Student years are the most suitable time to open a company
There’s strength in collaboration, so the Faculty of Business and Economics in Maribor and Venture Factory, the business incubator of the University of Maribor, joined forces and prepared an event for first-year students. The goal of the event is to encourage young people towards entrepreneurship, because experience shows that student years are the most suitable time to launch a company. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone and it definitely isn’t a spring. But in order for young people to find out whether they’ve got what it takes and what entrepreneurship means in practice, Uroš Orešič, cofounder of U-centrix, shared his story as a successful entrepreneur.
From computer scientist to process manager
“My older sister and I have been helping our dad in his craft workshop from a very early age. We each had our own card where we would write our hours, and that’s where we got accustomed to the journey of making money. That’s where we shaped our working habits,” said Uroš. Later, in school, he was excited about computer games, which he in time transformed into design and 3D design. “I was one of those students who always knew where they wanted to go. I was excited about computers. I knew I’d be an expert. I knew that I’d be the one hired by big companies and that they’d be happy because I would know everything. That’s how I would build my reputation and be successful with it,” explained Uroš confidently.
After a three-year traineeship in Norway, working for one of the biggest oil companies in the world, Uroš returned to Slovenia and through experiencing work in a corporation, realized that being a computer scientist maybe isn’t his mission: “I always organized teams and people always felt good in those teams. In Norway, I thoroughly learned how corporations work, in what way processes are organized, how teams are formed, and I found that I’m good at it.”
In entrepreneurship, 1+1 = 5
“In entrepreneurship, one plus one doesn’t equal two, it equals 5. When people step together, each with their abilities, they build a brand,” is Uroš’ answer to the question why he decided to build his own company after coming home. At first, U-centrix was a digital agency that helped other companies develop user-friendly products. Already at the beginning, the company employed students, who were trained for the work, meaning the company literally “grew” their staff. So, students, pay attention. Keep your eyes peeled for collaboration with companies.
In the following discussion, led by Aleš Zorc, consultant at Venture Factory and event moderator, we heard a couple of business lessons, but also that it isn’t smart to establish a company with the best classmate. How did Uroš explain it? “There’s a slight possibility that in that case, you will live in your own bubble, dislocated from the rest of the world. You need to find a multidisciplinary team. It’s not important that people know each other from before. What’s important is that they have the same interests, have the same goals. And that is the recipe for a successful company,” says the young startupper.
The business model needs to be well thought out
“There is no money in projects,” says Uroš and continues: “In projects, you get the money while you’re doing them. Once the project is done, the client doesn’t need you anymore and you’re on your own again. In U-centrix, we set a different goal. We’re targeting passive earnings. We go into a partnership with our client, so we are constantly striving to develop a product that will be scalable on the market and can be sold over and over again. Through our daughter companies, spin-offs, we ensure fixed earnings, which enables company stability.”
In Slovenia, the most active entrepreneurs are men between the ages of 25 and 34
Dr. Karin Širec, associate professor and head of the Entrepreneurship and Business Economics department at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Maribor, and member of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Company Management, gave a short statement with a couple of interesting facts about the field of entrepreneurship in Slovenia. Karin is participating in two longitudinal studies in this field, namely the Slovene Entrepreneurship Observatory and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, so she’s the right person to ask. See her answer.
And why are student years the most suitable time to establish a company?
Ah, we won’t write everything down, see the answer that Uroš gave to this question.