Saturday, April 28, 2012

A week of student entrepreneurship events in Ghent

I am a bit late to blog about this, sorry for that!

Last week I was invited to two events for student entrepreneurs. Not that I would call myself an entrepreneur, but apparently I match some people's definition of the phrase.

On Monday I attended Student Ghentrepreneur, an event that was collectively organised by Ghent University and two university colleges. The event took place on the top floor of the Artevelde Hogeschool building (Campus Kantienberg, for the locals). They have a view on Ghent that makes me jealous! After all the presentations and activities, there was a reception where about 40 students had a poster showing off their "company". I had this poster about, which is off course ridiculous, but I could hardly refuse a one meter high poster, now could I? Anyway, while I did have some interesting conversations, my general feeling about the event is that the three institutes are trying way to hard push their respective student entrepreneurship programs forward. I understand that they like to brag with numbers about how many entrepreneurs they already have after the first year of the program (about 60, they said), but lets be honest: if they even count vikingapps as a company, it is easy to come up with figures like that. Next time, let's focus on the few real companies led by students that are doing really well, alright? I ended up leaving the event a bit disgusted by all the (false?) hyper-optimism of all those students who think they are going to change the world.

More info:

On Tuesday night, I was invited to speak at another event about student entrepreneurship, organised by the Ceneka student club. My introduction was quite surprising. The professor who was introducing the speakers showed an e-mail, once send to me by a professor, stating that said professor would not let me move some lab sessions to attend a conference (which he compared to a skiing holiday). Apparently his suggestions in that mail have later played a role in the creation of the student entrepreneurship program at our university. The professor continued to show a screenshot of yelper in an online newspaper and part of my resume. After this EPIC introduction I did a ten minute presentation, slides included below. Other speakers at this event included Frank Bekkers, the CEO of Mobile Vikings. His talk was inspiring! I had some interesting conversations at the reception afterwards as well. I left this event with a good feeling.

More info: