A first in the history of the HFL, the 2-day HFL boot camp got introduced to this cohort’s founders. A weekend full of fun, knowledge and development waited for the motivated founders at the HULT Undergraduate Campus in London. The HFL boot camp has begun!
After a short introduction of the new board members and leading bodies of the HFL, the founders directly pitched their idea and introduced themselves to their fellow founders, all of whom will be in this program for the next nine weeks. Ideas variated from industry, interest and development, but in each and every pitch the board was clearly enticed by the creativity of founders in this terms cohort. From education to tech, and from airports to brokerage, the individuality of the ideas was evident.
After the introductory round, both HFL leaders, Prof Liliana Caimacan and Prof Daniel Rukare started with the knowledge sharing, which was essential for the founders. To get into the program, our lead advisors discussed everything from the business plan to USPs. With everything discussed in detail, the founders got a better picture of what they will work on in the upcoming program.
While the founders and board members had standing lunch, a lot of networking and talking took place, whereas already the first friendships, and/or business propositions, as well as possible collaborations got discussed.
The afternoon was centred around formulating risky assumptions and deriving hypothesis’ from them, for the developing businesses, whereby the founders needed to take into account the MVP, as well as the future customer groups.
After an exhausting day full of activities, and the entire cohort was sent out on their last mission; to go out on the open streets and test their previously formulated hypothesis’ on real people. Time to prepare for day 2!
In November Franco Torres, a member of the HFL went to Paris for the yearly BRASA European Leadership conference.
BRASA is the largest organization of international Brazilian students as it currently has 3500+ active members spread around 72 universities around mainly the United States and Europe.
Franco went to the conference representing his main startup, Dorm Made – the social meal-sharing platform. Dorm Made is a social network that connects college students cooking in their dorms, shared kitchens or flats with other students in search of a healthy yet cheap meal option.
Once Dorm Made reaches product-market fit the BRASA network will be extremely helpful in exposing the solution to thousands of university students around the globe who seek to save time, energy and money by dining Dorm Made!
The theme of this years conference was resignifying the “Jeitinho Brasileiro” and had renowned Brazilian guest speakers such as Maitê Lourenço – Founder and CEO at BlackRock Startups, Jean Philippe Rosier, Founder of Perestroika who is revolutionizing the Brazilian educational system, Guilherme Junqueira, Founder and CEO of Gama Academy – nominated one of the best educational startups by Google’s Singularity University; to name a few of the great minds present and their amazing accomplishments.
The “Jeitinho Brasileiro” is defined as finding a way to accomplish something by circumventing or bending the rules or social conventions. Most times it is harmless but the mindset of this “lifestyle” is many times the base for corruption and leads to cases where one takes advantage of situations as well as people. The conference’s purpose was to unite influential Brazilian student-leaders in an attempt to re-shape the Jeitinho and use it to disrupt paradigms for the betterment of society – which is exactly what Dorm Made attempts to achieve by completely transforming the eating habits of college students, as well as the way they interact with one another. Dorm Made believes in a world where health and practicality go hand in hand and through the sharing economy they are transforming healthy eating into a social activity.
Dorm Made is currently testing its platform in the UK and raising a seed round to further develop the product. Franco will be transferring to Hult San Francisco on September 2019 and plans to penetrate the American market aggressively with the help of tech titans from Silicon Valley.
“Motivation ranking” of reasons why employees seek startups
Results from a sample of +20 thousand candidates applying for jobs with Perestroika.
Love for what you do
Open Communication Culture
Notice how salary comes in only at the 9th position.
Franco at Ecolé Polytechnique’s lake, the university where the conference was held. This institution is renowned for the quality of its student body as it is considered a powerhouse, breading multiple revolutionary French politicians.
Gregorio Duvivier is the Founder of Porta Dos Fundos – Brazil’s 4th most subscribed to Youtube channel. The comedy channel releases sketches depicting social situations in a satirically exaggerated manner. The parodies cover themes such as religion, drug use, sexuality, political corruption as well as everyday frustrations and the criticisms made represent the voice of the Brazilian underworld.
Franco supporting the local politicians. During the conference, Parisians were protesting against abusive government tax on gasoline.
