Do you have entrepreneurial dreams, or do you have a great idea?
At the various institutions and engineering programmes, entrepreneurship and innovation are supported in different ways. But common to all programmes is that, as a student, you have some really great opportunities to test out a good idea.
Ask the question 'Why'?
A good idea or a good product must meet the needs of others. It must be a solution to a problem or something which creates value for others.
"We place great emphasis on having our students work with ‘why’ a lot. Why does the solution create value for others? If your idea does not fulfil a need, it will not take off," says Sarah-Isabel Lykke Cobos from VIA Student Incubator in Horsens.
According to Sarah-Isabel Lykke Cobos, you have to be quite clear about who your customer is and what it is that you solve for the customer. If you do not know who your customers are and what you solve for them, your idea is not going to go very far.
How do I get started?
No matter how good or thoroughly prepared an idea or product you have, there are things which need to be adjusted, but you will not discover them until you begin to test the product on your target group. It is important that you set out to get some feedback from your users immediately.
“You have to go out and test your idea. Have a prototype made and have it tested by your target group as quickly as possible. Do not spend too long making the first prototype, do not let the fact that it is not finished stop you. The most important thing is that you get out there and test your idea quickly," says Sarah-Isabel Lykke Cobos.
Actually, it can be an advantage if your product is not too ‘finished’ when you test it. This will invite your users to tell you about their needs and wants to an even greater extent, and you need that feedback if you wish to create a product which creates value for your target group.
Take advantage of your opportunities
As a student, you have a lot of good opportunities to try out life as an entrepreneur. At your educational institution, there are different forms of entrepreneurial support or student incubators which are happy to help you move on.
"Use the options available to you while you are a student. You have time, you have options, and many people who would like to help you. As a student, you have options which you do not have after graduation," says Sarah-Isabel Lykke Cobos.
You will often be able to get support and guidance, and in some places, office spaces are made available to you while you work on your idea. Perhaps there are also business contacts which can take you further in your process.
Explore the offers available at your educational institution and make sure to make use of the opportunities you have while still a student.