An insight into being an entrepreneur

An insight into being an entrepreneur

Be your own boss and change the world with your ideas: The dream of a start-up is and remains a dream for many. However, this does not have to be the case. Benjamin Vidas, co-founder of the education start-up "eduwo", talks about his experiences and gives valuable tips.

You founded eduwo while still in college. What prompted you to found a startup so young?

I have always felt the need to start something myself, if everything fits. For a successful start-up, you need the right co-founders, the right timing and also a sensible idea. During my studies the right time came for me, because I met the right co-founders and together we came up with an exciting idea. We saw our opportunity and seized it.

What are the negative sides of being a founder?

I honestly don't feel anything negative about being a founder. I would rather say that there are some challenges that arise. Above all, it is challenging to get something new off the ground, to win your first customers, to be responsible for everything yourself and to lead a team. And sure, you work longer hours than usual. But that's not a bad thing, because you invest your time in your own idea and it's ultimately fun.

The first thing I would advise myself is that you can build a huge network while studying Benjamin Vidas

If you could talk to your ego four years ago, what advice would you give it?

The first thing I would advise myself is that you can build up a huge network during your studies. Networking can make valuable contacts that could possibly play into one's cards later on. This could certainly have been done a bit more intensively. Besides, one should always go the extra mile.

Who or what has helped you the most on your way as a founder? Why?

What helped me most was the exchange: Talking with other startup founders, with potential customers and, of course, with students. So we were able to get a better picture of the overall situation and thus adapt our idea step by step. And of course: a lot of self-research on the Internet.

How does your environment feel about being an entrepreneur??

My close environment thought the idea of eduwo – a website where students can rate their studies – was cool from the very beginning. Outside this close environment, people were rather reserved with their enthusiasm at the beginning. The more we then stood with eduwo in the public, the more positive and euphoric became my surrounding field opposite our idea and my entrepreneur existence. But in short: my environment was always supportive. I am also very grateful for this.

Fortunately, I have not yet made a very big mistake.

What is the biggest mistake you have made in your career and what have you learned from it?

Fortunately, I have not yet made one very big mistake. Of course, there were always minor errors – that is human after all. It is important to recognize the mistakes, talk about them openly, learn from them and conclude on improvement measures, as well as actually implement them .

Who is your business idol and why?

I don't have a personal idol. I admire all people who gave everything for their dream, continued despite skeptical opinions of others and were ultimately successful. For example, one very notable entrepreneur was William A. de Vigier. As the son of a patrician Swiss family, his family wanted him to become a lawyer. However, he preferred to go abroad and found something there. With the starting capital of 1000 francs, he has built up an internationally active company in London, which produces scaffolding and has taken it to the stock exchange. The group now employed more than 10,000 people, and William A. de Vigier sat on more than 36 boards of directors. Today, a foundation named after him supports other entrepreneurs in Switzerland.

What are the three most essential tips for any founder?

Founders absolutely have to focus on their start-up. Even if the idea becomes less exciting or even exhausting after the beginning, the focus is still a critical success factor.

Otherwise, one should always proceed step by step instead of starting with the big bang right away. When it comes to new products, you should always start by developing what's most necessary, what's already useful, and what's sellable. This "Minimum Viable Product" can then always be further expanded and optimized.

It's also very important to incorporate customer feedback right from the start in order to develop a product that is actually needed. For this purpose, one should have an open and honest conversation with potential customers at an early stage.

What else would you like to achieve??

My personal dream is to someday pass on the experience I have gained as a founder and entrepreneur as a lecturer at a university. Currently, however, I have no time for this, the focus is on eduwo.

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