Starting startups – Hothouse discussion

Conor has started a discussion about running an initiative to get college grads to start their own startups with financial help and help from experienced people:

  • Every summer we run a Hothouse in one/more of the colleges
  • It is open to those who graduate that summer or the following summer
  • 10 weeks long
  • Build something you can demo
  • You’ll have subsistence money to live/eat
  • A limited company will be formed for you and all legals/IP taken care of
  • You’ll get introductions to everyone you need to help you get the thing built
  • You present your product at the end

This model works well in other countries.

Alan O’Rourke has also added his comments to this:

My proposal is to take a group of students from varying disciplines and combine them into a well rounded business group, give them space and a basic support wage and let then run at a project for the 3 summer months.

Its an idea heavily inspired by Joel of FogCreak software and their development of CoPilot.

A group of 3 students, consisting of a developer, a designer, a marketing person.

For me, there definitely needs to be a mix of business and techies for these startups. Not insulting tech people but you also need to be a shark to survive and I think that’s the issue with many startups. You need someone that dreams of swimming in a sea of money and not about efficient code. You need someone that will go out and be all about taking money off people whether you have a great product or a fantastic one.

Dennis Deery too has some comments too.

Let’s keep this going.

6 Responses to “Starting startups – Hothouse discussion”

  1. Steve says:

    Defo a very good idea and the more help that is provided the better the country will be.

  2. quovadis says:

    Great idea.
    There are a number of technology start up schemes in existence, but these tend to be aimed at people with more established ideas- for example the create scheme in IADT for very young start up’s and Enterprise Ireland for more established start up’s. The bureaucracy around getting into these is significant as I know from hard experience!
    IADT used to run an E-systems course where students had to develop a business plan and related online shopping e-commerce site. Sadly the interest from students was minimal, so with numbers dropping the course was discontinued. IADT also run an entrepreneurship course and should probably be approached as they’re likely to be supportive.

    Other hot housing schemes such as NFTY are aimed at disadvantaged youth. The Country Enterprise Boards support the entrepreneurship competition in secondary schools and small businesses, so they have some expertise in supporting start up’s.

    Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Enterprise Board are known to be quite supportive of technology developments, so it might be worthwhile giving the CEO who has a technology background a shout.

  3. James says:

    I don’t see any reply button on the Argolon blog. One thing that always struck me is the final year projects in college… some people throw their heart and soul into them, but as I understand it, it remains the intellectual property of the university? I wonder if they altered that system slightly and treated it as a potential launchpad, as opposed to just credits for your exam, then we could see more innovative projects which could be made commercial or open sourced by the student after graduation.

  4. The IP ownership issue is one that i have seen mentioned before and i remember it was said to us during my days studying film production however we never signed anything stating that was the case which is a legal requirement. Has this changed?

  5. […] Damien Mulley […]

  6. Irish third level universities attempt to claim ownership of IP resulting from student projects but that claim might apply to the alpha code of the product, not the resultant evolution that often manifests itself before the end of the academic year.