Warning: The European Innovation Academy Could Change Your Life

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The European Innovation Academy supports aspiring entrepreneurs to go from an idea to an initial startup in 15 days. Find out how joining this program could change your life:

“Fasten your seatbelts!” – That is the first thing said in airplanes before they take off. Because during the time of lifting off and reaching the cruising altitude, there’s a lot of turbulence – just like in entrepreneurial life.

Creating A Company – It’s Hard!

We all have already heard a lot about entrepreneurship, startups, business, etc… You may be interested in creating your own company, you have your project, idea, or even a demo, but let me tell you there’s so much more. Creating a company, building up a business – it’s hard. I mean it’s really hard. You’ve heard that 99% of all startups fail. Why? Because they have the wrong motivation (in some cases, not all, of course!). A good amount of people just want the final product of success – like success was a thing you can buy. Actually, you can only rent success and it’s not paid for with money, but with effort, will, tears, blood and many troubles every single day.

And this is not a fictional view, this is the reality. If you’re headed for the entrepreneurial world because it’s the hype of the day, because your friends support you, because your mom really tells you to – get out now, you’re wasting time!

If you just don’t want a boss and because of that you create a startup – you’re already dead, there’s no job that has more bosses than being a CEO of a business/startup/company whatever. Notice that you have thousands of potential clients that are your bosses, and believe me – clients don’t give a shit if you have swag, or go to parties, or drive a Ferrari. Clients want their product/service in a proper way so their business grows and evolves.

Creating a startup is about being selfless and not selfish, long hours at night are just a simple thing, having a balance of family, friends, and business – it’s a nightmare (solopreneurs can relate…).

Mold, Adapt, Grow

But enough of the 1% of the nightmare, let’s talk about how to start.

The first thing you need is 1% of an idea and 99% of resilience to stick with that idea, mold it, work on it and adapt it in order to grow. It will not be a 1-week hackathon that will make your dream work, it requires technical skill to implement, business skill to strategically position and evolve your project and last but not least sensibility in your industry. If you want to sell ice, but you end up in Siberia, it’s very unlikely that you’ll succeed.

Be humble and motivate yourself for the right reasons! Don’t follow trends, don’t be those guys nowadays who don’t know their problems but they know that the solution for their business will be a “Carrot token that uses Artificial Intelligence to manipulate a chain of blockchain that helps to improve eCommerce stores selling crypto coins to indigenous people of Amazonia that will create a crowdfunding campaign able to save us all from the ghost of nothing that lives in some VR world”.

Forget the buzzwords, forget your amazing curriculum, amazing wife/girlfriend, awesome night outs, forget all that and focus on the problem, identify the main problem (there are a lot of them that you have and other people have, start by that), acknowledge your resources, you’re capable of doing anything (not everything, but anything), understand what you need and start executing! Doesn’t matter the pace as long as you keep it going! Keep moving on, understanding the problem more and more and creating a solution to it, and test with other people that have that same problem.

And guess what… It’s not over until you win.

Beast Mode: ON.

You may ask, well but I need coding skill and I don’t have any… Well in my previous article I introduced you to Le Wagon – an excellent point to start.

But Daniel, from a business side – strategy, process, mindset – how can I get it? First and foremost books!

Secondly, the European Innovation Academy (EIA). It’s an organization that has an extreme summer accelerator program which supports you in going from your idea to an initial startup in only 15 days!

I repeat, 15 days!

You’ll learn about multiple subjects (such as IT, Finance, Product Development, Intellectual Property, Pitching, etc.) from professional mentors who already were in the process you’re in, understand what you need and – more importantly – know how to do it. Per example: setting up a cloud server, at European Innovation Academy you can talk with an IT mentor to help you with all your IT related problems. Another example: when you create a landing page, you may get templates but very fast end up cluttering the landing page making it hard to retain customers. With the mentors’ guidance, you get some shortcuts and use the time available to focus on your core competencies.

I see participating in the European Innovation Academy as an investment, a truly good one (if you want to create your own company, find co-founders, etc.). It can be expensive (€1699 regular tuition fee in Portugal) but saves you time and effort that you can use for other things – so it ends up being a great investment.

To build a business, you need an idea, but not any idea. It must be an idea that solves a problem for a set of people. To achieve this idea/market fit, EIA teaches you how to conduct customer development interviews. And this is really important – if you skip this you may end up creating a solution that no one needs. Then you need to finetune how to solve the problem and once that is done you need a team – for that you need to describe your idea in a way that compels others to join you.

But there’s more, it’s not about getting some folks and you have a team, no. You need a laser focus team, three members at least that are focused on achieving the same goal as you. That share the same vision, it’s not easy and it’s very important because you can do anything but not everything (remember?). The way to success is very long, so having a team to push each other in tough moments helps.

But there’s also life, at EIA it’s not just work work work, it’s about networking, meeting people and going forward, growing through hardship and pressure but also learning how to reward yourself. And sometimes –  after achieving a milestone – what you really need/want as a reward is to sit back and talk with like-minded people and just enjoy the struggle that comes with it, that you finally achieved the goal and are now taking advantage of it.

There are team building events, football games, dinners, parties, but you may understand laser focus people will probably prefer to sacrifice today for tomorrow’s betterment. So yeah, if you want to build a successful business make sure to learn as much as you can and focus. Shoot for the top without fear as only by exiting your comfort zone you really can grow.

If you want to join the next round of the European Innovation Academy – it will take place in Cascais, Portugal from July 15 to August 3. Get more info on EIA’s website or Facebook page.



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