Vom 14. bis 18. Mai 2013 lädt das mit Unterstützung der Universität Maastricht stattfindende Event Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship Studenten dazu ein, erfolgreiche Unternehmer und Coaches zu treffen, um sich ausführlich mit den Themen der Selbstständigkeit zu beschäftigen. Das Hauptanliegen der Veranstalter ist es, das Bewusstsein dafür zu öffnen und zu schärfen, dass jeder ein Unternehmer werden kann.
Junge Menschen sollen Mut fassen, Entrepreneurship kennenzulernen und auf Experten der Branche zu treffen. In Vorträgen, Workshops und persönlichen Gesprächen haben gründungsinteressierte Studenten und Neugierige die Gelegenheit, Fragen zu stellen, sich inspirieren zu lassen und Wissenswertes zu den wichtigsten Themen einzufangen. Wir sprachen mit Ana Mihail, Projektkoordinatorin der Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship, darüber, was angehende Entrepreneure dort erwartet und generell über die niederländische Start-up Szene.
Für-Gründer.de: Dear Ana, please introduce yourself to our readers first.
Ana Mihail, Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship: Hello, I am Ana Mihail, project coordinator of the Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship. We are now working on the fifth edition of the event so we are very excited to celebrate this first milestone in the development of a great event.
Für-Gründer.de: What motivates you to get involved in the Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship?
Ana Mihail, Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship: I’ve been working at the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship for two and a half years now. I first started working on their website design and communications and soon after got more involved with existing events and started to introduce new events and activities. Once you get the entrepreneurial bug, you can’t really stop at one activity. The community of enterprising students is growing here every day and it’s so rewarding to inspire more people to give entrepreneurship a try.
Für-Gründer.de: The Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship will take place in the middle of May this year – who is organizing the event and can you give us a short overview about the history of the Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship?
Ana Mihail, Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship: The Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship started in 2009 as an initiative of the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship. Each year, a team of dedicated students organizes it and the Centre works in close collaboration with the organizing students to make sure they are successful in all their endeavors.
Für-Gründer.de: Which group do you target as the audience for the event and could you please outline the programme?
Ana Mihail, Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship: Each year, we engage about 200 students, young entrepreneurs and young professionals through a five day programme of entrepreneur talks, workshops and panel discussions.
This year, we have chosen “Brand you” as the theme for the MeWeek. As a result we will look at entrepreneurship from the perspective of personal development and lifelong achievement. Few people think about the legacy they want to leave behind early in their lives so we want to provide a programme that inspires participants to work on their life goals by building on their passions and understanding what their strongest competencies are.
Für-Gründer.de: Which topics and speakers would you like to highlight?
Ana Mihail, Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship: We will be covering topics like Founder/Market fit with Fadi Bishara from Blackbox, Ideation to Creation with Ketan Makwana, Google will hold a workshop focusing on Tools for Startups and Paul Campbell, Senior VP of Innovation from Philips, will talk about the growing role of corporations in startup creation. Startup Weekend will talk about going global and Jess Erickson from Berlin Geekettes will teach us how to communicate like a boss. Each day, we will also do a “Global Deep Dive” which is a short Skype call with an entrepreneur from the US. This year we are featuring Steve Blank, David Cohen and Ronald Mannak.
Overall, we are very happy to have contributions from so many entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial firms. All of them contribute to inspire future entrepreneurs and they often recommend other entrepreneurs that could join this year’s or next year’s programme.
Für-Gründer.de: How can interested people attend and what is the ticket price?
Ana Mihail, Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship: Right now the tickets will be 47 euros for students and 75 euros for non-students. We have to charge a modest fee to cover our costs, as we rely on sponsorship from companies and Maastricht University to make it happen!
Für-Gründer.de: More in general – how would you describe the Dutch start-up scene – where are the hot spots beside Maastricht of course? Which Dutch start-ups would you like to recommend for a visit to our readers?
Ana Mihail, Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship: Well I’m amazed by how many creative startups there are in our region. Having travelled quite a bit before, being in the US for 3 summers and in Canada for 4 years, I didn’t know what to expect to find in a rural Dutch city such as Maastricht. It’s amazing that for example we have a 3D patient specific implants startup in Maastricht that is already 2 years old when an American startup doing the same thing was just featured recently as big news. There is a lot of innovation going on in this area and especially nationally, there are great entrepreneurial hubs in Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Delft. Delft University of Technology is reknown for the many exciting global start-ups that young alumni have created.
In the Netherlands, Amsterdam holds lead in the Dutch entrepreneurial scene as it is also the most popular destination for young graduates to live and work. At the same time it’s also nice to see entrepreneurship is gaining ground at basically all universities in the country. You should not forget that the Netherlands is such a small place: once you immerse yourself in the scene you will find out that it spans the whole country. It is relatively easy to get to know the others. There live as many people in the Netherlands as there are people in Greater LA.
Für-Gründer.de: Could you tell us also a little bit more about the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship at Maastricht University?
Ana Mihail, Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship: The Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship (MC4E) works with four intertwined foci: education, inspiration, venture creation and research. It has helped startups to incubate and grow for the past 5 years and is actively engaging and encouraging more students and young alumni to engage in entrepreneurship. That is not limited to masters students or Phd’s. Actually we have seen that also young bachelor students can become outstanding entrepreneurs. Next to providing courses throughout the university the MC4E also reaches students though extra curricular events.
With events ranging from monthly round tables with entrepreneurs to think tanks for regional development, conferences, summer schools and start-up bootcamps, the MC4E engages over 1000 people yearly and actively helps the entrepreneurial community to develop and grow. We are currently creating an incubator program paired with a pre-incubation program that is to support and retain entrepreneurial talent and to help these startups develop into successful (international) businesses.
Für-Gründer.de: And finally the pitching at the end: why should someone come to the Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship?
Ana Mihail, Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship: Come to the Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship to connect with like minded entrepreneurial students and young entrepreneurs and to meet and get inspired by our speakers! The talks will inspire you to reach for the stars and the workshops help you find the right tools to successfully start your own business!
Thank you Ana! And a lot of success for the event!
Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship
E-Mail: a.mihail [at] mc4e.nl
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