Young entrepreneurs: running student startups at Venture Lab
Oresund region without any doubt is one of the Northern Europe’s leading startup hotpots. With several prominent universities the region is rich with young professionals, talented students and recent graduates that are ready to challenge themselves and start their own businesses. However, how does it feel to be a young entrepreneur? To answer the question, we asked three students who are running their startups from Venture Lab about their experiences – Veronika Nešverová, Erik Wilson, and Sofie Woge.
Meet: Workshoppa, Bylife, Tendo
Veronika’s project Workshoppa is a platform where you can find all sorts of practical and creative workshops taught by passionate individuals, so anyone can learn new skills without attending the whole course. It is the most recent project at Venture Lab. However, it is moving forward fast, and Veronika is planning to launch the website already in April.
Erik works on even more futuristic project – Bylife, which is aimed “to bring the nature indoors”. The project is built around technical platform where a robot takes care of plants, so that we could enjoy having plants at home, but avoid the worry of taking care of them.
Sofie’s project “Tendo” is one of the most mature projects, and it’s on the edge of turning into a real business. The idea is with the help of the artificial strength (robotic hand) create independence for those who can’t do the everyday activities on their own for whatever reasons. Sofie has been in Venture Lab for more than a year and is now ready to make the next step – start production of the prototype.
Balancing between studies and running a company
All of the young entrepreneurs have one thing in common, they started their projects while they still were students. They didn’t know much about the entrepreneurial world or business sphere. They just had ideas they believed in and didn’t want to leave them behind. However, it is not as easy to believe in yourself:
“I’ve always believed strongly in my own idea, but in the beginning I had a hard time believing that I could do it on my own. As I didn’t have the experience I had to learn many things. But it turned out that if you really want to – then everything is possible,” – shares Sofie from Tendo.
Of course, another challenge is to combine a project with studies and find time for both. But according to Veronika from Workshoppa, with the right prioritizing everything is possible. And then there is always external help that students can rely on, such as Venture Lab – Lund University’s own student incubator that inspires and supports students with their ventures. There students get free working spaces, mentoring, practical workshops and a good network.
“I cannot imagine getting my project this far without being a part of the venture lab. If I were on my own in my room, I would have probably given up long time ago,” – says Veronika.
Young entrepreneurs advice: Don’t be afraid
Like any startup project, student-driven startups are full of challenges. But with the right support and the right mindset in place, what starts as a student venture besides studies can become a large scale international business. Just look at the Venture Lab’s graduate Sensative.
“Doing your own project might be challenging and risky but it’s worth it. Don’t be afraid and take that leap of faith to achieve something great,” – advises Erik from Bylife.
If you are thinking of starting a company besides your studies, come visit Venture Lab and see if it’s a place for you.
Photo credit: News Oresund