Technological Revolution: The Future of Entrepreneurship

Are uncertainties about your future career leaving you concerned? Did you know that the technology’s impact on our lives is revolutionary?
Embrace the idea that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams and transform your hobby into a thriving business. Whether you wish to retain your current job or explore new horizons, starting your own business can offer exciting opportunities and become a valuable source of supplementary income. So, why not take that step towards a fulfilling and rewarding journey? The possibilities are endless!

With the ability to work remotely, we can now earn a living without the pressure and constraints of traditional office settings, even from the comfort of our homes. In the ever-changing landscape of the business world, entrepreneurship has consistently proven to be a driving force behind innovation, economic growth, and job creation. However, in recent times, a new wave of entrepreneurs has emerged, reshaping the traditional notions of business ownership and carving their path to success. This blog explores the rise of entrepreneurship and how it is revolutionizing the way we perceive and engage in businesses.

1. Artificial Intelligence and Automation: AI has already made significant strides in various industries, and its applications in entrepreneurship are vast. From automating processes to enhancing customer experiences, AI can empower entrepreneurs to make data-driven decisions and streamline their operations.

2. Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Businesses: With increasing awareness of environmental issues, sustainable and eco-friendly businesses are gaining traction. Entrepreneurs who focus on green technologies, renewable energy, and sustainable practices are likely to attract a growing consumer base.

3. E-commerce and Digital Marketplaces: Online shopping has experienced tremendous growth, and the pandemic further accelerated this trend. Entrepreneurs who can create innovative e-commerce platforms or tap into niche digital marketplaces are poised for success.                                                                                                       

4. Health and Wellness Industries: The health and wellness sector is thriving, with consumers becoming more health-conscious. Entrepreneurs can capitalize on opportunities in fitness tech, mental health apps, personalized nutrition, and other wellness-related products and services.

5. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: These technologies have the potential to revolutionize various industries, including entertainment, education, and training. Entrepreneurs who leverage VR and AR to create immersive experiences can disrupt traditional markets making it more attractive for the consumers to experience things digitally.

6. Personalized and Customized Products/Services: Consumers increasingly seek personalized experiences and products tailored to their unique needs   . Entrepreneurs who can offer customization and personalization will likely stand out in competitive markets.

7. Financial Technology (FinTech): The FinTech sector has been rapidly evolving, disrupting traditional financial services. Entrepreneurs with innovative solutions in digital payments, blockchain, and financial management are well-positioned for success.

8. Remote Work and Collaboration Tools: The shift to remote work during the pandemic has highlighted the importance of efficient collaboration tools. Entrepreneurs who can create seamless remote work solutions are likely to meet the evolving demands of the modern workforce.

As we have explored that the landscape of business is continuously reshaping, and entrepreneurs are at the forefront of driving innovation, economic growth, and job creation. From the boundless potential of Artificial Intelligence to the rise of sustainable ventures and the transformative power of Virtual Reality, the umbrella of entrepreneurship promises an array of avenues for success.

Entrepreneurship enables us to explore our passions, create personalized experiences for consumers, and adapt to the changing demands of the world. As technology continues to revolutionize our lives, embracing the spirit of entrepreneurship can be a powerful way to shape our future and make a lasting impact on the world around us. So, whether you’re a little worried about the future or eager for new horizons, consider entrepreneurship as the gateway to a fulfilling and dynamic journey of possibilities.

A Closer Look at Funding: How Funding Can Help Your Startup?

“Money is like oxygen to a business; without it, it simply cannot survive.” – Sir Richard Branson

What is funding?
Funding refers to the financial support or capital provided to startups or businesses so that businesses can grow and achieve their goals. It can come from various sources such as investors, venture capital firms, government grants, or even personal savings. Startups often need funding for several reasons:

  • Launching and Development: Startups require capital to turn their ideas into reality. This includes developing prototypes, conducting market research, building a team, and refining their products or services.
  • Expansion to Scale-up: Once a startup has established its initial presence, funding becomes crucial for scaling up operations, entering new markets, or expanding the customer base. This often requires significant investments in marketing, infrastructure, and hiring additional staff.
  • Research and Innovation: Many startups operate in industries that require continuous research and development. Funding enables them to invest in innovation, explore new technologies, and stay competitive in the market.
  • Attracting Talent: Startups need to attract skilled professionals and experts to fuel their growth. Funding allows them to offer competitive salaries, benefits, and stock options, making them more attractive to top talent.

