Become a student-entrepreneur

| Michaela Nesvarova

A seminar on the Philips Innovation Award took place on the 27th of January in The Gallery at the UT campus. The seminar was a great opportunity for existing and potential student-entrepreneurs to share their ideas and receive feedback from fellow students and experienced entrepreneurs.

The participants of the event learnt about the Philips Innovation Award which aims to encourage Dutch students to become more entrepreneurial. It supports young start-up companies and people with smart, innovative ideas that have the ability to make the world better.

Scratch your own itch

To set the young entrepreneurs on the right track, the seminar included presentation by Edwin Vlieg, UT alumnus and a founder of a successful company Moneybird. Vlieg started the company during his studies, and therefore could offer advice based on personal experience: 'Scratch your own itch', he says. 'Make a product that you want to use. Be your own first customer. It's easier to improve a product, if you can relate to its users. Also remember to stay focused on your vision. Don´t be afraid to say no.'

Give us your best sales pitch

The event offered a platform for people to test how good their ideas actually were. Anybody could present a one minute long elevator pitch, which gave them a chance to explain their business ideas and receive feedback afterwards. Several UT students shared their innovative ideas with the crowd.

Ideas of UT students

Three Master's students from the UT – Ivo ten Brinck, Justin Dijkhuis and Remco Reints – want to change the way people use energy. 'Consumers use energy all at the same time, which leads to peaks in energy consumption. We want to cooperate with energy providers and make a plug-in device that shows when energy is cheap. We think that would stimulate people to use power outside of the peaks, which would save them money and help the world', says Dijkhuis.

Richard Oliveira, an exchange student from Brazil, wants to develop a personal travel assistance service, which would provide people with unique travel experiences. Such service would create custom-made travel itineraries, tailored to perfectly suit the customer.

The winning idea of the event

All students will surely appreciate the idea behind 'Libeari', which was presented by a Saxion student Remy Bonke and was also chosen as the best pitch of the event. Libeari aims to provide replacements for all the heavy and expensive study books most students have to obtain every year. Libeari platform will allow teachers to create digital course materials, which contain everything necessary for the given course. Students can then download these materials and use them to study. 'Why pay 80 Euros for a book and use only a few chapters of it?', says Bonke.

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