I got to meet an amazing bunch of inspiring young ladies this weekend – Sisters in Entrepreneurship if I should call them. Facebook has a great way of notifying you about events happening close to you. Therefore, when Venture Lab’s “Believe in your ideas” was recommended, I quickly subscribed to it. Venture Lab is an incubator by Lund university that helps build and support entrepreneurs. I was motivated to attend this event and learn more about Entrepreneurship because since school is almost over, I am finding myself constantly asking: What next? While many people will think that they should be searching for a job by default, I think it’s a great idea to look around for other alternatives such and entrepreneurship, for example.
We stayed at the charming Norregard hotel in Falsterbo town (Somewhere in Skane county :)). It is quite close to Skanor, which I happened to visit in the fall and found it so lovely. You can imagine how excited I was to be back in this area in the spring. I must admit that the cosy atmosphere was great for taking a break from the stressful thesis, getting inspiration, bonding and bouncing ideas of each other.
We kicked off the weekend by learning more about Venturelab and what kind of support they give to students who want to take the entrepreneurial route. The support ranges from incubation, entrepreneurship resources and consultation to develop ideas, pitch, seek investment but above all, offer them a network to collaborate with. In groups, we wrote down what our expectations for the meetup were and how we were going to make the expectations happen. Great way to start with accountability.
Okay, I think I should talk about the Fika breaks because they were so refreshing. Throughout the sessions, we had little breaks for energy re-boosts. It was a great time to mingle with the rest of the ladies and enjoy one of the most delicious carrots and cardamon cake I ever had. The ladies attend different programmes at Lund University and were either looking to start on the entrepreneurial journey or were already on it.
Much of the time was spent engaging with Entrepreneurs who shared their stories of how they found themselves in this journey, the funny, naive and memorable moments they had along the way but above all, what challenges they faced and how they overcame these challenges. I particularly enjoyed these sessions because the speakers were very realistic and honest about how hard this journey can be, but also how fulfilling it is to overcome these challenges and get stuff done.
In the evening after the sessions, we went for a walk to the beautiful woods that lead to such a breathtaking beach. It was a bit chilly in the evening but I was just happy to see a dock, listen to some beautiful waves and walk on beautiful white sand. The sunset was beautiful.
Norregard genuine care for the environment and you can feel that in the foods they serve. All the food we had was locally sourced from the gardens, lakes and oceans around Skane. No chemical flavours, no additives, just pure and unchanged food. Sharing these rich meals with the ladies made the dinners and lunches even more meaningful. I should mention that the whole hotel staff for this weekend was comprised of ladies only and the all-around female energy was simply spectacular.
If I were to summarise what I learned from this weekend, it would be:
- Creating a good pitch is done through knowing your audience, highlighting the problem you want to solve, highlight the solution you propose, how it will be beneficial and different from existing alternatives and knowing who your competition is.
- Sometimes your solution’s user and a customer may be 2 different user groups.
- Prototyping and getting feedback is an easier way to test your idea in the market
- Networking and having partners makes you stronger.
- When setting up your team, you should be strategic about maximising skills from different people.
- In all these, care of yourself – mind, body, spirit.
- At the end of the day, if you really want to solve something, all you have to do is believe in yourself start!
After the talks, sessions of brainstorming and great pitches from the severfal teams, it was time for us to head back to Lund. I had a great time getting inspired by these lovely ladies and telling my mind that just maybe, there can be a different course to life other than employment. Am I inspired to be an entrepreneur? Definetly! I just need to prototype my idea and get started.
To the sisters in Entrepreneurship and Venturelab, thank you for an amazing and inspiring weekend!