Boot camp of the Baltic Entrepreneurship Laboratories was held in Leppävaara.
The boot camp of BELT, the Baltic Entrepreneurship Laboratories, is currently taking place at Laurea’s Leppävaara campus. The project lead by the Baltic Institute of Finland gathers together Finnish, Swedish and Latvian students interested in entrepreneurship.
Co-operation across borders
In addition to Laurea University of Applied Sciences, the partners in the project are Riga Technical University from Latvia, the Demola East Sweden entrepreneurial environment from Lindköping, and the New Factory innovation centre from Finland.
The aim of the BELT project is to build co-operation across the borders between students interested in entrepreneurship, start-up companies and operators promoting entrepreneurship. What they all have in common is the Smart Cities theme.
About thirty students took part in the boot camp taking place at Laurea’s campus in Leppävaara from Monday to Wednesday. Under specialist guidance, the students worked on their business ideas using Lean methods, among other things.
Tips for the entrepreneurs of the 21st century
On Tuesday afternoon, the participants of the BELT boot camp received encouragement on their path to entrepreneurship, as Bruce Oreck, the former United States Ambassador to Finland, visited the camp to give lecture. In addition to his ambassador’s career, Mr Oreck also has long experience in entrepreneurship and he currently advises the start-up companies of Aalto University in Finland, for example.
In his lecture, Mr Oreck encouraged the aspiring entrepreneurs to have the courage to be pioneers:
- In the end, a successful entrepreneur does not necessarily need to invent anything new, but do existing things in a different way, he said.
- Uber did not invent taxis or AirBnB hotels, but they have still been successful in the competitive markets by doing things in an entirely different way from before.
Giving tips to the young entrepreneurs, Bruce Oreck also emphasised the importance of open-mindedness and courage: don’t let others decide what you do, break established rules, and try to get away from your comfort zone.
- In my view, an entrepreneur should not adapt or confirm. If something is done in a certain way today, it doesn’t by any means mean that it must be done that way forever, Mr Oreck summarised.
Read more about the BELT project.