How can Erasmus Enterprise help you?

  • Access to Regional Investment Funds: Erasmus Enterprise collaborates with regional investment funds, such as UNIIQ, to provide startups with potential investment opportunities. Through this partnership, startups within the Erasmus Enterprise community can pitch their ideas and business plans to these funds, increasing their chances of receiving financial support
  • Alumni Investors Network: Erasmus Enterprise actively engages with its network of alumni investors who have a vested interest in supporting entrepreneurial ventures. By connecting startups with alumni investors, Erasmus Enterprise creates opportunities for funding and mentorship. These investors can provide capital, industry expertise, and valuable connections to help startups grow.
  • Graduate Entrepreneur Fund: Erasmus Enterprise extends its investment network to all members of its community through the Graduate Entrepreneur Fund. This fund offers financial support specifically targeted at entrepreneurial ventures initiated by graduates of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Startups founded by Erasmus alumni can access this fund to secure funding for their businesses.
  • Erasmus University Challenge: The Erasmus University Challenge is an initiative that aims to support and fund students and entrepreneurs through a competition-style program. Participants pitch their innovative ideas or startups to a panel of judges, with funding prizes awarded to the winners. This financial support enables them to further develop their projects or businesses, providing participants with exposure to a widen their networks, helping them foster connections. Within this network, investors may offer funding, mentorship, and other forms of support like guidance and this guidance boosts participants’ chances of attracting funding, not only within the competition but also in the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. Hence, by being part of Erasmus University Challenge, participants gain validation, visibility, and a platform to showcase their ideas or startups to a broader audience of industry professionals and the academic community.Find out more about Erasmus Enterprise by following our social media and stay up to date with upcoming events.

Countdown to Erasmus University Challenge Grand Finale: Tips from OASYS NOW, 2022 Winners!

In the era of advancing technology and increasing concerns over data privacy, OASYS NOW has emerged as a revolutionary company in the field of Personalized Medicine. Co-founders Nima Salami and Sara Okhuijsen won The Erasmus University Challenge in 2022, a testament to their innovative and ground-breaking idea of empowering individuals with ownership of their DNA data. This blog post delves into their journey, insights, and their advice to the participants of the upcoming challenge.

Embrace Learning & Overcome Challenges
Essential insights and advice for participants of the upcoming Erasmus University Challenge was shared by Nima where he emphasizes the importance of seeking help and reaching out to people in an open and honest communication when building your startup. He holds collaboration and teamwork as vital aspects of success, “Finding team members who will support and navigate the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey with you is crucial for your success, find those and you will reach heights.”

Nima, also talks about the many challenges they faced at the event, the most prominent one included; talking to potential customers. “To overcome this obstacle, we started by reaching out to the people we already had some connections with at the event, which made it easier for us to open up and indulge in meaningful conversation.” He highlights the importance of warm introductions, which enabled his team to establish valuable relationships with customers and stakeholders who provided crucial feedback to them. Additionally, he encourages individuals with just a mere idea to take that first crucial step, recognizing that every person around them is ready and willing to help. “Everyone is present to help and support you, just reach out to them.” He encourages participants to approach opportunities with a learning mindset, highlighting that expertise is not a prerequisite for starting. “Having a clear mission and vision, combined with a willingness to learn along the way, is what truly matters.” – Nima Salami

Impact on Startup Development:
The co-founder of the company shares how participating in The Erasmus University Challenge provided him and his team with great connections and networking with experts, customers, advisors, and investors. “This exposure and access to a supportive ecosystem enabled us to refine ideas and further strengthen OASYS NOW’s position in the industry.” Last year, after winning the Erasmus University Challenge Prototyping Award worth 6,000 euros, they qualified for the stage two of the pan-European competition. There, they partnered up with the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship to compete against the top startups from renowned institutions. They travelled to Berlin with triumph in mind and amazed the judges, receiving a sizeable 100,000 euros from Earlybird Venture Capital.

