Copyright, trademark, ownership, trade secret, IP, copyright infringement… So many scary words that I might be better off ignoring, or is it really so? Today we had a session with our house lawyer, Kjersti Staven-Garberg. Kjersti works at Acapo, one of the leading IP consultancy firms in Norway.
During today’s session, the NSE students learned more about how to protect their ideas and the differences between IP and IPR. This is a very interesting field, that many startups have to explore on their own.
Having mentors and lawyers that support us at NSE is really valuable. Not only do they give lectures on certain topics, but are always available to give advice and guidance to the NSE startups.
Being part of the NSE opens a large network and many opportunities. Last week the 4th year students stayed and worked five days at the research facilities CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to this week, the students spent the weekend in the alps village Chamonix, in France.
During the week four CERN-based technologies were put through a thorough feasibility study. With more than 2000 man-hours of work, the students dug into complicated technology and researched potential applications within different markets. On Friday four solid presentations were held for the students, NSE staff and researchers at CERN. The CERN staff was immensely impressed by the work that the students had done.
In a months’ time, the student will form teams and choose business ideas. The four CERN ideas might be chosen.
This week, the 4th year students completed their third feasibility study. Last week, 10 external idea owners presented their business ideas to the class. Some of these were selected by the teams, and put under scrutiny through five days of hard work. The students did research on the product, competitors, markets and possible business models, to mention some aspects of their feasibility studies. After gathering tons of information, the students have to process and communicate their findings in a short hand-in. On Friday all the groups presented their findings to the class and a panel of experts.
The feasibility tests include a lot of hard work, but is also a good way to get to know your classmates. In December the students will form teams, which will go on to create start-ups in January. As Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator put it:
You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible.
We have done it again! Startups from the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship are really good at communicating what they do and the value it brings. This makes them great at getting soft-funding. The last couple of weeks this has paid off for several NSE startups.
We look forward to seeing more from our alumni and co-students’ startups!
A month has passed by and the new students have already gotten their hands dirty. They have completed two feasibility studies, consisting of intensive work where they test business ideas to see if they have potential.
Some of the business ideas that have been tested are internal, while others have external idea owners. Last week the 4th year students searched in every nook and corner to find good ideas here at NTNU. Being part of Norway’s largest university proved fruitful as many professors had ideas they wanted our students to look into.
The work is documented in a short report and presented for the staff, classmates and some externals. What a great way to kick off the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship!
Up next? This Tuesday the 4th year students will be visiting TrønderEnergi to see what exciting possibilities exist within the energy and power domain.