IF YOUR EMPLOYEE RULES ARE TIGHT TO YOU, TRY DOING BUSINESS
Entrepreneurship as one of the ways that can lead to a successful career. It's definitely not that simple, and many beginners "burn their fingers." But we all know that, even after the debacles of life, one gets back on one's feet and either one is stronger by experience and starts fighting for the title of "entrepreneur" again, or one understands that this is not their way.
How do I know if my business idea is viable? Where do I get money for business when I am still just a student? Is it realistic to run a business alone? There are many questions and the answers to them are not easy.
How to start when you have no one to learn from?
Already 15 years ago, so-called accelerators began to emerge around the world. Programs that help startups and beginning entrepreneurs start up their business. VSB-TUO has been operating the Green Light acceleration program for 9 years now. The two-stage system makes it possible to focus on both interested parties with just an idea and projects that have already started their business.
The Start program is very individual. Those interested usually apply for it without much experience in business, and the mentor's work here begins with finding out their motivation, verifying the idea itself with potential customers and ends with assembling the business model. The accelerator is already a higher level. The program is really full of workshops and seminars for four months, not only with mentors, but mainly practitioners. The task is to further strengthen the strong points, and especially to work on the weak ones, so that the participant at the end has a comprehensive business plan and a clear idea of whether his project makes sense or needs to be changed or, for example, to supplement the team with suitable colleagues.
It is foolish to want to do business and not experience failure
The mentors and lecturers who accompany the "greenlightists" during the Accelerator are themselves experienced entrepreneurs. They, too, have gone through stages of success and failure, so they can pass on authentic experiences to future entrepreneurs. Participants can learn from the best, for example, from Oskar Kořistka, the founder of the startup Supernova who was so far the only one from our republic to participate in the American accelerator Y Combinator, or Matěj Kastner from ProRocketeers, who works with projects mainly on team management and effective work in it. In order not to keep everything just on a theoretical level, the Accelerator is completed every year with an all-day event. The morning is dedicated to speed dating with investors and in the afternoon the final Startup Show takes place, where the best of the accelerated projects will compete before the jury.
Over 400 registered, 40 million invested crowns, 9 years of experience. Those interested with various types of projects apply to Green Light, and some of them really score points on the startup scene. E.g. Ullmann's smart weeding machine that fights its way to eco-farming prominence, SenSei's rehabilitation aid helping children with brain damage, or this year's winner Nilmore, and their unique circular clothing.
ReNa Cartridge Recycling
Mr. Jaroslav, who is implementing a project dealing with the recycling of shotgun cartridges with his wife Kateřina and his friend Zdeněk, also went through the accelerator. "As an active athlete in shotgun disciplines, I dealt with the question of how to recycle shooting waste years ago, but an accident at work changed my life. I stayed in a wheelchair and had to solve other problems than ecology in shooting. The whole idea lay in an imaginary drawer until now, when I decided to finish it." Mr. Jaroslav tells his story.
The ReNa project team has developed an effective way how to divide cartridges into individual parts and separate plastic and metal. It is this separation that plays a crucial role, because it provides a single-species input material suitable for regranulation. The purpose of all recycling is to help shooting range operators meet their legal obligation regarding waste processing. There is no company in the Czech Republic that can process this waste. Thanks to the technology of the ReNa project, the waste will be recycled and the ecological burden on the environment will be reduced. Their vision is to supply regranulate to cartridge manufacturers and thus close the circle of their existence from production to reuse.
"Green Light embodied our idea in a real project. What we had been thinking about until then, we really addressed during the program. Regular consultations with a mentor moved us forward by leaps and bounds, and thanks to professional workshops we were able to create a functioning company out of nothing. And this despite the fact that this year everything had to be moved online. The final Green Light Startup Show and the presentation of the project to top experts was a great test for us, whether it all makes sense. We received unique feedback and the financial support we received was the icing on the cake. Many thanks," concludes Mr. Jaroslav.
9th year of Green Light Accelerator
If the situation is favourable, the 9th year of the Accelerator should take place partly online and partly "live". It is a suitable compromise for non-Ostrava participants, for whom this form is more comfortable, but at the same time a certain personal contact is maintained.
Applications can be sent from September 13, 2021.