Innovation Labs - 3 lessons

Last weekend, 8-9 of March we participated in the 6th edition of Innovation Labs in Cluj. Raw ideas, a lot of coffee, youth energy and a lot of support from the very best of this industry made this event a success.

The focus was on the ideas, so the event started with the initial pitch. Based on the pitch, the jury with our Lucian Ciot representing AROBS, selected the top 20 teams to join the Hackathon.

During the Hackathon, every team got professional support from the AROBS mentors, Laurentiu Opincariu and Bogdan Apostol, both senior software developers with experience on multiple programming languages.

Here are some lessons for the youth:

Get prepared from a financial point of view

When you seem to have a great idea and you have your team, plus you have made your research make sure to have an idea about what it might cost you. When it comes to costs the youth tend to think just about the cost of producing the prototype.

“How will you get the money?” is a question that seemed pretty new to them and made them think.” – said Bogdan Apostol, AROBS mentor at Innovation Labs Cluj.

Ask around for advice

If your idea has something to do with software, make sure to know someone who can program it. Or at least know which programming language is best. Then you have a better chance of delivering your prototype or pitching your idea.

“You can’t learn Java during a single Hackathon, but if you know you need Java, you can find someone who knows it.” – noted Laurentiu Opincariu, AROBS mentor at Innovation Labs.

Make sure that your idea is useful

There are certain things that people like for multiple reasons. Take coffee. We don’t just like it because of its caffeine. There are apparently peripheric but essential parts to it, like its smell, its warmth. These characteristics are part of the user experience. When your idea is meant to substitute coffee, you have to take into account these characteristics as well.

The best advice is still to keep participating. All the participants had a learning experience and that is an important goal of AROBS – developing communities and supporting entrepreneurship.

After this event, the selected teams will enter an 8-week long mentorship program, before entering the final phase of selection, held in Bucharest.

Find out more about Innovation Labs: www.innovationlabs.ro/

If you are a curious student and want to experience mentorship at AROBS, check out our career page!