I love attending all kind of events where presentations are given in Norwegian. Mainly, because I can listen and improve my language skills, but also because if the topic is economics-related, the language has so much resemblance to English that is becomes extremely easy to follow.
Text: Anna Dranovska
This time Innovasjon Norge and NHO Troms and Svalbard gathered entrepreneurs-in-need-of-money to tell them where to get the money they need and how not to lose it too soon. Being a part of Business Creation and Entrepreneurship program at UiT, we love considering ourselves young entrepreneurs, so I and three of my classmates decided to join the event and enrich ourselves with a new and potentially useful knowledge.
Apparently, business world wakes up earlier than students do, because it appears to be a bit challenging to arrive at city center at 0830 in the morning. Still, here we are, just in time for morning coffee, fresh baguette and some mingling with other attendees. This is the perfect moment and perfect place to practice your networking skills, patiently waiting for the event to begin.
They say, in the modern conditions of the regional economy, tourism and fishery business are the two industries that create the biggest value. Thus, it becomes extremely important to support and encourage companies that work within these industries. Support not only in financial terms, but by giving advice as well as good guidance. Presentation pinpoints several aspects for young companies to take into account:
Make thorough preparations. Do your research before entering the market. Because if you don’t – you will not be able to..
.. to get to know your customer base. Because if you don’t – you will not be able to generate high enough revenues.
Build your network, including partners and suppliers – because this will give you better image and credibility in investors’ eyes.
Liquidity issues. Because you might get lots of money selling your products tomorrow – but you have to pay your bills today.
And last but not least – don’t fall in love with your idea and become overly optimistic. But if not for the love for the idea – then why would you spend your nights and days to turn your idea into reality?
Many good tips and pieces of advice were expressed, and the second part of the day was about to start. To tell the truth, I have never tried speed-dating in my life because it has always seemed like a lame and shallow way to meet potentially interesting guys. Here same concept was applied for us to meet and talk to specialists in the branch and share our ideas, concerns and what is more important – get feedback and useful contacts. And you know what? I really liked it! First of all, it’s a good chance to train how to pitch your idea. Especially, when you have six speed dates one by one. Besides that, you get valuable 15 minutes from a person who is not that easy to reach any other day. We met people who taught us important things we need to focus on with our own ideas, people who encouraged students to approach them with suggestions for cooperation, who told jokes and who said “I’m sorry and cannot help you anyhow, but here are some guys you definitely need to talk to!” – and we stand right there with the contacts of specialists we were right looking for.
A bit later, again, more coffee, more mingling, and golden-bright balloons as if reminding us that this is same cheerful event as children’s celebration – but this time adult entrepreneurs celebrate together a chance to gather and talk about something they like – money (or if to be less money-focused, something that would help making their ideas come true).
By the way, Den Store Pengedagen which were on 18th February was the first event of a kind in the city. Hopefully, there will be more to come. So stay tuned, check Innovasjon Norge calendar events and join us next time!