After a few weeks since the meeting took place and with more calm thoughts, I can say that I consider the project a success.
I do not have and have never had any interest in starting my own business, so my initial interest to go there was very low. The first day there, I admit, things did not improve: the pace of the class was very slow, and everything seemed a bit disorganized and messy. Despite this I understand that this was the first day of life of the project, so it is more than excusable. Because we also had been warned about all the travels and what it was at the last minute, we also did not know very well where we were getting, which made everything a bit confusing for us. Looking back it is clear that the course is more like an extra-curricular tool than a full course itself.
Fortunately, as we settled, the pace of classes improved and my interest grew progressively, to the point of really caring about the idea we had in our hands. The subject of the following classes (such as body language or different marketing systems) and how they were presented and the activities that we did also helped to keep my attention.
So, I think normal mistakes were made in an initiative as new as this, as well as perhaps a miscalculation in the focus of the course, but still attractive enough to capture the interest of people who had never worried about something like that before, like myself.
Outside of the classes themselves, the organization was excellent, very attentive and friendly. There is something that could be seen clearly, and it was the good predisposition and the desire to do everything well on the part of all the organizers of the event; if something went wrong or not as well as they wanted, they were the first to feel it, and it is always appreciated to see how an organization cares about what they have in their hands.
On the other hand, the relationship among the other groups that came from other countries was very good and there was very good communication among all of them. I think we all had a great time there and I do not think anyone regrets having gone to Nagykanisza (even if you have to take a mini-caravan for 12 hours to go and another 12 for coming back!).
Finally, speaking about more specific points, I think the punctuality of the participating teams has to be improved, since nobody likes to wait more than half an hour to start. As has already been said, the presentation and the pace of some lessons also needs some improvements: I consider that the topic of leadership could have been a much more attractive topic than how it was presented, and there were also problems with lesson of mediation, since a translator is fine for a short talk, but not for a whole morning. In the end it was difficult to stay focused, and you could see that even people most interested in the subject had trouble following the thread of the talk.
Despite these points, the rest of the course was good and very entertaining, and a very positive experience for me and for all of us who participated. With the final contest I saw some ideas that some colleagues gave as winners fall apart completely, while others had better acceptance, and more or less I could see why some triumphed and others not, which I found really interesting. In our case, for example (wooden objects), I believe that the fact of having a realistic and current funding base as well as wanting to work with an idea of "low cost-high reward" gave us the advantage over other projects, or at least that's my feeling. Now that I think about it, I think a kind of summary written for each team with the big mistakes and successes of each presentation would also have been good, in order to have a more concise idea of which way to go and what to avoid at all costs. (Marc)
My week in Hungary was very interesting. specially because I could get out of my confort zone – making a business training course or knowing something about this field.
When I first knew I had to make a project/business, I had no idea of what I would do. But then something just came. Inspired by my shaman ex-boyfriend and also about my lifestyle and ideologies, I thought about creating a network platform that shares natural products, workshops, information, activism, awareness, Yoga, Chi kung, Tai Chi, etc, with the world and with other comunities who share also this natural and conscioussness lifestyle.
So I created my project with passion and presented it with the same passion and inspiration. All the process was great, I could really put this vision somewhere inside of my life and make it as a project-dream. One of the most joyful moments was after the presentation of my project, during a break time, some judge aproach me to tell me that he loved my project and that he wanted to talk more about it after the day. He spoke a bit of portoghese!
It was a lovely week, I met lovely people, I shared my ideologies with them and hopefully inspired them as well, as i was inspired by their projects, personalities and lifes!
I made some friends, one of them was Dimitri (a greek) and we talked a lot about our lifes. He told me that he would never be the same, that I changed his life and that he would follow his dreams when he returned to Greece. I guess that´s part of my biggest life project – transform myself and others, share my vision, love, and helping people be more happy and healthier in their lifes. And at the same time keeping myself conscious, growing the self with love and awareness and keep going the eternal process of unbecoming. (Ines)
My week in Nagykanizsa was very nice in general. Almost all the topics we were talking about were unknown for me so I learnt new things. Also I had the opportunity to meet new people from other countries and work with them.
The first day, after the opening and the introduction, we did the selection of the 12 business ideas that would be developed for the hackathon. It was a little unexpected for our group but finally many of our ideas were selected. After lunch the Module 1 took place: the main idea was good but the way it was explained wasn’t too attractive for students. There was a lack of non-formal education.
The second day was better, the Module 2 was interesting and they presented it in a more interesting way. In the afternoon we started to work in groups for the business idea.
