The most motivating week of my life – Young Entrepreneurs Summer School 2022
We did not come up with the title of the article. It’s actual feedback from one of this year’s Young Entrepreneurs Summer School participants, Kálmán Pajcsics. He is one of the 40 participants that attended the onsite week of the program that took place from August 8 to August 14, only one small part of the whole Young Entrepreneurs experience powered by Startup Wise Guys Foundation and Swedbank, and supported by Estonian Business School.
Enes Doke, Young Entrepreneurs Summer Scool 2022 GraduateI had the opportunity to meet extremely ambitious and intelligent students who inspired me to be the best version of myself.
Young Entrepreneurs: the first step of your startup journey
Young Entrepreneurs is an intense program designed to equip youngsters with the necessary tools and skills to understand the startup world. From practical strategies and creative exercises to hands-on learning during lectures and workshops—all the program activities aim to prepare program participants for future professional challenges in the startup world or elsewhere.
After two successful program runs in previous years, we wanted to up the game, and an additional step of month-long online content was added to the program. After receiving more than 120 applications, we were happy to welcome 102 participants to join the month-and-a-half long online program – 55+ hours of online lectures, peer-to-peer sessions, and a final assignment to determine who gets to go to Tallinn.
Herty Tammo, Startup Wise Guys founder and Startup Wise Guys Foundation Management Board memberSince founding the project in 2020, we had this vision that the YE program should be all about getting out of comfort zone, about engagement and fun learning. This year’s edition has been the embodiment of that, even surpassing our expectations. Moreover, the SWG Foundation project team enriched that vision by making the program more inclusive and international. Truly inspiring for the youngsters who joined!
40 students with 11 different nationalities (Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Latvia, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Greece) joined the on-site part of the program in Tallinn, where they had an intense week full of learning, making new friends, forming teams, and above all – having fun.
Liisi Himma, Head of Corporate Banking in Swedbank EstoniaAs a bank we are always looking to the future. Supporting young people on their way to become entrepreneurs is something we find crucial for our economy and overall environment. It was amazing to see the energy and excitment of the participants. I wish them all the best when implementing this experience and know-how for their future careers and lives. Who knows maybe even some of then will even become the founders of the future unicorns.
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Young Entrepreneur?
David Sragli, Young Entrepreneurs Summer Scool 2022 GraduateIf I were standing next to a wishing fountain with a coin in my hand, I would wish to relive the program again.
During the week, students went through 10 lectures and eight workshops, listened to five founders’ stories, and had a chance to visit three startup offices to get a sneak peek at the startup habitat from the inside. The week culminated in a 48-hour hackathon during which students put the gained knowledge to work, and two teams were invited to participate in the online pre-accelerator.
Throughout the week, participants were immersed in a network of diverse people and tackled topics from idea validation to company building, from productivity mastery to how to finance your startup, from business modeling to sales management. All of this is thanks to a great pool of mentors who joined the program: Katrin Kiviselg, Kotryna Kurt, Tamás Dablty Trunk, Dan Renwick, Herty Tammo, Stoyan Yankov, Farid Singh, Mihkel Tamm, Ksenia Ipolitova, Diana Karyan, Cristobal Alonso, and Cosmin Pirvu.
In addition to the vast amount of knowledge, we exposed youngsters to startup founders from the Startup Wise Guys portfolio – Ibrahim Bashir (Dillali), Farokh Shahabi and Noosh Baratpour (Formaloo), Taavi Tuisk (Ringy), and Marti Soosaar (Stebby) – to reveal lessons learned during their journeys of building solid businesses. Participants also got a unique chance to visit the offices of three successful Estonian startups and look behind the scenes at how these startups work on solving these challenges:
- CoModule – connecting bicycles & scooters to the internet to offer an immersive ride experience, reduce carbon footprint and decrease commuting times worldwide.
- EstateGuru – facilitating short and mid-term financing to SME-s and property developers.
- Funderbeam – giving anyone the opportunity to buy and sell shares in ambitious companies, while founders can raise capital without borders.
At the end of the week, it was time to put the spotlight on the participants, and during a 48-hour hackathon, they were asked to form teams and start work on their own products. Nine teams were formed, and two of those, 360 Panorama and ReFood, have been invited to continue their journey in a Wise Guys Pre-accelerator program. Check out the broad spectrum of ideas students worked on:
- 360 Panorama – VR house tours for real estate
- E-Ceipts – digitising the receipt worldwide
- Idermalexa – Cosmetic & healthcare solution
- Nutikuslaager – a summer camp for history nerds
- ParkLet – helping people find parking spots
- ReFood – tech solution to food waste
- Socialytics – Linkedin In leads creator
- StoreWays – your shopping helper
- WOW – sustainable marketplace in Ukraine
We will for sure keep our eyes open on how the future unwraps for these teams, and you make sure to do it as well. We can’t wait to see what’s up next for them! In the meantime, there’s one last bit of gratitude we wanted to share, and that goes to our partners who helped from spreading the word to actually hosting us and providing students with some cool merch. First of all, thanks to Swedbank Estonia, our main partner in crime for this year’s edition, and Estonian Business School for hosting Young Entrepreneurs already for the third year. And special thanks go out also to rubikhub, yep!, ELTE, UBB, Babeș-Bolyai University, and Heldeke.
Mart Habakuk, EBS ChancellorYoung Entrepreneurs Summer School (YESS) is a great place to gain knowledge and build your network. I am confident that we will soon hear about great companies founded by YESS alumni. EBS is a proud supporter of YESS and young entrepreneurs.
While another amazing program of Young Entrepreneurs is behind our back, we’d like to use this opportunity to encourage anyone who feels that this is an adventure they would like to experience next summer, to head over to the Young Entrepreneurs website and join now to the waiting list. We will make sure that everyone applying now, will be the first ones to hear from our about the next edition of Young Entrepreneurs program!
Alexandra Petroula, Young Entrepreneurs Summer Scool 2022 GraduateYou understand how big was what you lived in YE Summer School in Tallinn, when friends and relatives ask you “How was it?” and you can’t even put it into words because you feel that anything you’re gonna say will sound less than the actual experience. Only the ones that were in there, know.
BTW, f you are an organization interested in being part of the Young Entrepreneurs program please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!