Nilab Alook and Krunoslav Weinpert had never met before they arrived at eLab Advance in Berlin to boost their respective entrepreneurial skills. Six weeks later, they were business partners.
A new joint venture brings their companies – Pointers International and International Sustainable Impact Corporation (iSi) – together to sell their products from their new home base in Berlin, a city well-known for fostering startups.
“We want to go international,” says Krunoslav. “In one year, we see ourselves having developed a new joint product for the social sector and the corporate sector,” adds Nilab.
Originally from Afghanistan, Nilab, 33, enrolled in eLab to help iSi grow faster. Krunoslav, 46, was also eager to grow his travel business, a tour company operating out of Croatia. After two weeks of learning new skills and tools, networking, and visiting Berlin startups with 16 eLab peers from all over the world, they found much in common.
“We discovered our goals and visions complement each other,” says Nilab. “I wanted to expand into the social sector,” explains Krunoslav. Nilab adds: “Working in politics, I had seen social deficiencies and the need for economic partnerships that bring stakeholders together.”
Nilab and Krunoslav made plans during eLab, outlining tasks and goals to help refugees learn new languages and find education for their children . With a five- to ten-year plan in place, they’re out to make the world a better place.
As their story shows, it’s in your interest to meet people with perspectives and experiences different from your own. Your exchanges could help you uncover a flaw in your business plan, find the ideal partner, or hatch a promising new business idea. So take advantage of opportunities to connect and share. Seek out meetups and conferences. Think about enrolling in an entrepreneurial program that puts you in touch with like-minded peers. As Nilab summarizes, “We can achieve more together than alone.”