Carl Johan Rising was in the second year of his Bachelor’s degree when he met with a friend from Stardust DTU. During their conversation, it occurred to them how strange it was that Roskilde University did not have their own entrepreneurial student organization.
“I won’t say there is the biggest environment for startups here, but the way that the courses are done – with the teamwork and the larger semester projects – all the elements are there for us to kick ass at entrepreneurship. That’s something we want to develop.”
Inspired by the other University organizations and having participated in the Venture Cup Idea Competition and Dansic, Carl Johan co-founded Krebitat – the first student entrepreneurial society at RUC. He believes in the great potential there, despite the reluctance of many of his co-students.
“It takes up a lot of your time, finding the right idea and working on it. On top of going to school and working,” says RUC student Maria-Therese Didriksen, “I think a lot of people are intimidated by that. Some do have projects on the side and it really gives them a different perspective on what the world needs, rather than sitting in class, just working on school.”
Venture Cup & RUC
There are many reasons why RUC students could be making new headway in the entrepreneurial scene.
“People always mention the academic potential; the problem-oriented assignments, the training in viewing situations from many angles and the focus on innovation. But what I would bring attention to, is the flexibility RUC students have and their ingrained sense of teamwork. We are great at allocating resources, delegating work and distributing roles within a company structure. These are all great skills for working in a start-up,” says Carl Johan.
Why did it take a couple of years for him to participate in the Idea Competition? Uncertainty could have a lot to do with it.
“Most people believe that you have to have just the right idea to participate; that anything less than perfection would not do. But really, it’s about the right team and how you execute the idea. There is a fear of trying something that is outside your comfort zone. A lot of people here have small side projects, but are too used to the safety of that role to really take their ideas to the next level.”
As a former participant in the Venture Cup Idea Competition he would recommend other RUC students to try it out – not only for the 25.000 DKK prizes but also for the learning opportunity.
“For me, it was the first real meeting with the startup scene in Copenhagen. The people you meet are great, the network is pretty extensive and the events are fun. It’s always good to have to opportunity to ask some questions. I think you can use what you learn in so many other situations: like how to write a convincing business plan and how to pitch your ideas. You really just have to know that everyone has something to contribute – it’s simply about getting yourself out there and daring to try something new.”
What could make ordinary Roskilde University students get a head start as entrepreneurs? Maria-Therese, a Masters student at Performance Design, thinks it’s all about planning and prioritizing.
“Our exams start a bit earlier than other schools, so I would definitely recommend getting your team together and writing the three-page application way ahead of time. That means that you have time to start working on something you love and still do the exams in time.”
The Venture Cup’s Idea Competition deadline is 26 November - read more about it at here.
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.