Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to Amsterdam by EY as part of their 2018 Accelerating Entrepreneurs cohort.

The 30 selected entrepreneurs are, in EY’s words, the future market leaders of ‘fast growth startups that have innovative technology-based products or services and an ambition to scale and accelerate growth internationally’.

It was a fascinating event. Getting 30 of us in a room together, alongside some of EY’s senior partners from around the world, was illuminating as conversation moved from the future of work, to how to effectively work with corporates, to what trust and security there is in a rapidly changing digital world.

But more than the content of the discussion, and I’ve said this before in previous blogs, the most powerful aspect of the event was the network that we have all now developed.

As well as the EY attendees – who have relationships with funders, politicians on the world stage, and the C-Level in many of the world’s leading corporates – the breadth and global nature of the entrepreneurs that attended meant that many, myself included, were able to help the others with introductions to target customers, or may even be customers themselves, and were able to bring a different perspective to problems that some of us have been mulling over for some time.

Entrepreneurs in discussion sat on beanbags at Innovation Realised event in Amsterdam with members of EY Accelrating Entrpreneurs programme in attendance

From time immemorial, getting a group of bright, talented, and diverse people in a room, creating some space, and talking about problems that affect them all, results in creative solutions and opportunities emerging. From the formation of stock markets, to the many innovations that came out of the space race, to what’s now happening with Web 3.0 (go on, look it up!), there are a wealth of examples of innovations that were born from such groups.

I was pleased to be a part of it for a small amount of time in Amsterdam.

Thank you EY.

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