During Oct. 5-9, NYU Abu Dhabi's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneurship Society, a Student Interest Group, launched their first event of the year. 10 students participated in this entrepreneurial week, committing their Eid al-Adha break to the course.
According to freshman Yara El Wasir, it was time indeed well-spent: “I’ll give my 100% thumbs-up for all the valuable information they gave us. I love how we didn’t really have anything much to start with and Owen [Davis, a seasoned entrepreneur,] developed our start-up ideas into a real and meaningful pitch.”
The students were asked to prepare three minute company pitches prior to the opening session and debrief their business ideas on the first day. As the course picked up, the novice entrepreneurs had to deliver PowerPoint presentations on their idea each day, incorporating what they had gathered from their research by conducting customer interviews and surveys. Throughout the training, the students learned how to conduct customer interviews for feedback on their product idea, how to develop a business model around their product and how to test the key assumptions that their business model was based on.
“We simply had to keep refining and building on our previous presentations. Like, my team originally had thought about developing a kind of wrist-watch that could illustrate the positions of the Solar System planets on the dial but on exploring the demand for such a market, our initial concept transitioned into developing smart-watches that are, for instance, more likely to be bought as presents. Moreover, it was really great to be taught by a guy who is as experienced as Owen [Davis] in this field,” said freshman Mark Surnin about his experience.
The workshop was a lot more comprehensive than some of the start-up weekends that were organized on campus earlier and marked the launch of the new Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
"The goal of the course is to give students an overview of the entrepreneurial process and a hands-on experience in developing a viable business model that relies on tested assumptions," NYUAD junior and Entrepreneurship Society Executive Director Daniel Mountcastle said.
According to Mountcastle, the aim of the society is clearer and more dynamic than before, "The Entrepreneurship Society aims to create and foster a community of entrepreneurs here at NYUAD. The SIG achieves this by organizing workshops, classes, guest lectures, and pitch events over the course of each semester."
Tanya Bansal is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.