A student driven start-up project

A three-month internship in a startup company is a compulsory part of the master program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. However, students do not necessarily work in someone else’s startup, some work in their own startup. Nordic Lynx and L-CK AS, two companies that were founded by master's students during their first semester, have just finished a three months intensive program in the incubator StartupLab.

Five smiling boys sitting in a sofa with the STARTUP written behind them in yellow letters

The students working in Startup Lab. From the left: Bastian Marenbach, Ademir Alijagic, Shahabaz Basheer, Juan Carlos Maita Pozo, and Linus Runhede. Foto: Karolina Heggeli

The startups

L-CK is a company committed to actively reducing bicycle theft, by offering high quality tracking systems at a reasonable cost. During their stay in StartupLab, they went from nothing to having their first working prototype, illustrating their concept.

Nordic Lynx creates and designs Norwegian backpacks. Their first backpack named “Oslo” is aimed at the busy and urban individual who wants to carry both work and gym supplies in one fashionable package. During the internship period they evolved from a purely problem solving to a more design focused company. The internship resulted in a prototype of the “Oslo” backpack.

A meaningful experience

The students emphasize that one of the benefits of working in their own company is that it allows them to pursuit their own dreams and passions, instead of working for someone else’s. As Linus from L-CK explains:
- We had the opportunity to build something based on our ideas instead of somebody holding us back. People will still tell you what to do but you are the one who actually decides.

Through the program the students have been able to practice the learning from the first semester courses. Ademir from Nordic Lynx explains that by working in their own company they have been able to obtain hands on experience and experience the link between theory and practice.
- We get a really hands on experience, get to practice what the books preach, and also see how real life can differ.

Linus from L-CK emphasize the importance of feedback from the customers as one key learning from the internship
- It's easy to fall in love with your concept and ignore important disadvantages. You need to make sure that you get external feedback!

Help and support from Startup Lab

The students have been working in StartupLab in Oslo Science Park, a location that the students have found to be very beneficial for their companies. Ademir from Nordic Lynx emphasize the advantage of being surrounded by like-minded people. The students also got a lot of help from StartupLab’s mentors.
- Startup Lab was very beneficial. For one it felt like going to work, and it was work. Being surrounded by like-minded people also pushes you into the entrepreneurial spirit. The mentors are great, they have a lot of experience, and we felt they really helped us when we reached a crossroad.

A great chance to learn how to be an entrepreneur.

The students really feel that they had a meaningful experience throughout the program. They will recommend future students to do the same.
- If you really want to learn what it is like to be an entrepreneur, this is your chance!

Three guys standing in an hallway, two of them holding up one bag each made of leather. All three smiling
Shahabaz, Ademir and Bastian with the first versions of their “Oslo”-backpack Foto: Nils Magne Killingberg

More information

The UiO Master's Programme in Innovation and Entreprenurship

StartupLab: Networking, Insight and Funding

 

By Karolina Heggeli and Nils Magne Killingberg
Published July 3, 2017 10:51 AM - Last modified July 3, 2017 10:51 AM