Introducing edventure – Venture Builder and Accelerator
Introducing edventure, the first pan-European university venture builder and accelerator, bringing together universities' best talents across Europe to solve society's most important challenges. Edventure was founded in September 2020 by Zara Zaman, Ragnor Comerford and Fynn Comerford, students in their final years at the University of Edinburgh. The idea for edventure arose from observations they made about the student startup ecosystem in Europe, particularly in comparison to the US. Highly ambitious and talented students did not have the right idea or problem to work on, had difficulties finding co-founders and accessing resources, and were faced with the myth of the college drop-out successful entrepreneur. There was a need for a process to kick start their venture and guide them through the startup building process within a diverse community of likeminded individuals balancing their startup with their studies (and benefiting from the synergies between them!).
To tackle this, edventure takes a mix of existing startup teams and talented individuals to be matched with problems they are passionate about, and incubates them in a 10-week programme, with each week covering a key theme for startups. Throughout the programme, edventure provides its startups with resources, mentorship, tools, workshops, and access to its ever-growing European network.
What started as a student organisation grew from 3 founders to a team of over 40 people (over 50% female), helping 200+ students to build startups from universities across Europe. The startups in edventure's cohorts so far are tackling issues ranging from climate change and waste reduction to inequality in accessing legal aid, to personal finance. One of edventure's core principles is strength in diversity; their cohorts have hosted young entrepreneurs from over 60 different degree programmes, 45 nationalities, speaking over 40 languages and dialects.