Beyond networking: What immigrant founders in the UK want from VC office hours

Lyubov Guk, Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe, Robyn Klingler-Vidra

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationEditorial


After facilitating more than 300 office hours for immigrant entrepreneurs entering the U.K. market, what have we learned about who these founders are and the challenges they face?

Introductions for a soft landing can be crucial, but the real value lies in gleaning substantive feedback from experienced investors.

It’s about what your network can teach you and help you obtain (e.g., an opportunity to pitch), not just the number of connections you have.

We ran the first version of the Blue Lake International Office Hours in 2022, which showed initial evidence that the trend of VCs offering office hours can deliver real value, especially to immigrant founders entering the U.K. ecosystem.

In the second edition, which ran in March 2023, we wanted to continue making helpful introductions, but we also wanted to more systematically understand just what, exactly, was so useful about office hours.

With this aim, we developed our application and post-meeting feedback forms to better identify two things: (1) ahead of the meeting, what do founders say they most want to get out of the office hours with investors and (2) after the meeting, what do they say they appreciate most? Said differently: Do founders ultimately value the aspects of the meeting as they think they will?
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationTechCrunch
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond networking: What immigrant founders in the UK want from VC office hours'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this