Morten Dahlgaard is head of the Center for Entrepreneurship, SEA, in Aalborg. He also supports a host of entrepreneurial organization, including the student-run network association Kickstart and the knowledge-based innovation forum First Step. He believes the way AAU is structured fosters an entrepreneurial environment.
“At AAU we do teaching different to 90% of the universities in Denmark,” he says, “It’s a model of problem based learning, involving the students in real life challenges, interactions with industry and cross-disciplinarity. The students learn problem identification and come up with solutions for specific issues providing practical and theoretical application. The culture at AAU is very entrepreneurial and not only focused on what could be done- we are very much about implementing solutions.”
Student Mai Burchardt Jensen, who is doing her Bachelor in Danish, agrees that students have an entrepreneurial way of studying at AAU.
“A lot of students have student jobs and really exciting side projects. There are lots of small projects bubbling under the surface – especially those that are connected to student life, like at Studenterhuset. It could stem from the way that we are taught at university. It’s a very group oriented way to work that makes you able to adapt well to new situations and use each other’s strengths to cooperate. We really know how to commit to the situation.”
Venture Cup and AAU
Morten Dahlgaard wants to use the Venture Cup competitions as a way to make people aware of the many talented entrepreneurs in Aalborg.
“We need to use Venture Cup as a way to show the rest of the country that Aalborg has a great potential for growth. The Idea Competition is a great first step, because it introduces a lot of students who wouldn’t normally have thought of themselves as start-up founders, to the possibilities of starting their own company while they are attending university. The students here have lots of ideas and that’s all it takes to participate. Also, the Startup Competition is a good way to get valuable feedback while building a network of other entrepreneurs and generally raising the level of business in this region of Denmark.”
Mai Jensen thinks a lot of students are worried about the financial implications of starting your own company yourself.
“The economical aspects of starting a company are daunting; what if it all goes wrong? The risk of failing keeps a lot of people from even entering the race. But I think that Venture Cup could be a stepping board to new things – at least the financial confidence would help get you started. It’s motivating to both be able to win that much money as well as get some affirmation that your idea is, in fact, doable. It’s a start.”
The deadline for submitting your idea to the Venture Cup Idea Competition is the 26th of November. You can read more about the competition at our website. To keep yourself updated, follow Venture Cup on Facebook and Twitter.
Venture Cup is a non-profit organization constantly striving to help and inspire young entrepreneurs through access to advisors, workshops, networks and competitions. For the past 12 years we have facilitated the creation and growth of more than a 190 startups and continue to do so every day.