Giving student entrepreneurs a Kickstart

By Jasmin Kooner, Ecosystems and Alliances, Deloitte Ventures

Universities are home to many of our next generation of talented individuals that are both developing themselves for the future and, for some, already starting to shape the future themselves. 27% of UK undergraduates are starting their own businesses at university according to research from Santander¹, and these are not just temporary extra-curricular activities. 17% plan to turn their business into a full-time career post-graduation, while 48% plan to continue their business as a second job or hobby.

Entrepreneurship during university provides students with invaluable experience and skills that they can carry into their future start-ups or any other path they choose to go down. However, 64%¹ don't think there is enough support for undergraduates looking to found start-ups. This is why student-focused organisations like Kickstart are crucial, and why we are passionate about working with them to support their inspiring young founders.

Kickstart is a student-run start-up hub that helps student founders from Day 0 through mentoring, workshops and a global network. The programme enables students to connect across UK universities, combining strengths and ideas from their different disciplines and university environments to build strong co-founding start-up teams. We particularly love their strong focus on diversity. Over 60% of Kickstart’s most recent cohort identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and 42% as women.

Our relationship with Kickstart began in 2020, when we first connected with the brilliant team of students who run the organisation. We spent a year experimenting with different ways of working together, ranging from mentoring the student founders to participating in their ‘Demo Day’ panel. A particular highlight was running an interactive storytelling workshop which explored methods of turning ideas into compelling stories and the different mediums through which to tell these stories.

“We’re excited to be working even more closely with Deloitte Ventures, benefiting from their expertise in start-up venturing, design thinking, and product development.”

– Kickstart

Following on from the success of our initial relationship, we're delighted to now be sponsoring Kickstart’s summer accelerator for the 2021/22 cohort. Over the coming year, we’re looking forward to strengthening the UK’s innovation ecosystem by helping university students develop the skills they’ll need in the future. It’s a privilege to connect with the next cohort of passionate student entrepreneurs.

“Working with Kickstart has opened our eyes to some great fresh thinking by connecting us with some of the brightest young minds.”

– Andy Robb, Partner, Deloitte Ventures

If you’d like to learn more about how we’re supporting student entrepreneurship, or if you’re also involved in the ecosystem and would like to explore joining forces, we’d love to hear from you at

To get more involved in Kickstart either as a student, mentor, or workshop lead, feel free to reach out to the Kickstart team at

¹Santander UK, 2020

Jasmin Kooner Deloitte 1

Jasmin Kooner

Ecosystems and Alliances, Deloitte Ventures

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