The last day of Workshop I of the Academic Working Capital program in 2016 provided the opportunity to make improvements to projects and to how presentations are put together. The participants attended lectures on market analysis and how investments work. They also presented their updated prototypes at the Product Review Fair. The workshop was held on January 18 to 20 in the auditorium and rooms of the Mechanical and Naval Engineering building of the Polytechnic School at Universidade de São Paulo (USP), in São Paulo (SP).

In the morning of the 20th, the students attended a lecture given by entrepreneur Maurício Villar, one of the owners of company CompartiBike, which specializes in urban mobility solutions using bicycles. “Tell everyone about your company’s idea. Do not be afraid to show what is going on in your project. The project’s main idea has to be put out there as much as possible,” he noted. He believes self knowledge and exposure are essential aspects for the development of a startup. “Look for people who make up for your weaknesses. In my case, I found a partner who is focused on sales, a skill I have never mastered,” he added.

Click here to read about the proceedings on the first day of Workshop I of AWC 2016

Gabriel Merici Oriani, one of the AWC monitors, gave tips on market dynamics. He analyzed technology trends and explained the importance of keeping a close eye on what goes on in the field. “Always question your business and the environment where it is done. Also pay attention to the people surrounding the project and how they act. Find out which problems you are trying to solve with your proposal and how the market sees these solutions,” he said. Gabriel also talked about marketing aspects to help students make their business more competitive.

Investor Marco Poli, from organization Anjos do Brasil (Brazil’s Angels), gave the last talk of the day. He spoke with the university students about the role of investments in new companies and what a startup’s routine is like. “Working in a startup is a lifestyle because you are going to deal with major risks every day. However, perhaps after 6 or 7 years of work you may feel more accomplished than after a lifetime in a regular job,” he pointed out. Marco Poli also talked about the types of investment there are, such as angel investing, venture capital and incubation.

2nd day of Workshop I focused on users

After the lectures, the students got together in groups once again to work on their projects. They incorporated the feedbacks received from the AWC team and improved their presentations based on the experience they acquired over the three-day workshop. In the afternoon, using their presentations put together on construction paper and posters, the university students showed monitors, fellow students, and guests their proposals at the Product Review Fair and got the final feedbacks.

Everyone convened in the auditorium to close the Workshop I activities. Diogo Dutra, AWC content coordinator, used the opportunity to go over the coming phases of the program. The students shared their opinions about the workshop and said this immersion had been highly productive in terms of project improvement. Going forward, AWC participants are going to work on their prototypes under remote supervision by the monitors.

The next on-site workshop is taking place July 18, 19, and 20 focusing on prototyping. Workshop III is scheduled for December 12 and 13, when participants are going to put together their presentations for the Investment Fair to be held on the 14th.

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