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The University of Copenhagen is not perceived as the best place for entrepreneurs. A new club is trying to shatter the myth
In a famous talk where she explains how to turn a lemonade into a helicopter ride, Tina Seeling, lecturer at Stanford University, says that being entrepreneurs is not about solving problems: it’s about being curious, optimistic and making your own luck. Egle Zukauskaite, Environmental Economics student, has turned this idea into a new, revamped, University of Copenhagen Entrepreneurship Club (UCEC).
“UCEC is the place where you go if you are a student interested in entrepreneurship. We will give you feedback and support. If we can’t help with something, we will refer you to the right people,” says Egle.
The club wants to spread innovation culture among students and support those who are starting a business. At T57, the headquarters in Thorvaldsensvej, there is a co-working space open to everyone, and a handful of startups meet there regularly.
UCEC was founded in 2010 as a student association, but it became inactive when founding students graduated and moved elsewhere. This time it will be different though, Egle says.
“We are going to run the club as a business, with the idea that it should sustain itself and provide real value for the students and their startups.”
Egle was inspired by other business incubators in Copenhagen.
“There are so many opportunities for innovators in Copenhagen right now. I had an idea that I was trying to turn it into a business, so I started to spend a lot of time at the CBS incubator, which is a very attractive center for everyone who is interested in entrepreneurship. There’s a huge co-working space, networking events, free coaching and legal advice.”
While her original idea didn’t work out, Egle realized that the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) was missing out on the entrepreneurship train and decided to do something.
There are some problems, however. Students who work at T57 can not register their startups there, because UCPH does not allowed companies to be registered in its facilities.
“The biggest challenge is that UCPH is not perceived as the best place for entrepreneurs: that’s what CBS and DTU are for. We are working hard to break this myth,” she says
Right now, they are filming a series of videos about students who run a business, or simply work on an interesting project, to show that good ideas are not a prerogative of tech geeks or business types in their pinstripe suits. The stories will be presented at the UCEC Awards on 26 June.
Egle and her team have great plans for UCEC.
“I see it as an amazing hub for UCPH students. There will be a workspace with a lot of startups and a vibrant environment for all sort of student activities. UCEC is a club with a strong network that will really change the innovation culture among students. I hope students will not be afraid of being entrepreneurs.”
See the University Post guide: How to make your own job.
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