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International
Office Hours 3.0

Building bridges between international founders and UK investors

May - July 2024

Previously supported by:

Welcoming Early Stage Founders in the UK

International Office Hours (IOH) builds a bridge linking early-stage startups, either based in or relocating to the UK, with leading investors within the local ecosystem.

IOH is a unique opportunity for informal one-on-one sessions with some of the top VC players in the UK's investment community. It's a perfect chance to expand your investor network, receive feedback, and directly address your questions with industry experts.


For VCs, this is a fantastic way to meet yet-to-be-discovered, frequently overlooked, and often underrepresented founders.

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What is the Goal?

Please read carefully!

International Founders Open Office Hours is about building bridges. We strongly advise against treating this as a purely fundraising opportunity.

It is a way for you to obtain feedback on your product, advice as to specific issues you may have, inside track into the UK's markets and build contacts with your potential future investors. All of it with some of the biggest names in UK's early stage investments scene.

We are welcoming founders from all countries and social-economic backgrounds. 

Apply

Great, so whats next?

01

Have a clear idea of what you want to get out of the International Office Hours

02

Apply by filling in this form

03

We match you with one of the amazing participating investors who have experience in your sector

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You receive a calendar link for your 30 min meeting with full instructions

International Office Hours in numbers (since 2022):

328

Startups applied

62

Investors participated

500+

1-2-1 meetings organised

60+

Countries of origin

24%

Female founders

90%

Pre-seed, Seed-stage startups

46%

Founders need help with Network / Introductions

40%

of startups are registred in the Companies House

£35M+

of funding raised by startups taking part in Office Hours

A VC and want to join us?

We have some amazing VCs supporting this initiative. Please, apply below if you would like to join us

Our Partners and Friends

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We want to thank our amazing partners and friends for supporting this initiative!

Feedback

What do founders say about Office Hours?

‘Great initiative. [Investor] is full-of-warmth investor, with an immigrant story herself from her dad's side, and thus she wants to give back. We talked the same language, given that [Investor] is actively looking at the carbon markets, and looking at potential investments. We will connect afterwards, where she will share a list of potential pre-seed climate investors.'

'[Investor] was very helpful. I told him briefly about [Startup] and explained the fundraising challenges we were experiencing. He helped me better understand what angel investors are looking for and key metrics we need to work on.  '

'[Investor] was great, giving incredibly useful advice, enthusiastically listening and giving honest answers. I did appreciate a lot talking with him, and he gave me a lot to think about. I would very happily do it again!'

'I asked [Investor] about how VC works, what investors look for and how they make their money. I think this is important for navigating the fundraising landscape. [Investor] and I spoke about female fundraising and female founders and I'm going to join him at an event he is offering next month. '

About us

About us

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Blue Lake is an early-stage London-based Venture Capital Firm with a focus on Seed and Pre-Seed international founders.   Blue Lake's partners are immigrant founders from Ukraine and are committed to supporting startups from anywhere in the world coming to the UK. bluelakevc.com

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Tech Nation fuels the growth of game-changing founders, leaders and scaling companies so they can positively transform societies and economies.   Tech Nation provides them with the coaching, content and community they need for their journey in designing the future. ​ technation.io

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The Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP) is the UK Department for International Trade’s (DIT) flagship programme that enables ambitious, internationally mobile entrepreneurs and their innovation-rich companies to scale and internationalise from a UK global HQ through expert support of the programme’s Dealmakers. ​ gov.uk/dit

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Dr Robyn Klingler-Vidra is Associate Dean, Global Engagement, and Reader in Entrepreneurship and Sustainability at King’s Business School. She is the author of The Venture Capital State: The Silicon Valley Model in East Asia (Cornell University Press, 2018) and Inclusive Innovation (Routledge, 2022), and Startup Capitalism (2025). Her research focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation, and venture capital and has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including International Affairs, New Political Economy, and Regulation & Governance. Robyn obtained her BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan and her MSc and PhD in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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Juanita González-Uribe is an Associate Professor at LSE and co-director of the Financial Markets Group. She holds a PhD in finance and economics from Columbia University. Her research focuses on entrepreneurship, private equity, innovation, and policy. Her work has been published in prestigious journals, and has won several prizes, including the Jaime Fernandez de Araoz Award (JFA, 2017).

Media about us

For immigrant founders in the UK, office hours with VCs are rocket fuel
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Any questions?

Contact us at hello@bluelakevc.com

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