MSDUK 2020 Virtual Innovation Summit, 1st September

MSDUK is delighted to launch the 2020 Virtual Innovation Summit that brings together over 1000+ diverse founders, VCs, angel investors, industry partners, universities, and the corporate world to collaborate and unlock innovation through diversity.

The virtual event, held on 1st September 2020, will feature engaging talks from the brightest minds in the innovation space, live pitching opportunities, and even a mini-hackathon (Challenge90) where you will meet and collaborate with other innovators to solve a common problem.

MSDUK’s goal is to break down barriers of entry and create an inclusive ecosystem of corporate, industry and investment partners that leads to opportunities for diverse founders to grow and succeed.

Full details of the event here:

China-Britain British Council UK-China Tech Accelerator is now recruiting

The UK-China Tech Accelerator is a tailored programme for UK-based tech start-ups and scale-ups to explore the China opportunity and connect digitally with Chinese clients, partners and investors. The programme will also prepare participants for doing business in China, through a series of market briefings and sector insights

Learning from an evening with Chris Heivly

Last Wednesday, the Leicester Startups World Tour hosted Chris Heivly.

Chris is the “entrepreneur in residence” at Techstars, and cofounder of MapQuest – later sold to AOL for $1.2billion.

Here are some of the highlights from the hour he spent with founders in Leicester:

  • If you can acquire customers both faster and cheaper than your competitors, you’re there.
  • Find 50 customers. Not 10,000. Just 50 who will really care.
  • Entrepreneurship is a team sport. Be the kind of founder that: Talks to people. Asks for help. Processes that advice. And gives full commitment.
  • Moving to a new town or industry? Reach out to three interesting people and ask them for coffee. Then ask “who else can I do this with?”. He had 275 coffees in 5 months when he last moved.
  • If there was an exact playbook, we’d all be successful. It looks and feels different for everyone. Don’t judge your own path against someone else’s.
  • His main regret, always? “I wish I’d spent more time on sales & networking, than building product.”
  • Talking to people will give you all the business intelligence and customer insight you will ever need. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just get out from behind your desk and talk to real people.

The World Tour continues in two weeks, with ‘Bosun Tijani, from Nigeria.
‘Bosun is an investor, polymath, founder of Nigeria’s foremost tech hub, and was named one of the 100 most influential people in Africa. Ticket link here!

Invitation to Webinar: Intellectual Property for Early Stage Businesses: 10th June 2020

Leicester-based MSDUK who support innovative and high-growth ethnic minority owned businesses are offering a free intellectual property workshop webinar in partnership with Longmores Solicitors. Attendees will be able to learn about the different types of IP and understand what is applicable to their businesses.

– The main forms of IP protection and appreciate how these apply to their business

– How to create a successful IP strategy

– What investors look for in relation to IP

– Patent strategies

– The costs involved in IP protection and funding innovation

Click here to join this virtual session on Wednesday June 10th (16:00 – 18:30 BST)

Introducing the Leicester Startups World Tour!

We’ve been running the biweekly lunch & learns online for a couple of months now, featuring great founders from across Leicester.

You have so many brilliant founders from around the globe coming to speak to the community in the coming months. So many, in fact, that we had to change the name of our Lunch & Learn series.

Introducing… the Leicester Startups World Tour.

Bringing you the most exciting and innovative startups, founders, investors, and thought leaders from all over the world – straight to your home, via Zoom.

First up, is Caya, the cofounder and CEO of Slidebean. A hot US software company. Next Wednesday at 6:30pm.

Free tickets to come and ask your startup questions, and learn from a VC funded, 500 Startups accelerator alumni are here:

The Leicester Startups World Tour: bringing you the worlds best, most innovative startups and founders. Into your home, via Zoom. For Free.



Second up, Chris Heivly, Entrepreneur in Residence at Techstars. Weds 10th June. Free tickets here

Leicester Startups Coworking moves online

A free online programme of support to help you build your startup, learn, and connect with your peers.


Hi Friends,

Our community coworking space opened with a bang on March 12th. Dozens of you came to see the space, brought your laptops, met new people, and got work done. Our Founders Roundtable helped several startups unpick problems.

In the evening our guest Jim Shields led the way with tales of business success in a witty talk packed with insight.

The space was set up, first members lined up to move in, wifi plumbed in, and then…

Well – we all know what happened next.

The last few days have been challenging for everyone.

To keep the most vulnerable in our community protected, last week we decided to temporarily keep our doors shut too.

But whilst our physical space is closed for the next few weeks – our community has an amazing chance to come together and grow online.

Rough seas make great sailors – and we’re going to pull together and help you come out of this even stronger.

So we’re launching our virtual coworking space!  This includes a range of activities, mini-bitesized workshops, and community events to help you grow (or start) your startup.

Virtual, hosted, and free.  These online meetings will keep you connected and in the loop with your peers.


You initially have five recurring weekly events to choose from:

Mondays 9-10am: Founders’ Roundtable and goal setting exercise. 

Start your week the right way. Share your challenges and goals for the week ahead and support and troubleshoot for your fellow founders. For: Founders. Registration – required here. Starts: 23rd March

Wednesdays 12:30 – 1pm: Lunch & Learn // Ask the expert workshops. 

Rapid fire workshop session focusing on varied aspects of starting and growing a startup, led by members of the Leicester Startups Community, in their specific fields of expertise. No registration needed. For anyone, but those already started will gain the most value. SEO, accountancy, hiring etc. Starts 1st April

Wednesdays 6 – 7pm: How do I start?

Each week the Leicester Startups team will take you through a different aspect of starting a business, side hustle, or project. Demystifying the process with real world examples. Starts 1st April.

Thursdays 5:30pm: Thirsty Thursdays Leicester Startup Drinks

Crack open something cold and share some fun times with fellow members of the Startup Community here in Leicester. Let off steam and chat about happenings. No registration needed – Zoom meeting link. For: anyone in the community. Starts: 26th March

Friday mornings: Mentors & Coffee

Book in a slot with our business experts to get any questions answered 1-on-1. Starts 27th March. Email: with your questions to get connected to a mentor.


So whilst we might not see each other in person for a few weeks – you’re still be able to come together with your community and get support, encouragement and connections online.

Every week we’ll update the speaker lineup on Leicester Startups website and through the weekly email.


See you online!


Coworking Space Opening Highlights

We had a great turnout at the opening day and evening event on Thursday 12th for our brand new startup coworking space. Loads of pictures and interviews on our Twitter. If you’re a startup founder interested in taking a space or hot-desking, do get in contact.

Customer Panel Required for New Digital Product

A Leicester based start-up has been developing a new product that make access to different utility bills more convenient for UK households. They want to run a customer panel to gather feedback on how useful the product is and whether customers would use it personally in the future.

They are looking to run a focus group lasting 1hr. Participants need to meet the below criteria:

  1. Energy bill payers
  2. Direct Debit payers
  3. Regular users of online banking (mainly banking apps if possible)

If you would like to participate, please email

LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards 2020

On Thursday, February 27, 2020 at the Morningside Arena, LeicestershireLive will be hosting a pre-awards exhibition which will provide the regions most exciting product developers and innovators to once again showcase their work to attendees and members of the public. The exhibition opens at 2:00pm and concludes at 4:30pm and is free to attend.

This is a free exhibition event celebrating all things innovation in Leicestershire. LeicestershireLive will be showcasing all the amazing ideas that are changing the region for the better. The event is also a brilliant opportunity to network with local businesses , whilst appreciating technological advances and ideas.

The main awards will commence later that evening from 6.00pm with a red carpet drinks reception, canapes and the opportunity to hear from 2020 finalists who will take to the SoapBox to further present their innovations.

Will Whitehorn will be guest speaker – former president of Virgin Galactic and recently appointed president of UKspace.

As Richard Branson’s right hand man, Will took the space tourism venture, Virgin Galactic, from a vague dream to a project with real spacecraft and its own spaceport. Now involved in businesses from communication to tech to cutting-edge transport systems, including as a long-term non-exec with online estate agents Purplebricks. Will also considers brand, disruption and innovation in a world of fast-changing technology and increasing customer expectations.

Tickets for the awards presentation evening are priced each at £30 + VAT and can be purchased online via the event website and then by clicking the BUY TICKETS button.

To register your attendance at the exhibition or if you have further information regarding exhibiting or purchasing tickets to the awards presentation please email

LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards 2020: Nominations Close 15th Jan

The LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards 2020 will once again celebrate the very best technology, services, digital advances, and creative thinking that Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have to offer.  As well as celebrating the winners there will also be an expo featuring guests speakers sharing their expertise in innovation and technology and a chance for some of the county’s most exciting product developers and innovators to once again showcase their work.

To submit a nomination, visit