I’ve just completed my first two weeks with Elab Berlin and, what a two weeks it’s been! As a budding entrepreneur trying to build my cookbook brand, I found that I needed a little help, not just with the basics of business but with motivation and concept management. The moment I signed up with ELab, I knew that I’d come to the right place.
Food for thought
The first revelation was that I was placed in a class full of people just like me - people who had a dream and were looking for the tools to realise it. It was great to meet Kroona and hear all about her inspirational ideas for the tourism industry to Nilab who was full of suggestions as to how to grow my business.
Wednesdays at ELab are all about fireside chats with incredible guest speakers including the Founder of Civey and an entrepreneur who has launched literally dozens of startups during his career. Listening to the guest speakers was incredibly valuable in terms of understanding the learning curve that led them to success and getting to grips with different ways of financing a business. The most important thing I took away from these talks was the importance of never giving up; even when an initial idea falls flat.
I felt incredibly lucky to be working with ELab’s energetic and creative instructors who genuinely enjoy championing our businesses and sharing the wealth of their experience and expertise. ELab’s instructors don’t just teach - they also consult in the business world so they know their onions!
In good company
For me, one of the highlights so far has been our amazing visits to Factory and Betahaus - forward thinking co-working spaces with incredible resources for start ups and, a visit to successful start up, Babbel. As well as gaining valuable tips and insights into real working start ups, these visits showed me just how easy it is to find affordable work space in Berlin.
As I begin the third exciting week with ELab, I’m looking forward to tackling my business plan and business model and finding out the best way to make sure that these are modern, professional and attention-grabbing.
What I’ve learned in two weeks with ELab
Where to start? I’ve learned that a lot of what I learned in University is, essentially, irrelevant in the real business world. I’ve learned to look at aspects of my business in a different way in order to identify weakness and areas that require clarification. I’ve learned about the complexities of design thinking and getting to know the end user before building a prototype. I’ve also learned about business models, lean management and scrum but, more importantly, I’ve learned to see my mistakes as a positive learning experience.