you all had fun, too.

What you and your startup team stand for is entirely up to you (provided our startup insurance covers it) but make sure it is a good investment of your time and effort. Make sure you allow yourself to grow by accepting that you will have to go through the cycle of uncomfortable – comfortable emotions many times again.

For many of you, most of this is new, and as such it is uncomfortable. A new country, new way of doing things, new ideas, new you… you don’t need to be comfortable with it all – you only need to be willing to try it all out.

Remember the importance of curiosity, positive attitude, grit and growth mindset, and above all – remember the importance of a bit of fun and laughter, please. You are of no use to humanity if you lose your sense of humour!

A final thought for you to consider:

You are registering your startup teams this Friday, however we are above all one big team. We have a big class full of great, interesting minds – let’s make it one great team.

Today: 11 startups in Dragons’ Den + 1 startup in Mayor’s Entrepreneur 2019

Our Dragons’ Den is today: our 11 startups are pitching to 4 judges and competing for a place in the Young Enterprise Start-up Final.


Stay tuned – winners will be announced by 8PM tonight!

Also good luck to our Rebecca Imaizumi who is today pitching her Unified Wolves in the Mayor’s Entrepreneur 2019 semi-final!