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Innovative students want better `start-up scene´

Copenhagen students call for more entrepreneurship and a more innovative culture on Venture Cup website

The University of Copenhagen is a vast educational facility, spanning 1,000,000 square meters and four campuses. More than 37.000 students spend their days here thinking, working and learning. It is a place ripe with ideas and engaged young people. But, is the university falling behind when it comes to entrepreneurship?

The UCPH students that were interviewed for their thoughts on the seem to think so.

Venture Cup is a tournament for all university students interested in starting up businesses.

Nicklas – Medicine student.
Should you start a business in University?

»I think it depends on what you are studying. If you are just one guy from a health care-related field, it would be really hard. But, it could be possible to start a business if you do it with someone that is in a more business-related field or that has a different skill set than you. That’s not to say that medical students can’t be entrepreneurial. The IMCC (International Medical Co-operation Committee) does a lot of non-profit projects, like Sexexpressen, Bamsehospitalet and lots of other events, so you could join that or find the entrepreneur associations that are for all students at KU«.

See Nicklas in our gallery here.

Slow progressions but signs of improvement

Christiane – Molecular Biomedicine student.
Is there a start-up scene at the University of Copenhagen?

»Not yet, but it’s slowly coming along. Actually, this autumn many things are starting to happen! Væksthuset Katapult are doing a lot for students that have new ideas, they are starting the REBBLS Venture Cup Challenge and have these great summer classes that are focused on innovation and entrepreneurship. The classes even provide you with ECTS points. The students running UCEC (University of Copenhagen Entrepreneurship club) are also really impressive and doing a lot to create an entrepreneurial spirit at UCPH«.

»I would definitely recommend the events. That said, entrepreneurship isn’t much a part of our academic life. People care about exams and getting published, but it’s not sustainable – we can’t all stay at university. There are so many great things happening here, so much knowledge and so many new ideas. We just need more of those things to go out and help people in the real world. I think we could get better at that«.

See Christiane in our gallery here.

Startups could set you apart from the rest

Maria – Comparative literature student.
Should there be more focus on entrepreneurship at UCPH?

»Yes, people are very focused on their education only. For a lot of people I know, it is so uncertain what kind of job you are going to get in the future, so people just choose not to think about it. We all work hard to get one of the few study-related part time jobs. We get so much theory and so little practice. Our teachers never mention that starting something yourself is an option and there really ought to be more focus on entrepreneurship, especially since the Humanities are so unsure and unspecific«.

»Having a startup would set you apart and show engagement and independence to prospective employers. Even for people with study jobs, it would set you apart from the others. But it would be hard to do on your own, I would definitely try to get a team together«.

See Maria in our gallery here.

Develop yourself personally

Sine – Danish student.
Why should students participate in Venture Cup?

»The best aspect of participating in Venture Cup, in my opinion, is the feedback from more experienced entrepreneurs. Even if you’re not going to use the feedback to start a business, you should do yourself the favour of using this experience to develop yourself personally. Too many students haven’t even had a job in a supermarket, so being an entrepreneur is really something that would set you apart«.

»It’s crazy that there isn’t a start-up environment at UCPH! We have the potential to really change things here, if only we worked together more, across study lines. If there was more of a focus on it, then those entrepreneurs would be looked up to and inspire the rest of us. Being an entrepreneur and thinking in an innovative way, that’s what good for all of society«.

See Sine in our gallery here.

Hard work and alot of commitment

Nicolaj – Law student.
Would you rather start your own business or work a typical student job?

»No doubt about it, I would be an entrepreneur. It’s hard and takes a lot of time, but you actually get to think for yourself. You don’t need a lot of thinking when you are making a smoothie at Joe and the Juice. The Law faculty has recently changed the courses to be much more practical. Every day we do cases. We have to work together in groups all the time«.

»These days, even for lawyers, you have to cooperate and think practically. I mean, you are just useless if you can’t. It is very hard to do something outside of studying, but I knew some people that won Venture Cup some time ago, so I guess it is possible to study law and start a business at the same time«.

See Nicolaj in our gallery here.

More women taking up the challenge

Kathrine – Psychology student.
Do you think there will be more female entrepreneurs in the future?

»Definitely, you are hearing a lot more about female entrepreneurs these days, for instance a lot of Swedish women are becoming entrepreneurs. I hope that more women in Denmark want to take up that challenge, but at UCPH, it’s not really the aim of the education programmes. CBS students, and people like that, are probably more into that kind of stuff«.

See Katherine in our gallery here.

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