The entrepreneurial spirit at WHU is omnipresent. Student clubs such as “IdeaLab! – WHU Founders‘ Conference“, “SmartUp - The WHU Entrepreneur Network“, and “3 Day Startup – The WHU Founders Bootcamp” are just as important for promoting an entrepreneurial culture as institutional offers like the WHU Incubator. Three Bachelor students have now launched a new offer that is designed to make it even easier to start one's own business while studying: the WHU Startup School.
"Each semester we tried a new idea." This is how Julian Lindinger, Co-Founder of Electry, describes his time at WHU. In the course of his Bachelor Program, he founded a total of six different companies, sometimes more and at other times less successful. For example, he developed a medical chatbot, set up an on-demand tutoring portal, and sold Matcha honey. Even though he could not achieve a breakthrough with any of these companies, Lindinger laid the foundation for his current start-up Electry, which he describes as the "LinkedIn for Blue-collar Workers."
Lindinger was one of two speakers who shared insights about their founding experiences with more than 70 listeners at the WHU Startup School's kick-off event on October 7. Jan Miczaika, a partner at Holtzbrinck Ventures, also started experimenting with business ideas at an early stage. As he recalled in his presentation, his first business idea during his school days was to sell guinea pigs to classmates, which he had to stop shortly afterward for the sake of the well-being of the animals. According to Miczaika, the risk of starting a business during university is zero. One can only develop further from that time, he says, and has an incredible learning curve. Lindinger agrees that one has nothing to lose yet and will meet many inspiring people.
So why do we need the WHU Startup School? As Mohid Butt, one of the three founders, explains, the goal is to build a bridge between the existing entrepreneurship initiatives at WHU. In contrast to the student clubs, there will not be a large-scale event, but rather a series of smaller lectures and workshops spread out over the year. In this way, the intention is to try to "tap the full potential" of WHU's entrepreneurial spirit and to create a continuous offering. "Entrepreneurship is a fundamental part of the WHU spirit," continues Butt, and we would have to do everything we can to ensure that this spirit is not lost in the face of an ever-increasing student workload. And his motivation? He ponders briefly and then reveals that it would be "the best feeling on earth" if a student were to be inspired by a lecture at the WHU Startup School and then launches a successful business.
Does that sound interesting to you? At the next WHU Startup School event, an expert from the field of Lean Product Development will talk about Agile & Design Thinking. Further information on the date will follow soon.