In a period of 4 weeks, which started at the 15th of March, eleven new startups joined the Erasmus Startup Programme! This time, the group was very multi-national with participants form England, India, Argentine, Iran, Lithuania, France and the Netherlands.
After more than 120 conducted interviews with customers, the Erasmus Startup Programme (earlier Get Started Programme) got to an end in April. After four hard-working weeks, the participants showed enthusiastic opinions. Gaston Kaufer Barbe, Toucan Insights’ founder and also one of our visa sponsored entrepreneurs, commented on the validation programme:
“The course is constantly pushing you to do something and then immediately move on; it pushes yourself to challenge your ideas and previous concepts which I think is key to develop your idea and start your company. At the beginning I was afraid the programme would be more focus on theoretical teachings but it is smartly designed to master the practical approach”.
During the workshops, the participants were guided in their process of becoming successful entrepreneurs and worked on finding and validating their customer. The startup ideas ranged from marketing research firm, to bioluminescent lighting, to platforms related to knowledge gaps, compliance activities and healthy food. The Erasmus Startup Programme offered everyone the opportunity to gain insights from different perspectives.
Another young entrepreneur, Cyprien Lordet of BioBeacon, said ‘Here is a real mix in the ages and backgrounds of the participants. The programme itself discusses really important questions. It asks the questions you do not want to be confronted with, which forces us to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers.’ The validation programme also made Shahpour Shapournia, Founder of Realpars, think about his business idea: ‘For me, I thought knew all of it already, but the programme taught me things of which I did not know, that I did not know, you know? No one forced me to think about this before, this is the value to me.’
Right now, one of the startups is already successful in Hannover where they are making their first sales. In the upcoming weeks, we are preparing the new Erasmus Business Programme, where 8 of the 11 Erasmus Startup Programmes participants are joining. This is our ten week incubation programme, specially formulated for ambitious entrepreneurs who already have a product and market and want to build a business model to grow their company. We look forward to another successful programme full of ambitious entrepreneurs and innovative startups!