As the world strives to deal with the impact of COVID-19, entrepreneurs are being called upon to apply their creativity and come up with innovative ways to strengthen economies. To help SKEMA’s student-entrepreneurs achieve this and launch/strengthen their startup project, SKEMA Ventures organised an intense three-day Bootcamp workshop online from May 11 to 13.
The SKEMA Ventures coaching team selected 12 projects from 150 incubated projects within SKEMA Business School and its partner schools. The selection was based on the potential of the projects and the level of participation of the project holders in SKEMA Ventures’ activities throughout the year. These projects were given special training and dedicated coaching to strengthen their business plan, attract potential partners and investors, and move towards acquiring initial clients.
The startup ideas this year covered a wide spectrum, ranging from arts and culture, events, energy management, construction, medical devices, education technologies, nutrition and health to recycling and jewellery design.
On the first day, the students worked on refining their innovation pitch and value proposition. They also got to listen to the testimonials of successful SKEMA entrepreneurs and interact with them. The second day was dedicated to aligning the business model, ironing out the go-to-market strategy and working out the financial forecasts. “The experienced coaches helped us to challenge our ideas and our vision of the startup that we want to create. Their feedback regarding the pitch, presentation and business model was enriching,” said one of the participants. “The method of the Bootcamp is very effective as theory is complemented with practice,” added another project holder.
Finally, the student entrepreneurs were ready to face the jury on the third day and pitch their projects. This year’s jury included representatives from finance, the Réseau Entreprendre network of entrepreneurs, academic institutions, local authorities and SKEMA alumni. They listened to the pitches of the students and gave them valuable feedback on how they could strengthen their project.
“The Bootcamp really empowered my project, thanks to the insightful advice of the coaches. This is a turning point for us,” said a participant. “It was really intense, but we made it! It is necessary to challenge oneself, which is exactly what the Bootcamp helped us with,” emphasised another participant.
Through the Bootcamp workshop, SKEMA’s students and alumni entrepreneurs have once again proven their ability to innovate while creating meaning. Creating value for individuals, the economy and society is the triptych that drives SKEMA Ventures.