On the 7th of October, the organised the “Thesis to Startup” event: a 3-hour introduction to the InnoEnergy Highway and how we as students can get involved in it. There were over 20 attendees in the event, including SELECT and SENSE students, InnoEnergy staff and community members.
It has been only one month into the school year, and the InnoEnergy Eindhoven CommUnity has already hosted its third event. This event featured two key parts, the first of which involved a detailed introduction to the IE Highway. Tom Huizer and Steven Barten, both of whom work with the Highway, started the afternoon by giving us valuable advice on how we might go about applying for funding for our own startups. Then, we engaged in an interactive challenge where we combined our skills with those of our table to make a balanced team and find out who we might need to hire (my team just needed a rich and experienced angel investor). Afterwards, we took the role of IE Highway employees, evaluating whether a startup led by our team might have what it takes to be successful. I found this particularly interesting, as it is one of the few times where you could see how incubators and accelerators read between the lines to make sure the companies they support have value.
The second part of the event was the game component, where we were quizzed on what services the Highway provides, what are the best ways to approach a first investor and how to make a first sale. We also had a fun challenge involving “hitting your target market” by, well, throwing a ball at a target. While most of our shots were way off, one of my team’s Marketing Representatives managed to find the bullseye, which ended up being just enough to bring our team to victory. The event closed with a discussion by Marloes Wichink Kruit on the many ways InnoEnergy is supporting students to make their own startups.
Between the networking, the games and the drinks, all in all it was quite a fun-filled event. It was also a good introduction to the many ways the CommUnity is working to support students in creating startups. For someone like me who is nervous about the risks of building my own startup, I was comforted to see just how many resources are out there for us to get started. I definitely feel more confident now in my ability to start my own business!
By Sergio Costa
In collaboration with the CommUnity Post
23 October 2016