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The project week took place digitally, but this did not detract from the brainstorming.
© Münsterland e.V./Romana Dombrowski

From the idea to the pitch: young people from Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gymnasium get a taste of start-up life

Do you want to be a founder? Sounds like a good plan! And it gets even better when there is a concrete idea behind it. During a digital project week, young people from grade 10 of the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gymnasium in Münster learned how to develop their own business idea and present it convincingly, and which path other founders have taken. They took part in the #Youngstarts online start-up week organised by the joint project Gründergeist #Youngstarts Münsterland.

"With our offer, we want to promote entrepreneurial and creative thinking among the young people. The topic of founding a company can also be part of professional development. That's why we bring the pupils into contact with the regional start-up scene and also let them become active themselves directly. Because theory is one thing, practice is another," emphasised Katharina Stemmer, project manager for the joint project at Münsterland e.V..

The young people went into the week with very different expectations. "I expect the project week to help me develop a vision that I can continue to work on after the seven days," said student Nour Idelbi. The participants also hoped to find answers to questions such as: How do I get investors? What is a pitch?

All this was part of the offer. To get started, the participants took the opportunity to ask the start-ups AllCup, liba Getränke, Eloquence and Orderspot questions and then developed their own start-up ideas in teams. How about, for example, a ride-sharing app specifically for women that ensures more safety when travelling? Or an app that helps to better control mobile phone consumption?

After that, the next step was on the agenda - from idea to business. To create the prerequisites for this, the young people learned how to convincingly present and film their business idea. They then immediately put this into practice. First they created their own videos, then the teams competed against each other in the #Youngstarts contest. In front of a jury of start-up and advisory personalities, they presented their video and their business idea and faced the questions and assessments of the jury. In the end, the team that developed the ride-sharing app for women - "SafeSpace where Girls support Girls" - came out on top. The team convinced the jury with their overall package of video, business potential, pitch presentation and creativity and secured a breakfast event on the MS Günther.

All the students left the project week with new ideas and inspiration at the end. "Personally, I have always liked the topic of starting a business and I also see myself as an entrepreneur in ten years' time," said Nour Idelbi, for example. "What I found most appealing is that we students are finally being given the opportunity to get a taste of starting a business."

In the future, the project wants to get young people even more excited about the topic of start-ups, especially in their free time. There will be a learning platform with explanatory videos and other materials, and an ideas competition is also planned for next year. This way, interested young people can first develop their own idea and then later compete against other start-up ideas with this elaborated vision.

The project week was organised by the joint project Gründergeist #Youngstarts Münsterland, which strengthens the start-up intensity in the Münsterland and opens up new start-up potential and target groups with target group-specific offers. The project is funded by the European Union and the NRW Ministry of Economics as part of the ERDF call "Regio.NRW".
Münsterland e.V. implements the project pillar for the school sector as lead partner together with the following partners: Wirtschaftsförderung im Kreis Warendorf (gfw) and Technologieförderung Münster GmbH.

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