Last summer, I participated in the three-week European Innovation Academy (EIA) accelerator program. Participants – students and entrepreneurs – work hard over 21 days and nights to improve an idea or advance a business.

Why I joined the program

Last year, I was the CEO of Woopstore, a start-up marketplace for any type of digital creation. Business was  so-so, so my associates and I decided  to attend EIA to think about pivoting or stopping our start-up.

After a few days and some discussions with mentors, we’ve decided to stop our start-up. I then worked on another project with a very talented team for the remainder of the academy.

 

What I learned

  • EIA’s aim is to educate participants.  I went to a number of lectures on business, tech, and entrepreneurship, and participated in helpful exercises, workshops, and courses moderated by highly skilled people, mainly from the United States. I learned how to work faster than my typical pace; optimize a product launch; choose and then imagine precisely our target’s life;
  • EIA’s focus is whether to invest in a start-up , and deal with venture capital negotiations (actually, we role-played as an entrepreneur and then as a venture capitalist guided by real venture capitalist advice).

Besides being a great learning program, EIA also hosts a contest, with 10K euros for the winning team. We also learned from competitors, seeing how they create and work.

Nothing is more effective than to learn by practicing. That’s exactly what this program is about – practice.

 

Why I recommend EIA

Since I stopped my previous start-up, I provide services and courses for start-ups and innovative projects teams. Most of the issues that my customers face are quite common for on any start-up In my opinion:

learning how to manage these challenges is invaluable experience for an entrepreneur. Developing a global network of professionals of various skills and cultures will help an entrepreneur improve his skills and get a global vision of the market.

 

Casual and Fun

Bring up 400-500 entrepreneurs altogether, shake it, and check out the result :

The EIA is not only an unforgettable experience; it’s also a lot of fun.

 

Yes, now I’m in

As you might guess, I’m now a member of the wonderful EIA team. I help to organize the event. It’s my way of assisting entrepreneurs to be successful on their business journey.

 

Any questions or comments ?

This article is quite different from what I usually write, but I wanted to give you an idea of the experience that gave me the skills I have today. What experience gave a boost to your entrepreneurial skills? Feel free to share.

If you’re interested in joining the EIA team, contact me or the EIA at www.inacademy.eu.