Getting To Know: Startup Grind Brighton


We recently spoke to Kristina Pereckaite and Sophie Ugur – the organisers behind Startup Grind Brighton – to learn more about their new event series that’s helping entrepreneurs in the region.

Read on if you’re looking to hear from local entrepreneurs, discover their key learnings and advice, and connect with others growing their business locally.

Can you tell us about Startup Grind and who it’s for?

Startup Grind is the world’s largest startup community with over 3.5M entrepreneurs in over 600 cities. Our mission is to give startups everywhere the education and opportunities they need to build, grow and scale their companies. Our 3 values are to help others, give before you take and make friends, not contacts.

What can attendees expect from the events?

Those attending can expect monthly fireside chats with founders who have scaled their own businesses to extreme success. Our events begin and end with an hour of networking where everyone has a chance to meet and get to know other local entrepreneurs and enjoy pizza and drinks.

You always have a fantastic line-up of speakers, what’s your approach to finding them?

The Brighton Chapter of Startup Grind is hosted by our team at South East Angels and we have been deeply embedded in the local startup ecosystem for a while now, so this helps.

We also like to stay in the know by following growing sectors and interesting people at early points in their journey, which helps us to discover talented people that may not have already been in the limelight.

Our biggest trick though is caring about our speaker’s and community’s experience with us. If they have a good time, they will recommend other people for us to reach out to.

What do you / the audience learn or find most valuable from the talks?

Our approach is to interview our speakers in an informal manner rather than asking them to prepare a polished talk, as the conversation ends up feeling much more authentic.

This means we get to hear stories from the speaker they may not have shared anywhere else and get into advice and tips we can all apply from those stories. It is refreshing to hear about the beginning of successful founders’ journeys and how they are not dissimilar to all of us.

Can you tell us a bit about your own background and the work you do at South East Angels?

South East Angels is Brighton’s most active business angel investor community. We’re deeply embedded in the local startup ecosystem and act as the go-to hub for startups raising early-stage funding in the region.

Prior to South East Angels, I [Kristina Pereckaite] ran Brighton’s largest entrepreneur programme, with a community not too dissimilar to that of Startup Grind. Our team consists of Sophie Ugur who looks after our Startup Relations and our two Strategic Advisors, Alex Cowell and Claire James.

How did you come to work with Silicon Brighton and what benefits and support have you seen?

Partnering with Silicon Brighton was a no brainer as they’re one of the most active tech communities in the area. Our partnership with Silicon Brighton has enabled us to capture and share our local events to the global Startup Grind community, giving the speakers global coverage.

Where can people connect with you? Or learn more about Startup Grind in general?

  1. Visit the Startup Grind Brighton page to watch back one of our previous fireside chats or to view our upcoming events.

  2. If you are a startup seeking funding, check out the South East Angels website for our criteria, to apply for funding, and for some useful resources for your raise.

  3. Connect with our Startup Relations Executive, Sophie.

Any advice and tips for others looking to run an event?

  1. Have a clear objective for your event. What bit of value do you want all of your attendees to leave with? Don’t just run an event for an event’s sake.

  2. Know your audience and what’s important to them.

  3. Think about the little details – they make an event memorable.

Get involved with Startup Grind Brighton!

You can learn more about Startup Grind Brighton here and don’t forget to check the Silicon Brighton Hub for details of these and other upcoming digital, tech and creative events happening in the region.

Kristina Pereckaite

Kristina Pereckaite, Director, South East Angels

Sophie Ugur, Events Coordinator, South East Angels