Being an entrepreneur is a personal challenge and great opportunity. Entrepreneurs let visionary ideas become real, drive the economy and development of their countries, create jobs and endlessly thrive for the wellbeing of their families and communities. The EU-funded project ”Future Young Entrepreneurs” helps school-to-work-transition by providing business mentoring and first hand practical work experience for young people from India, Indonesia, Malawi, Netherlands, Romania, Vietnam and Germany. The project is planned and managed by Goethe-Institut e. V. read more...
Our Future Young Entrepreneurs from Bucharest met their potential mentors in an unusual way.
Unlike a normal market, the mentor market was designed for them to get in touch with entrepreneurs from the different fields of their young startup ideas, pitch their ideas to them and finally pick the mentor that suits their needs best.
The young entrepreneurs got the chance to do their research in advance, using LinkedIn or simply Google to find out what experience the mentors have and get ready to ask them insightful questions. We tested this first in a human bingo, in which they had to find someone „who worked for 9 years in an IT company“ or „who supports Romanians who studied abroad to work in Romania“ or simply „speaks Japanese“.
Then, on February 3, the speed dating took place. The potential mentors switched from one table to another in a very fast paced rhythm and had to be convinced by the teams that their ideas are sustainable and innovative. They only had 5 minutes to pitch and another 3 minutes for Q&A (Questions and Answers), in which the mentors got the chance to ask them questions.
The selection was easy in most cases. Most of the groups already matched with mentors during the speed dating session. After a short ranking exercise, all teams and mentors had found their matching partner. This does not mean, however, that a team only gest to work with that one person. We invited every mentor to “like” or/and “share” a business idea, if the team can count on that mentor to recommend it further. If a mentor chose “sharing”, the mentor also gave his names to the team, signalizing that the team can always approach this mentor with questions or concerns in the future, although he might not be the official mentor of the team in the Future Young Entrepreneurs-project.
In the end, they convinced the mentors that they are not just future, but current entrepreneurs, with business ideas that can easily keep up with the ones of adult entrepreneurs.
Lavinia Cazacu, Project Manager at Goethe-Institut Bucharest
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication (communication) reflects only the view of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.