Starting a start-up: just do it!
The Auditorium of the TU Aula was almost packed for this event, for which around 500 students and professors got a ticket. The schedule was filled with four speakers and a pitch battle, in which three students pitched their start-ups to a jury, to win €1,000. In the first hour, visitors could look at several prototypes from YES!Delft start-ups, including the Somnox sleep robot, Atmos’ new drone for aerial data collection and the Exobuddy, a military exoskeleton from Intespring. Then the Auditorium opened for the symposium, hosted by Josh Rachford, a writer and actor at Boom Chicago, an improvisation comedy group based in Amsterdam.
Written by TU Delta
The symposium was kicked off by Lotte Leufkens, co-founder of the start-up Cloud Cuddle. Leufkens was studying mechanical engineering at TU Delft when she met the father of a severely disabled child. His child could not sleep in normal beds because of his epilepsy, so Lotte vowed to design a bed that was safe and portable, to give parents of severely disabled children more freedom. The ball started rolling, and now Cloud Cuddle is a successful start-up, the product is officially on the market and Lotte won the TEDx Women Startup Award. Her message to the audience is that if you have a good idea that you believe in, you can do it, even if you are a student with little money. And she realised something else: investors do not primarily invest in the idea itself, but they invest in you! If you can show them you have the determination and the belief in your idea, you are a long way there.
Julian Jagtenberg was an industrial design student when he did a minor in robotics. He became inspired by soft robotics and with his team, developed the first design of Somnox: a soft robot that helps people sleep longer and better by simulating breathing, relaxing audio and affection. His advice to the audience was to just do it and be persistent. It is not easy being an entrepreneur, and there are times when you are close to giving up. But if your idea is good enough and you stand your ground, you may end up with a successful start-up, just like Julian.
Marnix Broer also studied in Delft and is co-founder of StudeerSnel. On this website, university and college students can share their notes of lectures and summaries of books. In this way, students do not have to summarise books that have already been summarised many times, but they can just find the summary on the site. Marnix advises students who want to start a start-up to do it now, while they are still studying. If you wait a couple of years, you might have a house or a family, and it will be far more difficult to take the leap. He also told students to make sure they have a team around them that they can have fun with and discuss important decisions.
Michiel Muller is a classic example of a serial entrepreneur. Among other companies, he co-founded the Tango unmanned gas stations in the Netherlands and Route Mobiel, a service that helps people with car breakdowns. Currently, he is co-founder of Picnic, a company that delivers groceries to people’s doorsteps with a very short waiting time and no delivery charge. He told the audience that with all of his successful start-ups, people told him that it was impossible, but he proved them all wrong. How? He believed in his idea and he persisted. Another piece of advice he gave was to not think too much about what might go wrong: “even if you think of 100 problems that might occur, you can never really predict what is going to happen and, in my experience, it is often the 101st problem that you did not think of that actually does happen.”
Start-up Challenge, Brought to you by committee EX
Yes!Students Night – Brought to you by the media committee
Global Entrepreneurship Week
Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is an international initiative that introduces entrepreneurship to young people. More than 160 countries participate, and there are more than 100 events in the Netherlands. YES!Delft Students is organising this on the TU Delft campus.
Monday – Kick-Off
On Monday the 13th of november, the kick-off event took place to inspire interested. The evening started around 17:45 with a glass of champagne and a DJ playing good music. While more people gathered in front of the aula, the kick-off started with an inspiring presentation of a succesful entrepreneur Ide Swager from Momo Medical who was followed by another inspiring story of Dirk the Bruijn, co-founder of ‘SwapFiets’. After all, it was a succesful evening.
Tuesday – Building your own Business
On Tuesday at 18:00 students enjoyed a free dinner in the Orange Room of the TU Delft Library. As a part of the Global Entrepeneurship Week the 1-2-Startup Weekend committee organized the How To Write a Business Plan workshop. The aim was to provide TU Delft students with some basic knowledge on the steps involved when starting their own company. The workshop proved very popular since people signed up in great numbers, and it was quickly fully booked. During the workshop Pepijn, Robbert Jan and Emma of the YES!Delft team explained to the participants how they could use a so-called Business Model Canvas to easily structure their ideas, and make a visual representation of the various parts of their business plan. The instructors gave a very engaging presentation, and everyone had great fun brainstorming about their start-up ideas. Afterwards, participants stuck around for quite a while to ask the instructors questions about building their start-up. The workshop was a great success, and the 1-2 Startup Weekend committee is considering to regularly organize similar events.
Wednesday – Think like a Venture Capitalist/ YES!Delft Students Night
When you start your own business, you need to raise capital. To check out which techniques venture capitalists use to assess if you are the one getting the money.
Thursday – Transportation of the future talk/ Do it Game
On Thursday there was a lunch lecture on the Transport of the Future. The goal of the inspirational lecture was to inspire students about futuristic transportation, to think further than existing transport methods. The two speakers, who studied in Delft and have years of experience with entrepreneurship at YES!Delft, shared their stories about the start of their company, the idea for the business model and the progress they made during the years. One of the successfactors of the event was the the diversity of the two startups. Students could discover the two different branches, with their various market sizes, services, profits potential and communication lines. For example, SwapFiets discovering a highly potential market whereas Atmos UAV developed a specific product that has to meet a very specific customer. In order to encourage the creativitity in question asking, the student with the most creative question would win 2 months of Swapfiets. For Swapfiets, the question: ‘How do you create enthusiasm for your product or service?’ was the most triggering question for business success. In comparison to Swapfiets, Atmos UAV got lots of attention concerning the technology of their product. In short, the lecture contained a crowded lecture room, enthusiastic speakers, interested students and a smooth process.
You got acquainted with two contrasting visions. Around 18:00 there was a ‘Do-It game’ organised by the X-committee at the YesDelft building. This evening included a free dinner as well. The Do-It game consists of making your own successful start-up with a team.
Friday – Tour through YES!Delft
A tour was organised on Friday through the building that houses most of the Delft startups. In this tour YesDelft opened its doors to all the interested students.
In the tabs below you can find the pictures of the Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Meet the inspirational lecture comittee!
YES!Delft Student Night at Café de Ruif
On Tuesday the 13th of february the Media committee organised a student night in Cafe de Ruif. The evening started around 5 pm at Yes Delft where all the committees followed a workshop. The workshop was taught by a professional who explained to us how to write a business plan. Every committee got to make their own business plan and present it to the rest.
After the activity we ate some pizza’s and around 8 o’clock we went to Café de Ruif. Earlier the day the Media committee already decorated the place in polar theme with blue details.
Good friends, acquaintances and other interested people showed up for a nice chat and beer and in the end everybody was very enthusiatic about the night!
More people showed up than we expected which was very nice to see! We want to thank all those for the amazing night!
With lots of love,
The Media Committee