…by Lukas / from Czech Republic / studies Informatics & Mathematics / 1st Year (UG)
I think everyone has experienced an event that has unexpectedly turned the world that one thinks he knows into an adventurous universe of unknown. For me, one of these events was the very first meeting with Launch.ed’s business advisor Alison Gee. Thrilled and eyes glaring with a new idea, I came there, wanting to discover it’s potential. She asked me, “What kind of problem is your product solving?” And this very question turned my thinking processes upside down. It resonates in my head every time I hear about a new startup or new idea and despite the fact that I could not properly answer the question, it motivated me more than anything else.
About four months ago, as an experience-seeking fresher I came to Edinburgh without any knowledge that it is one of the most entrepreneurial cities in Europe, home to Skyscanner and FanDuel, a Disneyland for innovators. What is more, the University of Edinburgh facilitates many programs that fulfil my urge to get the most out of my university experience. Alison advised me on many opportunities and events, most of which I have attended in the past semester. I would like to share my unique and profound experience from a truly inspirational event called “3 Day Startup”.
Under the leadership of Maya, University of Texas professor and entrepreneur at heart, the 65 participants formed groups and began developing our ideas. What was particular about this event was that it got my hands dirty through the actual execution of an idea: something that any theoretical course on entrepreneurship lacks. We talked to potential customers, created lean canvases, and after three intense days pitched our ideas to a panel of judges. Even more than skills and experiential knowledge, I have gained motivation. I have found out what an exciting and constantly evolving lives entrepreneurs have. I remember walking back home Sunday evening, exhausted yet with a smile composed of energizing knowledge of which direction I want my life to go to.
In addition to Launch.ed, there are several other tremendous opportunities for potential entrepreneurs in Edinburgh. The University of Edinburgh Business School’s eClub regularly organizes presentations with outstanding speakers, followed by networking with wine and beer, which is as inspirational as the lecture itself. Business Gateway organizes many workshops, each concentrating on a particular area of entrepreneurship and as it is not connected to the University body, it is a great opportunity to meet people outside of the University’s scope.
I feel that the picture of Edinburgh from Arthur’s seat – that moment of seeing it covered by the northern sky and inhaling sea’s breeze – truly reflects the culture here. The fresh blood running through magnificent Gothic buildings creates an innovation-driven community which pushes one’s goals even higher. My unintentional arrival into the heart of entrepreneurship is fortunate for me, and I shall explore all the opportunities that are here.
*If you would like to learn more about 3 Day Startup and Launch.ed see their website: www.launch.ed.ac.uk*