Technova Young: La Salle's Entrepreneurship Club.
Technova Young is a business and entrepreneurial incubator for La Salle students and alumni. The club was founded at the end of the autumn semester, 2013, and has now been running for almost six months. I caught up with professor Paul Fox to find out some of the challenges the group had faced during the first six months, and how the project was shaping up for the next academic year. Luke: How many students and professors are involved in Technova Young at the moment? What exactly is Technova Young? And how do you feel it is shaping up after it's first six months? Paul: There are five organisers and founders, including myself, with around another 50 students actively participating in the club. Technova Young is basically an incubator for our students who want to take part in developing business projects and ideas. We try to create an environment where they are free to be creative and explore new ideas, while we also encourage them to take risks, and to not fear failure. We are also trying to connect with various alumni from La Salle who have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs, and ask them to be involved in the project and help mentor some of our students in Technova Young. This has naturally been a challenge in itself, with many of our former students moving away from Barcelona. We have also struggled to create a unique 'space' or environment specifically for students who are participating in Technova Young, while many students are also busy pursuing various other projects and goals. However, the participation and the interest from students has been very encouraging so far, and we are both excited and optimistic about the future of Technova Young and its participants. Luke: What are some of the events and activities that are organised by Technova Young? Paul: Well we organise formal monthly meetings, but the students also organise their own events and meetings and regularly meet with one another to work on their projects and ideas. We also organise a guest speaker series and lectures for the students, and we also have an annual entrepreneurship competition called La Salle Start-Up Lab. The competition lasts three days and includes a range of activities and tasks that students must perform in groups. The idea of the competition is to get the students being creative and trying to give them a taste of the entrepreneurial world outside La Salle. It encourages idea generation and business development. Students that participate in Technova Young also gain access to the Four Years From Now conference, where they can network and make some important connections.