February 27, 2018 Aigars Ievins

Students attend seminar about innovations

To improve the specific knowledge and gain valuable experience for international student competition, students from Latvia University of Agriculture participated in the first of three “NutrInflow” organized lectures about innovations.

All together three lectures will happen after which students will have chance to participate in fam-trip to already built drainage objects (including Sodīte stream). This will allow them to widen their scope, get valuable knowledge and inspiration that might help in the participation in the international student competition where the task is to provide innovation drainage solutions. The lectures are structured in a way that students sequentially find out new facts from idea brainstorming until implementation.

In the first event, Kristīne Bērziņa from University of Latvia informed about methods used for idea generation, ways for getting funds and capitalizing the concept. “In Latvia we tend to think that idea has to be completely unique, never seen before. Most of entrepreneurs don’t even try, because they do not believe in themselves,” says researcher. Her experience shows that in other countries business is made exactly with the kind of people who have failed tens of ideas proving that they are not afraid to try. K.Bērziņa admits that it is important to try and risk: “Yet, enthusiasts have to be careful when talking about their ideas – sometimes you can get not only friends and partners but also enemies who are ready to steal the idea.”

When thinking about entrepreneurship or brainstorming the ideas it is useful to analyze problems and opportunities around. Researcher told students that one of the easiest methods to develop new products is to check what is trending on Amazon or other internet stores: “If the product is well sold abroad, maybe people locally also have similar needs.” To avoid copying ideas, enthusiasts must remember there always is a chance to improve or localize the product or service. “Speaking about drainage solutions, you must comprehend that although it is a niche product, it always will be needed and it is a market with quite big potential,” describes K.Bērziņa.

Sometimes looking through a different prism can guide to new ideas: “In the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W.Chan Kim author stresses out that nowadays it is easier to create new and previously non-existent markets. Popular product and service categories are overcrowded with huge corporations and their solutions.”

Almost all ideas need financing but luckily, nowadays it is easier than ten or twenty years ago: “First option is “The Three F method” – Friends, Fools and Family. It is easy and they can provide not only financial but also emotional benefits.” Thus, more and more entrepreneurs are trying out different crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo – there is a category of people who donate some amount of their monthly income and even don’t care about returns.

After the lecture students acknowledged that the information was useful and the knowledge will help them not only with the idea competition but also in everyday life and probably even with the development of their own companies.

Next two lectures will be held on March 1 when researcher Vita Brakovska and Swedish professor Peter Feuerbach will visit Latvia University of Agriculture. They are going to talk about developing new technologies and Swedish experience with nature friendly drainage solutions. A day later – March 2 – students will have chance to visit farm “Mežacīruļi” as well as Sodīte stream, which was renovated by Jelgava Local municipality in the “NutrInflow” project. There still is a chance to register for these events following the link ej.uz/lekcija2_nutrinflow

We remind that the international student competition is held in two phases and the deadline for the first one is March 9. More information about this competition can be found on our website!