Chigozie Nelson, CEU student at Economic Policy in Global Markets MA
The long-awaited CEU iLab Bootcamp commenced on July 1, 2019, at Nador u. 13. The 24 participants who came from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas were introduced to the structure of the CEU iLab, and the events which have been planned for the coming two weeks.
The participants come from diverse professional backgrounds. Some of the them already have their own startups and wish to acquire more useful knowledge to grow their businesses. This includes John, from Ghana, who hopes to learn about how to obtain more funding to expand his education agency business. Also Bahar, a lawyer from Azerbaijan, hopes to learn about the financial aspects of running a startup, especially equity.
Some other participants wish to acquire the core entrepreneurial skills needed to run a business, like Bence, a Hungarian computer scientist who desires to get the hard skills he needs to be an effective CEO at his IT startup. Krisztina from Hungary and Saule from Kazakhstan also wish to learn the entrepreneurial skills which will enable them to start up their own businesses after the Bootcamp.
However, some, like Julio from the US, hope to get the opportunity to have their startup accepted into the iLab incubation programme after the camp.
Despite their specific expectations from the program, one thing they all have in common is their open-mindedness to the events lined up for the next two weeks, and the desire to meet new people and expand their network.
After a well-deserved lunch break Eva Halasz, one of the mentors at the iLab, taught the participants about the dynamics of working in a team. She listed the 7 keys of working in a team, which include having a clear common goal; respect for the differences in team members; balanced communication; trust; letting things go; living with the imperfection of the unknown; and the need to regard every team member as a leader. Eva continued with a comprehensive lecture about the importance and the basics of assertive communication in the workplace.
The participants were split into 5 teams in which they would work together on assignments and projects throughout the course of the Bootcamp, and completed their first task of formulating a team charter, which will represent the core values of their team projects.
The final session of the day was led by Nenad Apostoloski, a Macedonian entrepreneur and a PhD student at CEU, who taught the participants about the entrepreneurial mindset. In his lecture, he gave a clear distinction between a managerial mindset and an entrepreneurial mindset; where a managerial mindset is associated with causal thinking, and an entrepreneurial mindset is associated with effectual thinking.
The participants left the last session ready to watch the remaining days unfold and learn as much as they can.