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In early July, HSE Faculty of Computer Science held the 2nd Summer School on Entrepreneurship. It was organised by the faculty Centre for Internships, Projects and Entrepreneurship together with Tinkoff Bank, and industry partners including Yandex, Sber Student and Otkritie Bank. More than 40 students from the Faculty of Computer Science and other HSE faculties took part in the school.
The school participants were grouped into ‘Project’ and ‘Idea’ pathways. Students on the first track worked on existing projects together with mentors from Tinkoff. The projects featured research into several areas including dynamic pricing, collecting patient analyses, finding people to solve various tasks, and many others.
‘On the first day of the summer school, we met our mentors from the Tinkoff company. All week our team consulted with this person, and together we finalised our project, and then presented the improved product to the jury.
We received excellent expertise on the project: we determined the weak points, made a plan for the coming months, and outlined the key metrics and approximate unit economics of the project.’
The Idea track also featured a rich programme with lectures and masterclasses from leading companies in the banking and IT industry. Representatives of the school's partners — Tinkoff, Yandex, Sber Student and Otkritie Bank spoke at the event on how to generate ideas, how to manage a team, how to attract investments and get help from different market players. One of the school days was held in the Tinkoff office.
‘I was glad to get out of my comfort zone — to speak to the jury, answer questions, introduce myself and my project, and spend the day at Tinkoff. The summer school, and the Idea track in particular, is intended for those who have an idea, but lack mentoring and human resources for implementation, as well as those who are interested in entrepreneurship, who like to study, meet new people, learn new information and visit unusual places.’
Young entrepreneurs did not only generate ideas, but also gathered teams, as well as created the basis for an MVP (Minimal Viable Product — a test version of a product or service with a minimum set of functions). During the school, participants analysed the unit economics and business model of their idea, determined their target audience and conducted initial custdevs (Customer Development - customer needs research using special interviews).
‘I participated in the FCS Summer School on entrepreneurship as a mentor and as a member of the jury. I am very impressed by how today’s students think and strive to launch their projects. They absorb every bit of information, and in return they give out a huge amount of energy. Close interaction with the industry during their training will help them better adapt to the rules of the game in professional communities.’
The summer school culminated in the final pitches of projects before the jury, i.e. representatives of the school's partners, and the awarding of the best projects.
‘This is a place that I want to return to. In a week, you don't just upgrade your hard skills, you meet people who are burning with their ideas, and get contacts of the people you’ve never dreamed of meeting in person. This is one of the coolest projects for entrepreneurs at HSE University, you just need to come and get what it gives you.’
‘I feel jealous of the guys’ youth, bright eyes and desire to cause benefit to the world and humanity. I will definitely help to implement their projects in any way I can. I sincerely hope the organisers continue to successfully develop this wonderful project.’
"For us the Summer School on Entrepreneurship is the same startup as for projects for the students. We are looking for new formats that can help us to reveal students’ potential, introduce them to the best practices, and find partners and investors. The summer school is an opportunity that we give students of HSE University and other HSE faculties to develop and promote their ideas and products.
This year we offered two tracks –‘Idea’ and ‘Project’. This innovation gives the participants with already elaborated products the opportunity to work on them with expert support and finalise them. We’ll keep on looking for a perfect format for the summer school, but I can already say that we are definitely on the right track.’
‘Our summer school has been held for the second consecutive year. This year, together with our partners from Tinkoff, we managed to implement two tracks. The students on both tracks worked with great enthusiasm. The most amazing thing for me is to see the bright eyes of the students when experts explain to them how to finalise an idea, and the teamwork at our summer school was in full effect through all five days of the event. Sometimes it seems that our students are ready to work around the clock. I wish all the participants success with their startups.’