11 February 2020

Entrepreneurship Education showcased

Demo Day for Science and Business Management students

Entrepreneurship education is available at every faculty at Utrecht University. These are courses, minors or complete programmes in which a entrepreneurial mindset is stimulated and entrepreneurial skills are taught. This does not necessarily mean that students have to create a venture - employers also demand these skills. The Centre for Entrepreneurship went 'back to school' and attended a lecture on Fundamentals of Business and Economics: Entrepreneurship.

It's Demo Day! A well-known concept in the startup world: the closing pitch event for potential investors. Today, the students of the Master Science and Business Management of the Graduate School of Life Sciences finish the Entrepreneurship course by pitching their business idea to three knowledgeable ‘investors’: Niels Bosma (a.o. academic director Centre for Entrepreneurship), Leendert de Bell (lecturer-researcher entrepreneurship and international business) and Herman van den Berg (marketeer at UtrechtInc).

Venture creation in 7 weeks

During the course the master students went through the first steps of setting up a business. In the first lecture, seven weeks earlier, ideas were generated that have been improved in a number of iterations to the pitch given today, using Erik Ries' Lean Startup methodology. With a simple prototype instead of an elaborate idea, the students explored their markets. Do people like it? Is there a demand for it? What can the price be? Based on feedback, the idea was continuously tested, improved and re-tested with potential customers.

For companies of only seven weeks old it all looks very slick. Each company has a catchy company name and a prototype in the form of a website, animation or video. Attention to details has been paid: logos and slogans have been designed, sometimes even a minimal viable product has been created. One team dressed completely in black as part of their company branding.

Using a simple prototype instead of an elaborate idea, markets were explored.

The jury was appeased, scolded ("you may not be the target group, we are aiming for a young audience") and above all, taken very seriously. A few students consider continuing with their startup and discover if the idea is viable and gratefully accept all the feedback they can get. In the past, several students followed the HollandStartup validation programme after the course, says teacher Carla Costa.

So, what kind of startups did the Science and Business Management students come up with?

Booming business: bicycles!

No less than three out of eight groups were inspired cycling. Cyclebuddy wants to make sure that you never have to cycle home alone in the dark again. FietsLicht has come up with a solution for the bike lights that you always forget or that are stolen from your bike, hoping to reduce the number of traffic accidents involving cyclists. Flat tire? BikeRightBack comes to you to fix your tire.

If you have lost important items, hopefully you provided them with a QuickReturn QR code sticker first. EasyGym focuses on the fitness athlete with motivation problems and lack of guidance, whereas Rentaballs takes over organizing a baby shower for you. UniConnect offers a platform that matches students and internship supervisors for research assignments, and RoomforU uses 'personality games' to help student houses find a suitable new roommate.

Entrepreneurship Education at Utrecht University

Curious about the entrepreneurship education that Utrecht University offers, also outside the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance? Download our brochure!

Make your course more entrepreneurial (for teachers)

Are you a teacher, and are you curious about how you can make your own course more entrepreneurial? To this end, the Centre for Entrepreneurship offers workshops and an e-learning.

In this series of Entrepreneurship Education showcased, we visited a lecture on Intrapreneurship, part of the master Business Development & Entrepreneurship. Which course should we attend next? Please let us know at entrepreneurship@uu.nl