Last Friday, 3 March, a Meet the Advisors session took place at the headquarters of the UPF Barcelona School of Management, an activity within the UPF entrepreneurship program where, as its name suggests, third and fourth year students in the university get to know and are mentored by UPF-BSM experts.
The main objective of Meet the Advisors is to develop and validate the business ideas and business plans presented in the Start-UPFlama Program once the theoretical sessions of the program have been taught. This means students from different business fields receive a helping hand thanks to the participation of mentors, who guide and offer their advice according to their respective areas of expertise.
On this occasion, the mentors were Oriol Montanyà, Alberto Lempira Guevara, Andrei Boar, Alberto Carrio, Rodrigo Cetina, Mariano de las Heras and Albert Domingo, who offered their advice on Operations and Supply Chain, Marketing and Communication, Finance, Human Resources Management, Law and Technological Strategy.
The Dean of the UPF Barcelona School of Management, Llorenç Bagur, was in charge of welcoming the students and presenting the session, before giving the floor to the professor of the Department of Medicine and Life Sciences and Vice-Rector of Knowledge Transfer at UPF, Laia de Nadal, who thanked the participants for their attendance, and considered it “essential for the university to provide all tools and opportunities so that both students and alumni can innovate and create, and can leave here with the instruments needed for transferring the knowledge we have supplied.”
Next, Susana Domingo, the Director of Business Strategy in the School and Director of the Master in Science and Entrepreneurship, briefly spoke, highlighting the large number of women attending the session, while the head of Entrepreneurship of the UPF-Innovation Unit Business Shuttle, Albert Domingo, mentioned that the idea and the initial phase of a start-up is the most important stage, more so than quick growth.
The first part of the session consisted of preparing a document with the key information of the business ideas for the entrepreneurship projects using the Canvas format. The participants had about 45 minutes to prepare a document with which to make a brief presentation, of at most one minute, in order to introduce the various participating projects to the mentors.
Next, the entrepreneurs presented their projects to the experts based on the previously prepared document.
The second part consisted of an individualized meeting of the participating teams with the experts, where each group had 15 minutes to discuss with the mentor the issues that most interested them concerning their respective fields of expertise.
The last minutes of the meeting were dedicated to preparing a document with a brief summary of the main advances that each group made during the meeting with the expert.
Entrepreneurship, a mainstay that must be worked on at university
The main message that was conveyed during the session was that entrepreneurship is a mainstay that must be worked on at university. If it is well demonstrated that entrepreneurship and competition between companies creates wealth and well-being for society, it is because competition is a stimulus for innovation and general productivity, as well as satisfying human impulses such as personal development, self-realization and the need for recognition.
Start-UPFlama, which celebrated its second year with 11 projects (three more than last year), is an initiative of the UPF-Innovation Unit Business Shuttle to promote the creation of entrepreneurial projects in the university community, mainly among UPF students and alumni.
With the view that the transfer of knowledge is bilateral, from the academic world to the business world, and conveying the idea of a large and diverse community, Start-UPFlama accepts individual or collective innovative company projects, without limitations in terms of the sector of activity.
Students who are pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree at UPF may participate; graduates of any UPF study during the last four academic years; and also other candidates, provided that they are part of a collective applications in which at least half of the team is formed by UPF students or UPF graduates of the last four academic years.