“Participating in the Erasmus University Challenge proved instrumental for our development, we were able to get acquainted with great connections and this gave us immense exposure to be heard, the challenge led us to many different opportunities” – Nima Salami

Current Vision for OASYS NOW:
The vision for OASYS NOW is to make personalized medicine accessible for everyone globally. By providing individuals with ownership of their DNA data, OASYS NOW wants to empower people to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Within the next five years, Nima and his team envisions that OASYS NOW will have already served millions of citizens worldwide, facilitating more personalized and targeted treatments for better health outcomes. “We want to make personalized medicine accessible for everyone globally. Within 5 years, we plan to have already served millions of citizens worldwide to serve them with more personalized and targeted treatments.” – Nima Salami

Nima encourages students to seize every opportunity and participate in the next year’s Erasmus University Challenge 2024 and wishes good luck to everyone who is taking part in this year’s challenge as it is a tremendous learning opportunity where you can learn from other startups and gain insights into the world of entrepreneurship. “Certainly, participating in the challenge provides continuous learning, where every step taken contributes to personal growth and development, it is a great learning experience, I’d say to anyone, just do it!”

Unlock the full potential of your entrepreneurial spirit. Mark your calendars for the grand finale of The Erasmus University Challenge on 21 September 2023, and embark on a transformative journey, discovering profound purpose of startups and discover what it means to be an entrepreneur!

OASYS NOW founders won the EUC 2022

The Rise of Entrepreneurial Innovation: Greenwheels

Innovation and technology have become crucial in shaping our world today. From the way we communicate to the way we conduct business, technology has played a significant role in our daily lives. Innovation has been a driving force for businesses to remain competitive in an ever-changing market, involving the creation of new ideas, products, and services that are different from the existing ones. Companies that embrace innovation can transform the marketplace and disrupt industries.

For the continuously evolving labor market, innovation also aids in the development of fresh skills and competences. In order to be competitive, workers must constantly adapt to new technologies and industry developments. People can have opportunities to learn and grow new skills through innovation, including those that are highly valued in the modern workforce like creativity and critical thinking.

A prime example of such an innovation is Greenwheels, founded by Jan Borghuis and Gijs Van Lookeren in 1995, both of whom have graduated from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Greenwheels is a car sharing service in the Netherlands that allows customers to rent cars, aiming to limit car ownership and encourage car-sharing. Soon after, with a proven track record of success in the highly competitive field of mobility services, the company’s visionary founders recognized the need to constantly innovate and adapt to stay ahead of the curve thus, selling Greenwheels and embarking on a new journey, this time with an emphasis on creating user-friendly solutions for customers and enterprises.

Given the reputation for cutting-edge technology and top-notch customer service, this new business, appropriately titled Ease2pay, swiftly established itself as a forerunner in the finance sector that provides contactless payment solutions for various sectors such as parking, fuel, and public transportation.

The founders of the company have not only left a legacy of greatness in innovation, but also paved the way for a more connected, effective, and sustainable future by continually upholding their core values of sustainability and social responsibility. Their successful journey exemplifies how innovative ideas can lead to business success in an already competitive marketplace.

But have you ever wondered how startups come to success in the competitive marketplace? While it can be a challenging journey, the process of discovery and innovation leads to breakthroughs. Jan, the founder of the company shares a few insights about Greenwheels: “The whole process was a myriad of challenges because there were no examples and we had to figure out every little thing ourselves… but it all worked out in the end” 

Indeed, Innovation can be both stressful and rewarding as it requires individuals to rely on their problem-solving skills and intuition to make progress. It is not easy to run a business, especially when it runs on newly developed technology and innovation because you do not have any examples to look up to, he shares. “We used telematics and at that time it was a new technology, it was challenging yet promising to radically change the car rental process into a self-service that became an urban alternative to car ownership” – Jan Borghuis

Jan takes pride as a pioneer in the industry, recognizing the potential for self-service rentals to become a feasible alternative to car ownership. He and his team revolutionized the rental process through innovation, all while improving the overall customer experience. “As a team we split up tasks, we took up tasks that suited us individually, due to which the company as a whole was able to minimize unproductivity”

Ultimately, innovation is a key factor that develops our society. It can be used to solve challenging issues and maintain competitiveness in a rapidly transforming environment where pushing the limits to what is possible can foster a better future for generations to come.