Thank you for reading our ‘Spotlight: BRASA Paris 2018’ blog. Are you interested in joining the Hult Founders Lab? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can look at our other locations here.
On Thursday 29th of November, the start-ups had the opportunity to meet their mentors. They comprised a professional panel of business advisors from diverse backgrounds who were willing to help the founders in their specific areas of specialities.
The event started by the mentors presenting themselves to inform everyone in the room what they are currently doing and what are the areas in which they have specialized throughout the years. The Hult campus set a great backdrop for the event.
Then, every startup pitched their business ideas in two minutes presenting their product and their main current challenges for the professional panel of advisors, to understand where they might be able to help the startups to move forward because all of them are at different stages. Later, the startups were given time to network with each other and answer some questions that both parties, the mentors and the startups had.
This way the mentors could get a deeper insight into each of the businesses they talked to, and the start-ups could start getting pieces of advice to take their businesses to the next level.
Thank you for reading our ‘Mentors Event: Hult Founders Lab’ blog. Are you interested in joining the Hult Founders Lab? Email us at email@example.com. Alternatively, you can look at our other HFL locations here.
When a member of the Hult Founders Lab succeeds, we celebrate their success, as a team. Recently, one of the founders in the Hult Founders Lab, Cara Regier, competed at the Vertex Summit, in November. Cara placed in the top three!
Interview with Cara:
Lars- “So, Cara, you’re part of the Hult Founders Lab incubator program this fall  with your startup Kazye.”
Lars- “How did you come up with your idea?”
Cara- “It started with realizing how many of our day-to-day items are actually made out of plastic and a conversation with a friend. He told me “yes, recycling is a step closer to phasing out but Seychelles (my home country) doesn’t actually have a recycling facility”. It made me think about how I can help an island state dependent on the ocean to rid their increase in plastic pollution. Why not help them and other countries enter the circular economy to sustain their phasing out of single-use plastics and encourage projects to create awareness about the impact of plastic pollution and microplastic.”
Lars- “What challenges have you faced so far, and how have you adapted to them?”
Cara- “Initially I wanted to 3D print recycled items but it turned out to be a logistical nightmare and in return wouldn’t have the positive impact on the local economy I would want to have. Talking to mentors, friends & family and investors has helped narrow down what can have the biggest impact while keeping profits.”
Lars- “What was your greatest benefit from the HFL program so far?”
Cara- “Feedback and Support. Critical feedback to be specific. So-called “roasting” sessions as they like to call it really highlight where the problems in your idea lay that you haven’t considered yet. But it is also an ecosystem of support and shared knowledge which has helped gain confidence in my idea and learn about new ways to improve my idea.”
Lars- “You have also been part of the Vertex competition, and pitched very successfully at the Vertex Summit.”
Lars- “How was the Vertex program, and what was the best thing about it?”
Cara- “The Vertex was a great professional networking opportunity, especially for investors and startups. I have made amazing connections that I am still in contact with that help me develop my idea. The Pitch Competition with judges for the startups was great. It was my first pitch but I was confident enough to go through with it as you were still within your “safe” ecosystem of fellow startups you’ve worked alongside with. It helps to take that first step out of your comfort zone to present your idea you’re so passionate about in front of an audience which is there to criticize you.”
Lars- “What did you think of the Vertex Summit?”
Cara- “Overall it was a great experience. It was sad that not many students/attendees showed up which cause some talks to become delayed and overlap to get the biggest audience possible. It slightly took away the excitement of the event, however, the pitches were still well visited and I think personally every speaker who came in was an excellent choice and brought amazing advice to the event that should not be missed.”
Lars- “How did it feel to place 3rd for best competition pitch, and be granted a place in a renowned accelerator, and how do you think it will help your idea?”
Cara- “People came to me after the award ceremony trying to comfort me I made “only” third place. I told them I could not be more happy and proud of myself as I did not expect anything at all. I am very grateful and happy I took this scary step. Finding out I would get into the accelerator was just the icing on top. I am confident this is the beginning of an amazing journey where I can find team members, partnerships and mentorship.”
All of us here at the Hult Founders Lab congratulate Cara and her business with this milestone. Good job!
You can learn more about the Vertex Summit here. If you are interested in joining the Hult Founders Lab, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can look up our locations here.