Currently, we are four weeks into the program, and we have faced several challenges in our efforts to improve the HFL program in an unstable social-economic environment as a result of COVID-19. Thankfully, we managed to surmount most of the challenges. However, in order to obtain further feedback and further improve our program, we turned to our founders. We interviewed two of the founders of Nutriwallet, an application to help users identify the affordability of their groceries by comparing the prices available from a range of grocery stores. And we also interviewed Antonie who wants to start an NGO to help children in unfortunate circumstances in developing countries. We have chosen these teams because they are in different stages of development and also joined the program for different reasons.
Antonie joined the program to gain all the benefits the HULT international business school could offer. However, in contrast to many other students, she “... Never had the business mindset” nonetheless she always wanted to start an NGO but did not know-how.
Why start a NGO?
“It's always something that I wanted to do, because I grew up in a little bubble (Norway), and we think that other places would be similar to Norway. It's important to expand my knowledge and go to places that don't have the same opportunity as we have.”
Her definition of an entrepreneur was someone that tries to figure out a solution to a problem. In her own way, she personifies this definition by joining theHFL to gain knowledge to build her NGO. When asked, she responded by saying that the program so far has helped her make her dream more tangible and achievable. Making it clear that with only 4 weeks we were already able to help her get a step closer to her actual dream. However, imagine how much further she will be able to go when a mentor is appointed to guide her.
Nutriwallet is at a different phase compared to where Antonie is at in the development stage. Three guys with totally different backgrounds are working on this business idea, and we interviewed two of them, Mauricio and David. Their idea for Nutriwallet came from working together in a design thinking class at Hult International Business School. That gave them an advantage since they were able to work in the idea for a longer time than some other founders like Antonie.Before Nutriwallet, Mauricio would constantly have several business ideas which could become the next big success story like Uber or Netflix. However, those ideas were just that, ideas. Though in Design thinking in Hult Founders Lab it is encouraged to first think of a problem and then a solution, instead of a solution than a problem.
So why then join the program when they seem so knowledgeable?
“...we want HFL to guide us to receive funding for our project”
Making it clear that at any stage of business development it is still useful to undergo guidance from external sources such as HFL. When asked what their current experience is in the program they stated that:
“has been good in reaffirming that we are on the right track and getting feedback on our prototype and pitch.”
Looking at how the program progresses they are expecting more guest lectures, potential partners and anyone who believes in their ideas to get their ideas done and helps with their projects. Thankfully since the program is not even half way through, Nutriwallet’s expectations can be easily fulfilled.
With that in mind, we take these insights from our founders to improve their experience in the HFL program. Our aim is so that our founders are able to gain practical knowledge and experience to build their business, regardless of their background or whether they have the “business mindset”. At the HFL setup a platform for our founders to develop their ideas into something more tangible and we will guide you every step of the way. HFL is where your ambitions manifest and your ideas nurtured into reality.