Blue Bio Value Ideation: Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset Across Campus

We all have a mindset, although we are often not aware of it or how it affects our lives. In fact, our mindset is capable of exposing opportunities and awakening our ambition.

But what is this "mindset" thing?

A mindset is a cognitive system, made up of interrelated beliefs, ideas, assumptions, and knowledge that we use to process information, inform our decisions, and guide our actions. In this logic of thought, an entrepreneurial mindset is a specific set of beliefs, knowledge and thoughts that drive entrepreneurial behavior. People with this type of mindset believe they have control over their actions and results and are highly action- and solution-oriented. Furthermore, they are resilient, focused, curious, creative, among other characteristics.

It’s often believed that this mentality is born with us and that it’s an exceptional and rare characteristic, granted only to a few, or even inherited. But, in fact, the entrepreneurial mindset can be acquired and enhanced through entrepreneurial learning experiences. And what better place to create these experiences than in the universities themselves? The place where the labor market and knowledge intersect?

Blue Bio Value Ideation at NOVA SBE

Blue Bio Value Ideation at NOVA SBE

That's why BGI teamed up with the Oceano Azul Foundation, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and Blue Bio Alliance to take students, researchers, professors, entrepreneurs and innovators to NOVA SBE and Porto Business School to have a unique and immersive experience in the entrepreneurial environment. During a weekend, participants were able to attend training sessions and get to work to create innovative and sustainable business ideas related to the ocean and bioresources.

In this blog post, we show you the best moments of these last two weekends and tell you how we helped our talented participants gain an entrepreneurial mindset.

1. Energizers

In these workshops, we found it important to include energizers - small activities that we use throughout the workshops to encourage the involvement and interaction of participants, helping them to be more alert and active. These activities were a great way to bring the group together and start working in a positive way.

Energizer with the participants - Porto Ideation.

Energizer with the participants - Porto Ideation

2. Success stories and testimonials from startups

A good way to acquire an entrepreneurial mindset is to listen to the stories and advice of experts and those who have also created the same mindset. We believe that powerful entrepreneurial mindsets are capable of triggering other entrepreneurial mindsets.

3. Identification of problems/market need (Blue Bioeconomy)

To deliver any successful product or service, the first step is to identify market issues and challenges. Sometimes these problems are directly stated as needs. Other times they are implicit and it’s necessary to "read between the lines". One of the first steps in our workshop was to point out the challenges that exist in the blue bioeconomy area, so that our participants could start thinking about ideas on how to address them.

4. Dos and don'ts of being an entrepreneur

With 12 years of following entrepreneurs on their journey, we know the best practices and mistakes made by young entrepreneurs. Thus, although there is not exactly a rule book drafted for successful “entrepreneurship”, we had the opportunity to pass on some of our knowledge to our participants. Being an entrepreneur also involves knowing how to listen and learn from the experience of others.

Otito Dosumu (BGI) featuring "what is needed to become a successful entrepreneur" - Porto Ideation

Otito Dosumu (BGI) featuring "what is needed to become a successful entrepreneur" - Porto Ideation

5. Work the pitch

Entrepreneurs pitch a business because they need resources. They need people to believe in them. That’s why we couldn’t exclude sessions on this crucial topic from the agenda. Through the pitch, participants learn a lot about what it’s to be an entrepreneur: how to be growth-oriented, feedback-seeking, problem-solving, confident, comfortable with discomfort, adaptable, among others.

Pitch presentations in Lisbon and Porto

6. Get to work: creating solutions with expert mentoring

What better way to learn than to do it yourself? The practical component is essential in any learning, especially in entrepreneurship. In this part, the participants worked as a team to develop their projects, going through several phases: Sketching, Prototyping, Brainstorming, Brainwriting, Worst Possible Idea, among others. In each of these phases, they were mentored by the BGI team.

Groups working on the idea proposal - Porto Ideation

7. Pitch sessions: presentation of ideas proposals

This was the time to demonstrate everything they learned, to reveal their talents and show the intense work they developed in 48 hours. In the pitch sessions, participants were able to experience the true experience of an entrepreneur presenting a startup to investors. We think they did very well!

8. Announcement and awarding of winners

The rewards of being an entrepreneur range from professional achievement to financial gratification. The latter, linked to the “law of effort and reward”. This workshop was no exception and partners were willing to recognize and reward the efforts of its participants. Winners won the opportunity to implement their project and receive our help to start a pilot with a company in the area!

Winning Ideas - Lisbon Ideation

And since this is all about Ocean, we couldn't finish without a big wave!

Also read: 5 Benefits of Immersive Entrepreneurship Workshops

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