Barbara Steffen, germany

Student experience Barbara

Hey, I am Barbara, a second year IBA student. The sixth module Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Inn&Ent) focuses on innovation addressing the pre-conditions of a successful introduction of new to the world products to the market and entrepreneurship addressing how to grasp opportunities for starting one’s own venture with regard to the requirements and conditions to make it happen.

‘Recommendations to real organizations’

In this module we could choose between two projects tackling either innovation or entrepreneurship. In both project tracks the groups worked in close contact with an organization to which the contact was provided by the university. The aim of the projects was to analyse the organization’s current state and to make recommendations on how the company could improve their way of doing business and addressing their market segment.

‘Industry gives motivating feedback’ 

My group took part in the Star programme of this module, which is a more challenging version of the project. All Star groups participated in the entrepreneurship track as the challenge was to be the entrepreneurs pursuing our own product idea. The goal of the project was to identify an opportunity and come up with a product satisfying and fulfilling an existing market need. As my group’s product tackled a problem many global enterprises face we were throughout the project in close contact with managers, project leaders, project members and entrepreneurs to identify their main problems when handling their day-to-day business.

Based upon the identified problems we refined our product, the global communication infrastructure, which enables organizations to share knowledge and experiences enterprise-wide aiming at internal alignment, coordination, cooperation and continuous improvement. Throughout the project we developed a prototype which was tested and iterated through close customer contact and feedback. Especially, direct feedback from higher industrial representatives like ‘I am really impressed to see the results of the exchange and the discussions that were made upfront and during this highly complex project, and I would  be happy to support this project in the future’ was very motivating and inspiring. The next step of all Star groups is to participate in the Intel Global Challenge and to try our luck.

‘Unforgettable opportunity’

The module fits the flair and environment of the University of Twente considering the close cooperation with Kennispark Twente and the many arising start-ups as particularly the projects were a huge and unforgettable opportunity for reaching out to businesses and developing the idea and business plan of one’s envisioned venture. It further stimulated and enabled us to build upon our own understanding and knowledge gained throughout the last 18 months.

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