On June 18th, Digital Science was part of the London Startup Grind Europe Conference. The conference holds a community of over 1,000,000 entrepreneurs in over 365 cities and offers unique opportunities to connect and build a support network.

The event covered the big topics of the moment: Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and a range of sessions guiding would-be entrepreneurs through the process of starting a business – from identifying funding to managing the first three years. For the braver of us, there was the chance to pitch for investment and support!

As part of our commitment to developing new tech talent, Digital Science gave away tickets to Startup Grind in partnership with Ada Lovelace Day, Ogunte and UKBlackTech.

We caught up with some of the attendees and asked how they’d spent their time at the conference and what they had taken from their experiences there.

Eva Cook is the Founder of GirlsCodeMK, a volunteer organisation that supports girls and women in their coding journey by offering free workshops and meetups for members of all ages and skills. They are passionate about diversity and cybersecurity.

Eva: I’m the founder of GirlsCode MK, a nonprofit based in Milton Keynes that supports girls and women in their coding journey by offering free workshops and meetups for members of all backgrounds, ages and skills. A team of hero volunteers join us to help attendees overcome any hurdle they encounter. All events are beginner-friendly and welcome those with zero coding experience as well as those who are currently employed as programmers and web developers.

Our meetings are informal and relaxed. There is a space where you can come, have a chat about coding, swap tips, ask questions and even play some beginner-friendly online coding games. We study languages and frameworks such as Python, Django, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and more!

If you would like to learn more about GirlsCode MK, find out more about our future events and ways of supporting us, please head over to http://girlscodemk.co.uk/

I was delighted to represent GirlsCode MK as one of the winners of the Digital Science Startup Grind competition. I had a great time at the Startup Grind conference which provided a friendly environment for networking and headlined a diverse group of speakers and topics.

Lakechia Jeanne is the founder of Girls in Science. Girls in science is an online website platform that promotes female science professionals by creating a visually engaging and informative narrative of what a science-career really entails. They use video interviews, blog pieces and social media to promote the variety of paths within industry and academia through the work of the ‘GIS’ team contributors that write from different parts of the world including California, Dubai and Mexico.

Lakechia says: Girls in Science aims to show up-and-coming students the versatility of a science degree and aid the process of educational development through helpful articles and personal assistance in navigating the world of higher education. One of the most common things we hear from the female professionals we interview is that; as a student, they didn’t know that their present career even existed! I think it’s really important to learn to adapt and be flexible with your career focuses whilst studying. Find out what your true interests are, and run with them.

Mark Martin is a founding member of UKBlackTech. UKBlackTech is dedicated to accelerating the growth of Black and Ethnic Minorities in Digital Businesses & Tech Professions.

Mark Martin from UKBlacktech says: We were able to support several startups from BAME backgrounds to attend the event. On the day there was plenty of buzz in the atmosphere and lots of entrepreneurs seeking golden nuggets to help drive their ideas and startups to the next level.

The breakout sessions provided a unique opportunity for guest speakers to share their journey in an honest and genuine way and the main stage provided a great insight into the future of digital businesses and areas of success. The takeaway from the event was “Before you build a great product, try and build a great team first”. The event definitely was a great opportunity to learn and connect with other like-minded individuals. We would like to give a big thanks to Digital Science for the tickets!

Congratulations to all our other winners including: Mohamed Eisimat Mohammad, The Stemettes, Michael Michelis, Natalia Komis, Sheeza Shah, Emily de Groot, and Sophie Harris. We hope everyone found the event both inspiring and useful.