50 students and other participants were recently at 3 Day Startup Agder where they learnt how to develop business ideas and sell their ideas to potential customers. The goal is to give university students the skills to start their own business.
“The workshop gave me a good introduction to entrepreneurship. I have a better understanding of the whole process, and I learnt how to pitch an idea in a simple and concise manner”, Tone Karoline Solberg says.
The workshop took three days, and the participants were expected to develop a business idea and generate a business model.
Solberg is a Master’s student in the Political Science and Management programme. In addition to studying, Solberg is also set to inherit a farm in Iveland. When she takes over the farm, she wants to progress the business innovatively.
“I want to use the farm for some kind of social work. This workshop has given me better insight into social entrepreneurship and working methods to move forward developing an idea”, Solberg says.
The 3 Day Startup programme name comes from the organisation carrying the same name invited by UiA Nyskaping to hold the workshop. The organisation is American and delivers hands-on entrepreneurship education to students across the world.
“The point of the workshop is not to have a revolutionary idea. It is more about the process, growing and developing an idea. It is about planning, looking at target groups, developing a sales pitch and the complete business model”, says Stian Westbye, initiator from UiA Nyskaping.
According to Westbye, it is important that students learn about value creation in business and industry.
“The workshop teaches the students that they have several career options. Once their studies are completed, most of the students find work in small and medium-sized businesses. With this workshop, we want to show that you can also start your own business, alone or with partners”, Westbye says.
During the workshop, mentors from business participated counselling the various groups. Terje Klungland (CEO of CoWorx), Javier Zahn (CEO of OffshoreCrew), Andreas Eskeland (Skagerak Maturo), Dagfinn Andersen, Otto Isaksen (CEO of Digin), Stine Øyna (Assistant Professor UiA) and Muris Letic (Adviser UiA Nyskaping) took part.
The workshop ended with participants presenting their final pitches to a panel of mentors and investors from business and industry in Agder. On the panel were Trine Omholt (Morgenfugl), Atle Tjelflaat (EVA-senteret), Trond Erik Bogne (NextGenTel) and Leif Arne Dalane (Sharebox). They all have experience creating their own employment.
The mentors participated during the whole workshop coaching the students and providing guidance.
For the organisation 3 Day Startup, this is their first event in Scandinavia.
“The goal of these programmes is to help students find several paths for their career. We want to give them an entrepreneurial mindset and skills”, says Dr Christina White, director of programs at 3 Day Startup.
White is impressed with the participants she met. She says the links to local business in the region are strong, and that they care about entrepreneurship.
“Many good mentors give guidance to the participants. The mentors have their own experiences starting their own businesses. It shows that there is good cooperation between businesses and entrepreneurs here in Agder”, White says.
UiA Nyskaping is grateful that the facilitators from 3 Day Startup and the participants have had some productive days.
“It is particularly fun to be able to hold the workshop on the premises of Gridd.ai in Kjøita. It is a student project at UiA Nyskaping which is doing really well”, Westbye says.