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The official graduation reception is set for November, but DTU Entrepreneurship has chosen to celebrate the new graduates early.
This was partly to gather the graduates before they would scatter to the four winds and partly to introduce the future Technology Entrepreneurship students to the first graduates of the MSc programme.
Congratulations to the new graduates from Technology Entrepreneurship, who now bear the title of cand.tech. We talked to four of them about conceiving viable ideas and making strong business cases.
Jess Jerltorp, MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship ’22 graduate and co-founder of the startup CEUS.
Jess Jerltorp attended a business academy programme in marketing management and subsequently studied for a Top-up Bachelor’s degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, both at the Copenhagen Business Academy (Cphbusiness), before he started studying for his MSc degree.
The MSc degree has given Jess Jerltorp the skills and courage to try his hands at entrepreneurship by creating an inspiring environment where it seems natural to start a new business while at the same time providing a safe space in the form of inspiring learning and SU (State Educational Grant) on top of that.
While studying, Jess Jerltorf formed the start-up CEUS, which aims to help detect intestinal cancer at an early stage. The start-up was included in the Danish Tech Challenge, which is Denmark’s best accelerator for hardware start-ups.
“Having the opportunity to work full time on my business while studying and at the same time creating a special course for the accelerator was a great learning opportunity for both me and CEUS. And the professionals at my study programme were always ready to help me if I needed feedback or support,” says Jess Jerltorf.
The study programme has also helped him learn about personal development and resilience.
“What surprised me the most is how much I’ve learned about myself. Starting your own business is very much about knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, professionally, but even more so on a personal level. The courses I have taken have indirectly enabled me to better navigate my own personal strengths and weaknesses, so that I can benefit from both.”
Diana Soots, MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship ’22 graduate and co-founder of the startup Innolidix.
Diana Soots is from Estonia and has a BA in Interior Design from Anglia Ruskin University, England and a BA in Architectural Technology and Construction Management from KEA, Denmark.
“When I joined the Master’s program I was at a crossroads between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. Having a background working within corporate structure, I was unsure which path to take. This program has been one of the best experiences in my life. I have met with so many amazing people and listened to their successes and failures in their startup journey, whilst building my first startup,” says Diana Soots.
While enrolled in MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship, Diana Soots co-founded the startup Innolidix, which uses lidar technology for precision blasting in the mining industry. Lidar is a technique for mapping the surroundings, which is similar to radar technology, but is based on light instead of sound.
It was also on campus, that Diana Soots met all of her co-founders and got mentorship and other forms of support from various DTU professors to push the idea to where it is today. Last year, the startup won first prize in DTU’s accelerator program for start-ups.
“Throughout the programme, it became increasingly evident that the startup environment is cut-throat and turbulent. That being said, it is thrilling to push the boundaries, to act as the trail blazer in emerging markets and to open up new possibilities, be it technology, strategy or process. The course inspired me to lead from the front, chase ideas and plough my own career furrow, so to speak. This course has also opened my eyes to my own natural proclivity towards strategy and logical thinking. This is the area I wish to pursue further.”
Simon El Nahas Christensen, MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship ’22 graduate and co-founder of the startup Movenation
Simon El Nahas Christensen, who has a BSc degree in Software Technology from DTU, topped off his MSc degree in Technological Entrepreneurship with a master’s thesis in Computer Science.
The study programme has given Simon a safe environment to try his hands at starting a business.
“Although it may sound silly, family and friends have more peace of mind when you’re in a study programme instead of being unemployed and unpaid, trying to start a business,” says Simon El Nahas Christensen.
As an engineering graduate, Simon has mastered data and technology, but the programme has also helped him form his start-up Movenation by teaching him to see the bigger picture and understand the world in which he wants his technological solution to work. Movenation is developing a search engine, that helps you find a better place to live abroad, where you perhaps can retire earlier at less cost.
“It has been particularly beneficial for me to test and confirm the hypotheses necessary for a company to make money.
I formed hypotheses such as: ‘People miss being able to interact with other participants in a video call’, and then I was able to ask potential users about it. This method resulted in a prototype that meets users’ need to interact with others, while at the same time testing whether they actually made use of the new feature.”
Ella Harris, MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship ’22 graduate and co-founder of the startup Uvisa Health.
Ella Harris is British and took A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology and then graduated with a BSc. (Hons) Forensic Science in 2009 in the UK.
Initially, Ella Harris joined the programme to gain experience of launching her own product, so that she could advance her career as a product manager. However, she had always had a dream of owning her own business, and so she credits the programme for re-ignited that fire by giving her the knowledge and the confidence, to finally pursue that dream.
“It basically felt like a mini MBA programme but with focus on startup business instead of big corporate, so I came out of it feeling super knowledgable about the various stages of innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as really capable of the administrative and strategic aspects of running a company,” Ella Harris says.
The programme has been instrumental in her establishing the startup Uvisa Health, which provides an effective non-pharmacological solution for bacterial and yeast infections. Last year, Uvisa Health, won 100.000 DKK in soft funding in the DTU X-tech Finals.
“The programme was very flexible and so I could often earn ECTS credits for work I was doing with Uvisa. I did a full business plan including financial projections, a brand management strategy, and took part in several incubator programmes all as part of the degree.”
One of the greatest lessons that Ella Harris took away from the programme is to have faith in yourself and go for the things that excite you.
“You need a reason to keep going when things get tough, which they inevitively will, so a passion for what you do is somewhat required. Further, it has really taught me a lot about continual growth and development – I think us adults forget that we are still learning and adapting all the time,” says Ella Harris.
Upon graduation, Uvisa Health has been accepted into the Innofounder programme by Innovation Fund Denmark, which allows Ella Harris and her co-founders to further develop the startup into a financially sustainable business.
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