Gruppenfoto Software Campus Teilnehmende, K.I.E.Z Team und Software Campus

Entrepreneurship Workshop at K.I.E.Z.

Ready to take off

For the first time, we did organize an entrepreneurship workshop in collaboration with K.I.E.Z. in Berlin for 20 participants from the 15th to the 16th of May 2024.

The first day began with a short Q&A Session, to visualize and substantiate every participant’s expectation, and to make the workshop more individual and interactive. Followed by an introduction into the topic entrepreneurship. Therefore, the focus did lie on the “entrepreneur mindset” – which is marked by core characteristics such as curiosity, optimism or thinking forward. An added aspect was the “opportunity detection”: The investigation of market niches and the observation of the latest trends. Also, equally mentioned were the (additional) value of a product and the entrepreneurial foundation from business models to financing. Another key aspect of the workshop was the elaboration of a theoretical product, a stackable drone. In separate groups, our participants were able to develop a hypothetical ready-to-market product in the field of maintenance, security, smart agriculture, and transportation & logistics.

With the help of the special developed K.I.E.Z. Business Model Canvas for AI startups, our participants did conceptualize collectively their project, and thereafter the essence of entrepreneurship – like business objectives, value propositions, market assessment, funding, and problem-solving – all within the scope of drones. In order to accomplish this, the participants were supported by a K.I.E.Z. member, who closely supervised them along the process and encouraged them continuously to reflect on their decisions.

From research to market

To make the professional change from academia to industry easier, our participants received a brief introduction into methods on funding – but also various stages of product launch leaned on the Technology Readiness Level (TLR) – during the second day. The emphasis did lie on preparing a pitch deck. Therefore, the participants collectively delved into core areas such as branding, market research and problem-solving for their individual innovation to then present their hypothetical startup in front of a qualified jury.

Within a brief period, it was already clear to notice how fast the participants engaged and supported each other, developed themselves, and created a common sense of community.

On top, it was remarkable to witness that some similar approaches of problem-solving or for branding a product were represented, even though throughout the whole process every group was spatial separated from each other.
The winning team, which was from the field of maintenance did convince everyone with their Project DR1 – Drones which are conceptualized for the solar panel cleaning. Other interesting project presentations were:

  • Après-Ski-Patrol (security), Drones for the rescue and emergency care for humans in ski resorts
  • DR-ONE (Disaster Rescue Drone; transportation & logistics), Drones that are globally applicable for crisis management, and therefore allow transporting relief goods to the local relief unit or affected persons
  • Tricky Lands (Smart Agriculture), Drones that do spread pesticides on targeted fields to combat diseases within agriculture

Not only as an inspiration but also as motivation for our participants, we did invite our alumna Prof. Dr. Alexandra Mikityuk, founder and CEO of Staex – for a get-together. There, Alexandra Mikityuk shared her path after being part of the Software Campus, including her experiences from setting up a team to the entrepreneurial vision up to the importance and choice of first customers.

What our participants and potentially future generations of entrepreneurs can take from this Workshop is now and again: Network is key!

Bilder: © Software Campus

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