Last Saturday, 112 students and university members with startup ideas met in Zurich for our Startup Training Bootcamp. No coach blew his/her whistle, yet the day was organized along a strict time schedule. This started at 8.00am (for a Saturday, that’s practically at dawn :-)), with coffee and registration.
After a short introduction, participants took part in a round of elevator pitches during which some 60 startup ideas where presented.
The Business Concept course is funded by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) and focuses on innovative, scalable, and technology-based startup ideas. In each cohort, the five to eight best ideas are developed by teams of two to five participants. The pitches have to be as convincing as possible since the speakers have to win over not only the coaches but also the rest of the class. The selection is especially difficult because so many clever, creative people take part in these courses. This is why it was decided to offer this Bootcamp. It leaves more time for the selection of ideas and the formation of the teams. Participants who do not find enough supporters for their ideas join one of the winning projects.
The teams that were created on Saturday will spend an extremely intensive period together. The team-building activities in the afternoon were therefore especially important. This included the ‘marshmallow challenge’, a welcome distraction after an exhausting morning. It was followed by a two-hour work session during which each team had to work on their potential business idea and distil the essence into a business value concept.
The evening ended with an entertaining karaoke session. Few singers volunteered at first. As the evening progressed, however, many more found the courage to perform.
We’re very pleased to have received so much positive feedback, in addition to constructive improvement suggestions.