The third day, because a change in the schedule, was the Module 4, that was the best one because it was totally non-formal education. Everyone liked this kind of activities and they made us learn in a different but interesting way. In the afternoon, we continued working in groups.
The fourth day was the Module 3. It was given by a Hungarian expert that has a man translating for him. Well, it was terrible. But it was because of the translator, he wasn’t speaking loud enough, so we couldn’t understand almost anything. In my opinion, for the next courses, the person who explains this topic should speak English, because the translator also makes the session slower. I have no complains about the Module 5. It was nice and very dynamic. After that all the groups were getting ready for the final Hackathon.
The Hackathon was very nice. All the ideas were exposed, the judge was very professional and I was happy because two of our ideas won. Then, the organizers close the training and we receive a little present for our participation.
That was a very short sum up. The only complains I can make are that the timetable was changing every day because some groups were not punctual. They should be stricter in this aspect for the next editions. Also that non formal education is more effective for this kind of European events. But I would like to highlight the good job that Nicky, the organizer, did. She was always worried about everything was ok. And the food in the restaurant was very good. (Laura)
The training in Nagykanizsa introduced the business and how to create a start-up, alternating theory with a simulation of a start-up creation. Theory tried to develop the self-knowledge, the communication, the negotiation, the conflict resolution and how to plan and build a work environment. The most part of the theory was practically used for the development of an idea for a start-up. In the first day, we also presented the ideas to develop the start-up. I thought about my academic career, and I presented a high-tech idea of start-up and it was accepted in the group of 12 projects set to develop. During the week, my group and I considered all the aspects of this start-up. In the last day, there was the hackathon, where this idea was presented to a commission. However, I don’t think I my ideas to the commission properly.
Generally, I think this is a positive experience, in particularly the co-working with people of different countries and with different experiences. I think that this situation is closer to the actual situation of a start-up, where the entrepreneur works with people with other ideas and skills or it’s actual if the business is international. The quality of the theory was influenced by the teachers: some of them were very skilled to present the lesson involving the audience, on the other hand, others weren’t so good. In this case the principal problem was linguistics and sometimes the organization of the lesson. Besides, I think the idea of alternating the theory with a practical activity is good and it should be more developed. The on-line course is a good tool to give a common background to different participants, but it should be finished before this kind of events and in the theory of the training should be a moment to explain deeply and practically the on-line theory.
I already knew the most part of the theory, but I could see it being practically applied during the training. I suggest continuing with this training in the future and developing it. If the flaws I noticed during the training will be solved, I’m sure it will be a successful event.
I also appreciated all the efforts of Nikoleta (I hope to have written the name correctly) for the accommodations and the organisation of this project. (Matteo)
Business in Nagykanizsa
I spent seven days in this Hungarian town of a modest size. We arrived on Sunday, April 15th and on Saturday`s morning. The Start - Up course lasted five days, from April 16 – 20. And I must admit, it was plenty of fun, but not the mindless kind of fun. That kind where you actually learn and discover something new. About yourself and the things around you. Some things suddenly make sense and even though you thought that you knew them and they seemed self-evident, now not only you know that they exist, but you also understand them. Like a new skill in a game that you have learnt, that will help you further down the road.
The theory part of the course itself wasn`t anything special. Just a bunch of definitions and smart sounding buzzwords. Some of them did stay glued in my mind. Who knows, maybe I`ll find some use for them. There were some organizational issues that arose time to time, but they didn`t impact the week too much. Just some slight annoyances. Like not keeping up with the schedule that was given, not throughoutly thinking everything trough, creating unnecessary confusion, further adding to the time wasting. Small things here and there. As I said, nothing unbearable.
And in my personal opinion the course was a bit too static. A lot of times we just had to sit and listen to someone talking, like a monotone tune on a record player meant to make everyone fall asleep. But then again you can make bussines theory only so interesting. So, in the end, I guess the organizers did quite a good job.
The most important and usefull part of this was the challening of your own ideas with other peoples. It was a good experiment to see how your shabby thoughts hold out in the unforgiving waves of other participant ideas. Will you croak under the pressure or will you stand tall and convice everyone else that your way, even though being complete shit, is the right one?
It also was a good opportunity to try to observe all the tick and knacks of business competion and fo people in them. Amateurish as it may be. You can try to explaing why certain thing happen to certain people, how they deal with these happenings and theorize how you would`ve dealt with them.
In the end, the week was spent valuably, disregarding those few organizational issues that occured. This was their first event of such type, so, hopefully, they will learn and change somethings. I might have enjoyed it for not the intended reasons, but nevertheless people making this thing happen did a good job and I wish them well in the future.
N.B. The food was marvelous. (Alekss)