Study Experience: HHL’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Inspires Business Venture
Twin Brothers Develop Business Idea in HHL Digital Space
This article was written by Alexander and Daniel Schmidt.
We, Alexander and Daniel, are 24 years-old twin brothers both studying the full-time Master in Management program at HHL. Next to our studies we were able to leverage the strong entrepreneurial infrastructure of HHL and are now part of the HHL DIGITAL SPACE incubation program with our business idea and want to share our personal study experience at HHL.
Daniel Schmidt: I am Daniel and studying in my final year in the full-time Master in Management program. I decided on HHL because of the tight-knit network and the strong focus on entrepreneurship. My goal always was to found my own successful start-up, so that I can be my own boss, and HHL was the perfect choice in order to reach that goal. (Connect on LinkedIn)
Alexander Schmidt : I am Alexander and joined HHL in August 2020. I decided to do my master’s studies at HHL because of my strong interest in the field of entrepreneurship for which HHL is a renowned university. Becoming an entrepreneur has always been my goal since high school and now pursuing a business idea with my twin brother at HHL is the next step in reaching that goal. (Connect on LinkedIn)
01 Choosing a university with a focus on entrepreneurship
Since the beginning of our bachelor studies at the University of Leipzig respectively Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, our goal was to get a master’s degree from HHL. Being born and raised in the area of Halle / Leipzig we knew HHL early on and had pleasant encounters with past HHL students during our studies. The main reason why we decided to attend HHL was the highly accredited programs in combination with a strong focus on entrepreneurship, which we both have a distinct interest in.
The strong entrepreneurial spirit and infrastructure of the school enabled us to find, develop and accelerate our very own business idea and we are thankful for that. This investment in our future was absolutely worth it.
02 A community of ambitious people
Studying at HHL is, in a good way, very different from the experiences at MLU or University Leipzig. At HHL you meet a lot of like-minded and equally ambitious people. There is a strong connection between the class and the chairs, as well as the academic staff. Everyone is really engaged and supportive.
Working long hours for weeks turns into an enjoyable challenge in this kind of atmosphere. Besides the general atmosphere, the biggest difference to our former studies is that the theoretical learnings must be applied in practical group works most of the time. This is an approach students highly profit from and learn from even more.
Attending HHL was the perfect choice for us. We improved ourselves on various personal and professional levels, were able to get terrific internships and able to build a profound basis for our future career.
03 HHL’s influence on career decisions
From our point of view, we benefited the most from the lecturer’s learnings and the many practical group work where we not only improved our professional knowledge but also our team and soft skills tremendously. Furthermore, the network and respectively networking events with prestigious companies increase the own personal network and can be door openers for internships in top-class companies.
04 Developing a business idea in HHL Digital Space
Having started the HHL DIGITAL SPACE incubation program next to our studies was a real challenge. Being in a full-time master’s program and in an incubation program is tough, but it was totally worth it. Being the start of the program kick-started our business idea and provided us with valuable feedback. The incubation managers are super supportive and competent which leads to very helpful guidance within the program when tackling many things like setting up a financial model, understanding the problems of the customers and other strategic challenges.
Special highlights of the program were the pitch challenge with Dr. Stephan Stubner and the market day with an angel investor and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Dominik Kanbach. Being challenged like that makes you really understand the pain points and how the idea is perceived by others.
Of course, being challenged like that and receiving constant constructive criticism throughout the program can be hard but it helps you grow your business and as a person.
05 Connecting people digitally and offline
We realized that, although socializing is a basic human need, many people have problems meeting new people and making new friends or partners. Especially in the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, this problem is as prevalent as it has not been in a long time. Therefore, we are working on an application that is supposed to build a bridge between real and digital life because most people find it more comforting to approach people online due to less direct, personal consequences. Our digital solution aims to make it easier to connect with people you crossed paths with in real life.
06 A worthwhile future investment
In retrospect attending HHL was the perfect choice for us. We improved ourselves on various personal and professional levels, were able to get terrific internships and able to build a profound basis for our future career. The strong entrepreneurial spirit and infrastructure of the school enabled us to find, develop and accelerate our very own business idea and we are thankful for that. This investment in our future was absolutely worth it.
I am Alexander and joined HHL in August 2020. I decided to do my master's studies at HHL because of my strong interest in the field of entrepreneurship for which HHL is a renowned university. Becoming an entrepreneur has always been my goal since high school and now pursuing a business idea with my twin brother at HHL is the next step in reaching that goal.