How Rotterdam connects students to scale-up careers
Rotterdam is a city full of opportunities for its students. With a thriving business community and a strong culture of entrepreneurship, throughout the years the city of Rotterdam has developed programs, supported initiatives and collaborated with private companies, to create and drive growth with the participation of young entrepreneurs.
Goal: helping students to maximize their impact
With a whopping 50 000 students attending the leading universities in our region, the city houses thousands of ambitious young people whose interests and skills can make a significant contribution to building Rotterdam’s economy.
Since not all of them live or plan to stay in Rotterdam, how can we encourage young people to plan their future in Rotterdam?
Let’s start by informing them about the many, diverse career and business growth opportunities available within the most innovative and fast-growing companies our region has to offer.
And next, we focus on education and spreading awareness about the vibrant startup ecosystem of Rotterdam and encourage young professionals to start endeavours of their own.
How to develop an entrepreneurial spirit? Live workshops with Up!Rotterdam
Currently, there are over 1700 startups and scale-ups in the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Region and Up!Rotterdam team collaborates with them on a daily basis.
Helping the frontrunners of the next economy to scale up, among others, involves assistance in finding the best talent in and around Rotterdam.
And although the students could only be introduced to existing vacancies in our local startups and scaleups, Up! aims higher. By getting involved in entry-level entrepreneurial training and competitions, whether through lectures, or the organization of workshops, with Up!Rotterdam, aspiring entrepreneurs have an opportunity to formulate an answer to a real-life challenge.
“As a student, I believe it is always valuable to be given access to new resources and information,” said Valentin Marchon, a student at the Rotterdam School of Management and aspiring entrepreneur.
The workshop with Up!Rotterdam was well-organised, genuinely interesting and profoundly informative, but what really caught me by surprise was discovering the actual size and diversity of the startup and scale-up ecosystem in Rotterdam.”Valentin Marchon, Erasmus University Rotterdam
“I truly believe that universities should further take advantage of collaborating with organisations such as Up!Rotterdam, mainly to spread awareness among other students and highlight new opportunities for them to choose from in the city of Rotterdam, but also to emphasise that if they need help with a business project, then they know where to look for assistance” he continued.
Not only do live workshops allow the students to learn about the realities of running and scaling a business but also recognize their professional strengths and capabilities as they work on solutions for a future-proof economy.
Entrepreneurial education for new venture creation
Entrepreneurship education, combined with what our startup ecosystem has to offer, has led many students to move from ideas to building a profitable business.
“I think it’s crucial to educate and involve students at the start of their study. By starting a side business or other entrepreneurial activities, they integrate the knowledge of the studies in an active way and the theory comes alive.”Julia Kooijman, Hogeschool Inholland
“It also helps them because they are intrinsically motivated to do so. The great thing about doing this during your study is that you can make mistakes freely, and learn from them, without too much cost. At the same time, you can get more guidance from teachers and your network.” says Julia Kooijman from Hogeschool Inholland, who Up!Rotterdam team joined during College Tour 2022.
Julia says that workshops are helpful for students because they address real-life issues that are acute problems. By giving students hands-on information about what’s helpful for business now, the curriculum of the program stays up-to-date and integrates new knowledge.
By investing in the entrepreneurial education of its young people, Rotterdam ensures it remains a hotbed for innovative entrepreneurs.