Andreea Pavel, one of the Open Education Challenge applicants, is eight months into a business adventure she started with about 100 Euros.
Her business, Successify, is a “pre-startup” mentorship programme for young aspiring entrepreneurs. She developed the idea while taking Coursera’s online course Creativity, Ideas, and Change. With the help of her professors and feedback from her 120 000 classmates, she brought the project to life and is now bootstrapping the business.
She shared her story and some of the (counter-intuitive) lessons she has learned along the way.
Learn from the people you dislike
In university, Andreea was stuck working on a final project with a group she didn’t like.
“During the three months of the project, I tried to focus on discovering interesting things about my colleagues even when we argued about different ideas and situations,” she wrote. “That was an excellent exercise for both my personal and professional life, because many times we deal with people we don’t like that much and it would be such a waste not to learn anything from them.”
Love your competition
“Always watch it and try to understand it, like your best friend. [That way] you will always know what’s new in the market, how your competition solves your customers’ pains and how you can be different and even do better than they do.”
“I did not have any money or enough people around me to do it at the beginning. But with much work, together with my co-founder, we found the right people to help us,” Andreea wrote. “Stefan is one of the first guys who liked what we did and was there for us when we needed something done as design.”
Andreea stressed that your network is could be one of the most valuable assets you have.
“The most amazing thing was when I found other people who put me in contact with their friends and after a few emails the job got done. I learned how important it is to cultivate good relationships with people around you and how you should always ask for help.”
What's your story?
Andreea’s is just one of the many fascinating stories from the people involved in the Open Education Challenge. If you would like to share your story, send us a message. We’d love to hear from you.