Some of you might have seen it (OK, most won’t have) but I have a couple of new gigs going, one of which is Emerge Venture Lab‘s Emerge Education programme. It launched last week in style on L39 in Canary Wharf (yes, we were looking at you, you bankers).

Be it as it may, I am now a Venture Partner there. And I am thrilled to be there. Swanky title, you say, what else? Here’s what: Emerge merged (oooh) a couple of rather sweet things into one coherent offering, namely:

  • The guys come out of Oxford University’s prestigious Said Business School and have hence, per se, a pretty awesome pedigree AND network. But these are not your usual millenials. They put their talent to hard, hard work and assembled a team of mentors that is mind-bogglingly good: you will find a network of insanely gifted (and successful) entrepreneurs there that comprise the true heavyweights of today: tons of entrepreneurs, investors, big corporates (yes, Google is also there) and public ventures (like NESTA) are there.
  • I would suggest (but of course I would say that) that your chances of finding follow-on funding are better here than anywhere else because of the above. Why (besides that bloody awesome advisor list)? Oh, just read on…
  • Emerge have managed to compile a list of top-tier educational institutions that will work with you to hone your application or service before it hits the market. So the next time Mr Big Investor asks you if you have any proof it works, you will just coolly whip out that Oxford Uni study. Not bad, huh? And if you think that this still is all my usual BS, just think of the sell-in cycles in education. Then pause. Then think of what Oxford University on your PowerPoint might actually do for you. With me?

Everything aside, I am truly excited by what Emerge has achieved in a very short space of time. They have managed to navigate the insanely complex and dangerous seas of the educational minefields to assemble something that should accelerate aspiring ventures in the field in the true sense of the word. If you come out of this programme, you will have had your product vetted not only by passionate entrepreneurs but also by real clients. And that, my friends, is pretty astonishing for an accelerator programme, don’t you think?

And, yes, that’s why I am excited, and, yes, that’s why I am here! Get in touch, talk to us, apply to the programme here!