Meeting today’s Rockstars at StartUpest: MY-WAY’s Second Enterprise Conference

Budapest, Hungary

I had the pleasure to attend to the first Student Enterprise Conference in Hungary last Friday 17th of June which took place at the beautiful Budapest Music Centre. Investors, mentors and other key players of the European startup ecosystem were presented at the conference, co-organized by MY-WAY project and AIESEC.

As you already might know, MY-WAY Project supports young students, strengthening the web entrepreneurship by actively engaging student network and entrepreneur centers. While AISEC, is a student association that helps young leaders with professional and volunteering experiences activating their potential by letting them approach the startup environment so they experience what a startup feels, before they start their own.

Taking advantage of the occasion, MAY-WAY‘s team and leading student organizations (AISEC, AEGEE, IAESTE, ESN, NIT, FDE) met for a closed discussion with the objective in mind to define how students organisations with the help of the MY-WAY project can support future entrepreneurs.

The conference had a clear inspirational purpose; the desire to help from all panelists was more than obvious. Mentors offered their service; professional tips and learnings in order to contaminate the audience with their passion and minimize the fear young students have towards taking the first step. For that reason, the innovative format of the conference was much more interactive, ridded with workshops, round tables and a “Crazy Panel Discussion”. Attendees had the freedom of exposing at all time their projects and receive valuable feedback and recommendations from professionals.

During the morning session, we had a very inspiring Rita Veres representing the Singularity University Budapest chapter. Rita flashed some mind-blowing predictions about the future (for example, by 2030 we will plug out brains into the web according to Ray Kurzweil) and asked us how we would address humanity’s challenges with exponential technologies, emphasizing that there is no problem we cannot solve and crimes of the future are happening now: “if you do not disrupt yourself, someone else will”.

Once inspired enough, we got Nick Slater from Capital Enterprise to help us with some very useful tips on how to gain investment for our startup. He highlighted the importance of startups in today’s scenario as the world is changing and there is a need for more flexible structured companies.

When taking part in conferences and events, the fear of sharing too much automatically rises: participants are afraid their ideas might be copied. But all guest speakers agreed that risk is highly unlikely. Nick assured that people will never have the same idea, and no one is going to have the same passion and view of things. The more you share the idea, the more you develop it; and from that conversation you can only reach helpful feedback and come up with new ideas.

David Trayford shared with us another tip, the Mom Testing method after Rob Fitzpatrick, enhancing the importance of testing your idea to a suitable target, and not your mother and closest friends, in order to obtain reliable and critical feedback.

Péter Kovàcs shared his experience on going through a learning curve when he was a student, where society expected him to know what he wanted to be, but he really didn’t and why would he? Why would he have to pick if he still had so much to experience! It was a very entertaining and honest approach on not being scared of changing path through your life, every experience will bring new opportunities and you will learn from them all.

Just before the lunch break, some very inspiring young Hungarian entrepreneurs (Let me in, Colibri and Be-Novative) shared their own experience, agreeing on the importance of a quality support and not being afraid of speaking up, testing the idea at an early state is crucial and that’s why all participants should not be afraid of speaking up and to take advantage of the opportunity to discuss about their project and gain more of professional experienced information.

BossConnect Mentor Programme offered us a friendly debate where all participants had the chance to get to know all about Mentoring and how a great Mentor can help your idea to become a tangible, successful startup.

Veronika Pistyur from Bridge Budapest cheered the Hungarian crowd with some positive data about how the last two years are making a change in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Model. Because a “good idea, hard work and a bit of luck is enough to realize your dreams”.

The day concluded by Crazy Panel Discussion, where all panelists and attendees shared their opinions on the topics discussed before and some new ones. With our lesson learnt, most guest speakers agreed that your idea really doesn’t have to be complicated or game changing, just get out there and start something. People tend to wait for the perfect idea, but it might not come, ever. Instead come with a simpler one and get feedback on it. Always get professional feedback.

In short, for creating a startup you will need two things:

  1. An idea to work on
  2. Co founders to work with

I have an idea; do you want to be my partner in crime?