We finally got round to posting StartUP Challenge 2012 student Jason Selvarajan’s account of his all expense paid trip to compete in the SCI-PRENEURSHIP: 24 Hour Student Contest in Barcelona Spain. Jason’s text below.
I was lucky enough to participate in the SCI-PRENEURSHIP: 24 Hour Student Contest in Barcelona Spain on the 22nd to the 23rd of October 2012. The all expenses paid event was a joint INTEL ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) & JA-YE (Junior Achievement and Young Enterprise) Europe Alumni initiative. We had almost 40 students from 18 countries. I was the only one representing Finland. I participated in the JAYE Start-Up course with John Greene and Daryl Chapman which started in late 2011. My company wasn’t quite ready by the end of the course but I learned to see business in a new way. I’m still working on my product for my Bachelor thesis, which I’d like to imagine helped me get picked for this awesome event. The other JA-YE students were impressive, many of whom already ran companies and the INTEL ISEF guys were equally impressive as I think all of them had won in national science competitions around Europe – a best and the brightest kinda crowd. The flights, accommodations in a 5-start hotel and delicious food was all paid for.
The Four Minute Pitch
We ended up with a product that is called Mr. Caterpillar which is powered by children playing with the toys on his back earth worms (in his belly) to make compost for mini-gardens that would be constructed by local schools. Our business model would generate social and environmental value as well as income from sponsors that want to be associated with our product. Pitches were limited to four minutes and really really last minute we switched our presenters and I had to really quickly learn my part of the pitch. Hectically I somehow got through it. We were asked to pitch again with the three finalist teams and I didn’t realize that I wasn’t pitching to the judges but interested parties from the INTEL conference on Smart Cities which was being held downstairs (they came into the room while we had a break) – people like Martin Curly the vice president and senior engineer of INTEL . I felt awkward faking my enthusiasm and stumbled around but people said it was funny and more spontaneous that the first presentation. We won 2nd place and the only comments the judges had was that ‘every school should have one of these’ and that we had great team spirit. Awesome.
I really loved the trip though I wish it would have been longer. It was Barcelona after all! I made new friends around the world and met really interesting people. I also got to pitch my own product to the other students a lot which helped me on my pitching. The whole event showed me what I can accomplish and it encourages me to stick with my entrepreneurial endeavors.
JA-YE Europe Sci-preneurship Student Contest
Facebook Photo gallery link
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences