The future’s bright, the future’s YELLOW
4 April 2014
It’s not easy for young people to start their own business. That’s why UCL Advances, the university’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Interaction, is leading the way in working closely with high-growth SMEs across the European Union (particularly in France and Belgium) in a programme that aims to foster entrepreneurship across the Continent.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs – YELLOW (Young Entrepreneurs Living and Learning by Overseas Working) – links young and aspiring entrepreneurs with experienced entrepreneurs in another member state.
New Entrepreneurs (NEs) gain real world experience, Host Entrepreneurs (HEs) gain new ideas from spirited young people and the EU benefits from the next generation of business leaders.
The principle proven in practice
A great example of UCL Advances working with the Erasmus programme is UCL student, Dennis Dinkelmeyer (BSc Economics, Second year), who worked for two months with Mobicage, a Belgium-based technology start up specialising in mobile technology and cloud computing.
Dennis worked closely with a team of four from Mobicage, including the business founder Geert Audenaert and the company’s Vice President of Sales. In fact, the Mobicage team ensured Dennis was exposed to the many disciplines involved in running a successful business.
However, his key task was helping to develop both the technical and marketing aspects of Rogerthat Resto, a customer service app for restaurants.
Dennis quickly learned the significance of good leadership on such an important new project and what a huge responsibility is shouldered by the founders of a business.
As a result of his time with Mobicage, he rates the UCL Advances scheme, the help he received from the UCL team and the knowledge he gained as;
“Excellent. This programme is an absolute unique opportunity and gave me an unparalleled experience.”
As a bonus, the Rogerthat product launch attracted national press attention and TV coverage on Kanaal Z, for both Dennis and Mobicage.
Mobicage founder Geert commented, “I like working with these young interns. They always broaden my view on the world.
Dennis helped to advance us on the development of the restaurant solution and also provided us with a very nice website to support the new product.” Dennis added, “The experience, contacts and skills that I have gained are invaluable. My aim now is definitely to gain more experience in business but eventually to start my own.”
Which proves how well the Erasmus programme, and UCL Advances’ part in it, works in practice.