The Drum 30 under 30 women in digital 2013 highlights the top 30 women under the age of 30 making an impact in digital. Here, we catch up with Alice Bentinck, co-founder, Entrepreneur First.
The Drum 30 under 30 women in digital is an annual platform recognising the next generation of digital talent. Over the course of 30 days we will be running interviews with each of the women profiled, to give more insight into their careers so far, professional achievements, and what they see as the next big game changers in digital.Today's profiled individual is Alice Bentinck, co-founder, Entrepreneur First.What is your biggest professional achievement so far?
Founding Entrepreneur First. What is the biggest challenge you've overcome in your career?
I set up Entrepreneur First (EF) two years ago with a colleague from McKinsey. EF is now the leading graduate accelerator in the UK and in our first year we created 11 startups valued at $32m nine months later. Two of the first cohort are now funded by Y Combinator and three of them have raised in excess of £1.5m in funding. We have revolutionised the accelerator market by taking individuals before they have a team, or an idea and we are the only accelerator worldwide to run this model. One of my proudest achievements is that we are now the second biggest recruiter of Cambridge Computer Scientists. This is after only two years in operation and with a full-time team of only two people. Getting Entrepreneur First funded in the early days was pretty tricky – it took a lot of hard graft, but we got there in the end! I learnt a lot about selling which I hadn't really had experience of before. What would you like to be remembered for?
For changing the way top graduates see their career choices – founding a high growth tech start-up will become as prestigious as joining the best banks and consultancies. Who inspires you most professionally or personally?
My co-founder Matt Clifford is pretty awesome. It's important to work with someone who you admire, respect and can learn from. What would you be doing if you weren't doing this?
Founding a tech startup – Matt and I were about to start working on another idea when we decided to pursue Entrepreneur First instead. Our other idea was terrible (that's another story), so I'm glad we went with Entrepreneur First! How do you relax?
It's pretty hard to do in London, but I have been carriage driving horses competitively since I was small and find this is a good counter to being submerged in the digital world. I'm originally from the New Forest, so I need my fix of trees and greenery every so often. This series will run for the duration of October. Yesterday's featured individual was Felicia Makowska, strategy manager, Deloitte MCS