STARTUP24: Intense Brainstorming, Entrepreneurship and overnight on Central Station!

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On Friday, November 10th, Startup24 entrepreneurship challenge took place in Seats2Meet location on Central Station in Utrecht, organized by UtrechtInc Students and facilitated by Time Space!

For 24 hours, four teams of students were creating and developing startup ideas, guided by experienced mentors, such as Michiel Kalverda – a TMI startup founder and trainer, and Joep Bremen – Lean and Agile coach. The evening started off with an opening ceremony, attended by Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and newly assigned Minister of Education Ingrid van Engelshoven, who inspired the participants to focus on what they want to achieve and proceed with their projects. As the confetti canon marked the start of 24 hours, the students split into teams and the work began.

Prince Contantijn

In a day’s time, teams attended various training, such as Lean Startup workshop and Pitch training, helping them develop their startup ideas to established business models, which later they had to be present in front of a strict jury.

As midnight drew closer, a creative buzz of innovative thinking and aspirations gradually shifted to a more social vibe, with the participants discussing topics in entrepreneurship and getting to know each other in a relaxed and informal setting of nocturnal S2M, otherwise empty. When the hype of the opening ceremony, the excitement of establishing a team and choosing a business idea gave place to the tiredness of a busy day, the teams started to go home to sleep, to come back the next morning and continue, recharged.

Saturday morning started with energizing yoga session, led by Time Space co-founder Maria Averina, to get creative juices flowing. After that, the teams proceeded with their work, creating prototypes, validating their assumptions and, lastly, preparing their final Investor Pitch. The teams delved into the real world to test their premises: in Hoog Catharijna Mall the participants conducted their market research, approaching mall’s customers and collecting their feedback.

At the end of the day, the time had come – all the teams, mentors, juries and the audience got together for the pitch round of Startup24.

After a set of inspiring pitches, the jury faced an uneasy task of choosing the winner.

The 1st place was awarded to the team Fit-It – a team proposing a solution to the problem of a high return rate of clothes purchased online. This is achieved by creating an app, in which the user puts in her body measurements and body type, and the system advises the user clothes suited the

best to the user, therefore reducing return rates due to a poor fit. As their prize, the winning team receives a unique opportunity to spend next 6 months as a part of Utrecht Inc accelerator, taking advantage of their mentorship, resources and educational opportunities, allowing Fit-It to develop into a real company.

2nd place got to the Cherish team – the team promising a solution for insufficient transparency in donations distribution using bitcoin technology.

The 3rd place was split between two teams – Stories Make Cities – a team offering a different outlook on city tours, employing locals to tell their story and unique perspective, and CroiSooz team, who offer a healthy snack option – croissants with a healthy filling.

As the award ceremony drew to an end, the room transformed into a dance floor, where the students and organizers got together to celebrate the completion of the event and share their experiences.

Time Space team is proud of this amazing collaboration with UtrechtInc Students, and looking forward to organizing more projects together in the future!

Article by Kamila Ishalina.

You can watch the LiveStream recording of the event below.