Creativity, hard work and determination: Startup24 Utrecht

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On Friday the 10th of November, Startup24 Utrecht took place at the Seats2Meet Utrecht CS location. Startup 24 is a national event with local representation aimed at Bachelor students who will experience what it is to be an entrepreneur and have a startup in a practical, easy and fun way. This year, Startup24 is an initiative of 12 different student organizations, StartupDelta, Dutch tech hubs, Booking.com and Takeaway.com to have students experience what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in just 24 hours.

Prince Constantijn and Ingrid van Engelshoven (new Minister for Education, Culture and Science) kicked-off the event, Daan Rijpkema and Jelle Kok were the presenters of the evening. The prince mentioned that a lot has changed over decades. In earlier times, students didn’t even think about starting an enterprise while studying. The most important thing for universities is to give students time and possibilities to get involved with entrepreneurship: it needs a big boost. He called out for action: step out and set up your own entreprise! As for StartupDelta, where he fulfils the role of Special Convoy, they’re planning to help enterprises from high potentials to accelerate growth. After the countdown, the students were determined to work out a winning concept and they were off ricardoverheijgoedto a flying start…

Here’s how Ricardo Verheij, team member of Enactus Utrecht, experienced his 24 hours:

 “We wanted to invent a new concept for a social enterprise, that we can elaborate later this year for Enactus Utrecht. At Enactus, I’m part of the Denktank, where our main focus is to test out new concepts. After our brainstorm session, we came up with walking tours which are not aimed at the well-known hotspots of Utrecht, but aimed at the special stories that residents have with our city. We thought it was interesting to see Utrecht through the eyes of a homeless person, an artist, migrant or ex-detainee. Even for current inhabitants, it can be refreshing to experience the city in another way. During the event, we were inspired in many ways: through workshops we learned all about business models, presenting and developing a lean startup. Moreover, we got the chance to get advice from different entrepreneurs who started their own innovative startup. Because our concept wasn’t fixed, we could easily change it based on their feedback. Like every entrepreneur, we started with all sorts of assumptions. Do residents really enjoy participating in these tours? How much do they want to spend on that? Are there any interesting storytellers who want to share their stories with us? On Saturday, we went downtown to pitch our idea and get in contact with storytellers and other organizations of walking tours. We even started our own Facebook campaign. The received feedback is of great importance for us to improve our concept. Startup 24 was the ideal tool to invent a new enterprise and work out our concept. Due to time pressure and guidance of professionals, we set up a startup in 24 hours that creates social impact, is easy to set up and has the potential to scale up. We’re definitely going to make sure this enterprise will be launched in Utrecht!”

The winning concepts of the 24-hour event have the chance to elaborate their idea at UtrechtInc, where they can build up a network and receive guidance of professionals. All in all, Startup24 Utrecht 2017 was a success, where many new ideas have emerged! Are you curious about Ricardo’s concept? Like their Facebook page.

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