Ten business ideas from eleven international students of the recently graduated Intake of SEPT 2013-2015 underwent rigorous mentoring and workshop from SMILE on 29 June – 2 July 2015 at the University of Leipzig, Germany. The Workshop for Business Models for Knowledge Intensive Services was conducted by Prof. Dr. Utz Dornberger (Director of MBA SEPT Program), Christian Hauke (In4In), and Daniel Probst (Verwegener & Trefflich creative workshop consultancy).
The activity started with a lecture from Prof. Dornberger about Innovative Business Model Management that motivates the students to think about possible breakthroughs in the services they are aiming to provide to the market. Preliminary pitches of the business ideas then followed giving each participant the time to introduce their ideas and gather feedback from the SMILE experts and fellow participants. The following day, Daniel Probst facilitated a workshop using combinations of innovation tools and lean start-up approach allowing the students to assess whether their business ideas addresses the “pains” of their target clients and customers. Using the lessons learned from the combined lectures and workshops, the students work on the changes and improvements of their business models on the third day with the guidance and coaching of Christian Hauke. The workshop concluded with the final pitch of the improved business model to Prof. Dornberger who lauded the participants for being able to simplify their idea targeted at the right customers with a minimum viable product.
At the end of the workshop, the students were full of high spirits after refining their business ideas and hopeful that the business models made from The Land of Ideas (Germany) will be realized in the near future. Prof. Dornberger also encouraged the students to stay in touch with SMILE for further coaching and update the office of the developments of the business ideas.
SMILE or Selbst Management Initiative Leipzig is a joint initiative of the University of Leipzig, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ) with funding from the European Union and the Free State of Saxony. The project assist students, graduates, and professionals on their way to the personal and professional independence by offering a learning environment that allows the participants to discover their potentials and skills as budding entrepreneurs.