This fall MVP Workshop launches The Startup Center, intended for all students of the University of Belgrade and private universities, who want to make their first step towards an exciting World of Entrepreneurship.
Over the last three months, we’ve been planning one of the most audacious experiments in entrepreneurship since World War II, with the Centre for corporate relations at Faculty of Economics.
Fusion of Traditional and Modern
The program is open to students from all disciplines and from any public or private Faculty in Belgrade. We welcome interdisciplinary teams of one or more. As you all know University of Belgrade is the biggest and the oldest higher education institution in the region. As such it was a huge challenge to merge tradition and modern.
We believe Traditional Economic is the rut for new business models. Although it may not seems that way at first glance. We are here to erase the boundaries and bring traditional and modern knowledge together.
We’ll try and help students understand the importance of Startups in today’s Economy and how to implement newly acquired knowledge in developing their own companies. Last month we held intro lecture about this project.
Our aspiration is to help teams identify unmet customer needs, design new products or services that meet those needs and develop business models to support the creation and launch of the new products or services.
Even those teams that do not successfully launch a venture, or that decide not to move forward, will learn critical techniques about starting and launching a venture. By the end of the course, teams will have developed, prototyped, and tested a novel product or service, a business model, and a company creation plan.
This is a demanding course that pushes students onto fast track but provides the resources to help them navigate the challenges of implementing an early-stage startup idea.
Highlights of the SC’s offerings include:
- Everyday access to co-working space at the vibrant StartUp Centar equipped with tools for ideation, prototyping and validating;
- Weekly one-to-one advising with founders, venture capitalists, product experts, industry veterans, and professors from various faculties;
- Online and offline channels to facilitate support and collaboration from mentors;
- Participation at Demo Day — an opportunity to present your business idea and solicit feedback from top investors and industry professionals;
- Close ties with startup industry organizations to provide students with relevant connections and networking opportunities.
How does Startup Center work?
Teams will define and refine their target market, conduct primary market research and build knowledge about their customers and users. They will run experiments to validate or invalidate their key hypotheses with potential customers.They will be building and nurturing their founding team. Finally, they will make progress on the mechanics of starting their venture.
Maximize Learning – Minimize Time to Market
Maximized learning is a core tenet of this program. Teams will update the cohort every week with the progress they have made and get a chance to pose any questions or requests for help. Teams will often pair up to help each other with found issues, especially Customer Interviews, and give each other valued feedback.
Mentor Lectures and Guest talks
We will help teams expand their knowledge of entrepreneurship techniques and frameworks via guest talks by thought leaders on topics of interest.
StartUp Center Ventures will culminate in Demo Day event at the end of a three-month program. Students will have the opportunity to pitch their startups to investors and members of the press to kick-start their ventures and reach escape velocity.
StartUp Centar @Ekof 2017 runs from October and it will last for three months. A program starts with Pre-month of Intro Lectures about the importance of Startups in today’s Economy.
Details and dates TBD.
- In their first month, we will ensure students can define their Problem Statement, Target Market and start doing Customer Development;
- The second month is reserved for collecting Customer Data, students should know how to work on their assumptions, constructs and define their MVP;
- In their last month teams should complete their Go to Market Strategy, Budget Forecast and know how to defend it.
Your team must contain at least one member and no more than five members. All team members should be founders or founder-level (so don’t list any interns or others who are not committed to becoming full-time entrepreneurs through this project).
At least one team member must be a current student at Faculty of Economics (we have a moral obligation:). For this application process, students who enrolled Bachelor, Master or Ph.D. studies in October of the current year are considered current students at Faculty of Economics.
Teams must commit working full time in the office space at the Startup Center for the duration of 3 months and present their product at Demo Day event in December.
Teams must have demonstrable experience and understanding of the entrepreneurial process and must demonstrate familiarity with common frameworks including disciplined entrepreneurship, lean startup, business model canvas, and the like.
Teams cannot simultaneously take part in any other accelerator or incubator program. Teams must be working full-time within the StartUp Centar program.
We are looking for teams that can get significant gain from the program. We’re not just taking the teams that are close to being full-fledged companies.
There should be one entry per founding team.
- Applicants shall fill out an online application form in which they will outline details about their team, their idea, the problem they are trying to solve, the value they are providing to customers,the size of presumed market, etc.
- Applicants shall also upload filled Business Model Canvas and Customer Interviews in the application form. Biographies/CVs of all team members need to be uploaded as well.
All needed templates you can download here.
Applications for the 2017 program were open from July 1 and it will last until September 15.
The applications will be reviewed by a team of judges. The commission consists of the MVP Workshop representatives and faculty members. Criteria for grading startups will be:
- Value proposition
- Market size
- Team quality
- Product stage
Teams will be notified of their acceptance status by the end of September.
You’re building Your Own Business
We could wrap this up with some brilliant quote from any amazing person from this line of business. But we’re not gonna do that. The idea of startup center above all is to be a place where, entrepreneurial minds in the making, and we all now that Belgrade University has a lot of them, can put all pieces of the puzzle together and make exquisite Product!
This is a great opportunity for the young people to work on concrete projects and hear from the professionals who are the best in their filed of work. Great job!