Effectively assessing the impact of our programmes and activities is critical to driving progress and improving our offering. As we reach the end of our 2018-19 Young Entrepreneurs Programme, we have been reflecting on the impact of this year’s RG YEP.
During the 6 month pre-accelerator programme, which helps young aspiring entrepreneurs develop their early stage business ideas into viable start-ups, we expanded operations internationally with RG YEP Ignite events in Germany, the Netherlands, the US and Greece. We significantly increased the reach of the programme – RG YEP engaged more than 1,187 young people with 881 young people actively engaged at events, a 26% increase year on year. In comparison with our last RG YEP programme, the number of locations activated increased by 85%.
Improved mentoring support
This year we significantly improved RG YEP educational content, through the calibre of speakers and the quality of workshops, mentoring and masterclasses. The RG mentors, high profile executives, academics, entrepreneurs and professionals who dedicated their time pro bono, shared their expertise with the teams. 71 mentors took part in the programme, a 106% increase year on year and the programme included a total of 222 mentoring hours.
A wealth of innovative ideas
Participants included Final year and Masters students, PhD and Post Doctoral researchers, MBA students and young professionals from different Universities and cities across the UK, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and the US. During the RG YEP Ignite phase workshops, 112 business ideas were presented and the final cohort of 14 innovative teams from the MedTech, FinTech, AgriTech, GreenTech, Tourism, Social Impact, BioTech and Materials Science Engineering sectors were progressed to the accelerate and pitch phases of the programme.
In terms of the idea holders backgrounds, 40% of idea holders came from a business & management background, 19% had an engineering background and 17% were scientists.
Mobilising the Diaspora
RG YEP engaged both Greeks and non-Greeks to look into ways to connect their businesses with Greece. All finalist teams highlighted their ‘Reload Greece factor’ in their Pitch presentations, by demonstrating how their idea would have a positive economic and social impact in Greece. This year’s RG YEP finalist teams included 16 members of the Greek Diaspora, while the team mix was at large, international. This year’s RG YEP finalist teams included 18 Non-Greek members and 16 International Mentors and Domain Experts. Throughout the RG YEP 18-19 journey, we also noticed a great interest by Non-Greeks joining the programme to connect their businesses with Greece. Of the mentors who participated, 75% were part of the Greek & Cypriot Diaspora in the UK, Germany & France. Of the 33 speakers, 90% were part of the Greek & Cypriot Diaspora.
Positive RG YEP testimonials
In terms of quantitative metrics, we surveyed each RG YEP participant and 100% of participants rated the curriculum as very helpful with 87% of the participants stating that they were very satisfied with the 1:1 mentoring, and 13% stating that they were satisfied.
We interviewed several mentors and finalist entrepreneurs at the Final Pitch Event and it was great to hear their positive testimonials. Sotiris Rompas, Director, Life Sciences at Huron and RG YEP 18-19 mentor said “RG YEP is really the base line of not just taking the idea into market, but also getting the fundamental infrastructure support that you need. I haven’t seen a more professional start-up event and the impact is just pretty amazing. I’m glad to be part of it.’’
Jared Bainbridge, Founder of Dark Horse Technologies, who develop automation solutions for commercial scale farming, said “The community is so engaging. It was fantastic to have the business idea exposed to different insights. I enjoyed the challenge and rigour of going through all those steps in a short amount of time.”
Read about the final RG YEP award winning startups in our blog and watch this space to hear the award winners stories, as we’ve been catching up with each winning startup and we’ll be publishing their interviews soon!