Erasmus University Challenge: A Student Entrepreneur Upcycling Textile Waste

Benedikt Albertsen is an inspiring entrepreneur who founded Sarowa, a sustainable upcycling fashion business that aims to make upcycling scalable by creating trendy and wearable items out of textile waste. Benedikt’s childhood aspiration of making a significant impact on the world fueled his entrepreneurial journey. He believes that everyone can use the skills they learn at universities to tackle real-world problems. He believes that there is no better time than the present to create something: “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to make a change in the world… and this is the best time to make change, especially for students who are still young, have less to risk, and have all the energy to create a meaningful impact.”

Last year, Benedikt participated in the Erasmus University Challenge, a program that supports young entrepreneurs into turning their innovative ideas into reality. He found the program to be an excellent way to gain guidance and structure to navigate his startup. He credited the mentors for being immensely helpful, as their passion inspired him to be more communicative and supportive of his entrepreneurial vision.

“I think one of the main things you take away from the challenge is that, you are capable… The Erasmus University Challenge, provides guidance for the first couple of steps that need the most attention and are the most difficult because they are so incredibly broad…The judges and the mentors were absolutely amazing, they really helped us and their willingness to spend time with you is truly amazing. I think the most important value you can take from the challenge is also how big they are building their network!” – Benedikt Albertsen

As an entrepreneur, Benedikt sees the willingness to change as a crucial factor in driving his success. He learned that it is essential to be persistent, both internally and externally and no matter what idea you have, you must take the risk and take part in the Erasmus University Challenge as it would teach you of your capabilities, highlighting how one must always think they are capable of change and can make something great. “To anyone thinking to join the Erasmus University Challenge, just do it! The challenge is the first step in the right direction…You are young and have nothing to lose.”

Benedikt is enthusiastic about participating in the upcoming Erasmus University Challenge once again, as he firmly believes that it would further his current ideas and guide him in areas where he needs the most assistance. His commitment in creating sustainable and scalable solutions for textile waste is inspiring and his unwavering dedication and belief in the Erasmus University Challenge underlines the significance of such initiatives that foster young entrepreneurs and offer them the necessary framework and direction to translate their ideas into reality.

Empowering Academics to Innovate: The Impact Starting Guide by Erasmus Enterprise 

Erasmus Enterprise launches The Impact Starting Guide on April 3, 2023 with Erasmus Research Services with the aim to provide academics with tools, bringing their ideas into actionable plans that drive societal impact. The first copy of the guide was presented to Ed Brinksma, President of the Executive Board at Erasmus University Rotterdam, marking the beginning of its distribution. 

“The Impact Starting Guide is an invitation for academics to accelerate their impact by reaching out to researchers or enterprises with ambitions and ideas…. We aim to make everyone feel safe in taking this fun and exciting journey to accelerate their efforts” – Bas van der Noll  

Erasmus Enterprise is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among academics and providing the necessary resources to them for success. Establishing impact is a combination of research and people who are proactive. With the right resources and tools academics can develop innovative solutions and create a lasting social impact.   

The Impact Starting Guide – What is in it for you?  

First, The Erasmus Impact Guide can provide you with practical advice to overcome common challenges and inspire you to head start your journey to make change. Secondly, it can determine your current position in your journey and guide your vision. Lastly, identify the needed support and provide you with the rightful information. 

The guide is set up to direct academics to navigate through various stages of research and development, enabling them to achieve maximum impact in their respective fields. It helps researchers identify potential problems within their ideas and validate them, providing them direction on solution development. Team and partner building are another aspect, distinguishing potential partnerships and defining the right composition. Additionally, it provides objective on initiating fundraising and funding activities.  

Taking initiative is crucial to achieving positive societal impact beyond research, as continuous initiative and dedication is essential to accomplishing it. The Impact Starting Guide will guide you to realise your potential as an entrepreneur and begin your journey. Empower yourself to create a better future by downloading The Impact Starting Guide and take the next steps towards impactful entrepreneurship and co-creation.