Today we visited the Student Inc. Programme which is financed by KTH Innovation as part of the online & offline assignment for the KTH Entrepreneurship course. Student Inc. is an organization that helps start-ups and young entrepreneurs through the first phases of their journey towards building their own company.
When you want to apply to the programme there are a few requirements each group has to fulfill. First of all and most importantly the majority of the start-up team have to be students at KTH and the idea has to be “technical”. Additionally other criteria have to be met, e.g. that the idea has to be innovative, a lot of research must be done before beeing accepted, etc. After meetings with business coaches in order to discuss, develop and improve initial ideas the teams that are accepted go through 3 phases.
In the first phase, called “Initiation” the entrepreneurs are supposed work on their ideas, do further research, develop the product and after 3 months do a pitch to the business coaches in order to move on to the second phase.
In the second phase, “Development”, the aim is to actually launch the product/enterprise and bring it to market during approximately six months before moving on to the last phase after another pitch .
The third phase, “Phase out”, helps the entrepreneurs to prepare to stand on their own feet, so to speak, and being able to continue their journey by themselves.
During our visit we heard a lot about different ideas and the different stages the entrepreneurs find themselves in. To maybe highlight one of the organizations which have already left Student Inc. I would like to mention Help to Help, a NGO that gathers money through crowdfunding in order to pay tuition fees for children in developing countries, an idea which in my opinion is very inspiring and noteworthy.
What Student Inc. provides for the students is guidance through business coaches and ongoing meetings in order to discuss the progress of the idea, offices to work in and for special, promising teams even a network of high-profile investors.
Since time was running out in the end we were not able to pitch our ideas to My Klint, the Manager of Student Inc., but agreed upon sending our individual ideas to her and then receiving initial feedback from in return. So during the next week we will start introducing our ideas on this blog and keep you updated on constructive feedback and how that will affect our developing process.
To leave you with there were some things My told us that are essential when it comes to Entrepreneurship. First of all when in doubt about which idea you should pursue: always follow your passion. Second of all: you need a lot of persistence when you want to be en entrepreneur since you will always start broke and will inevitably face many ups and downs on the way. But nevertheless the rewards you get, when for example your first customer likes your idea or you sell the first exemplar of your product, are worth all the pain you have endure on the way.