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Birth of a business

Ellie Fanis

The business term 'a startup company', which we became very familiar with during the dot-com boom, has now become a common term.

A startup is a company or temporary organisation designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. Unfortunately, it is quite a common occurance that these companies do not survive beyond their introductory phase.

Most entrepreneurs create startup's in order to evaluate and research business ideas, which may lead to the creation of a new product or sometimes even a whole new industry.

For most of us, the image we have of entrepreneurs today has been developed with the help of television shows such as Dragons' Den, Be Your Own Boss or The Apprentice, to name a few. These reality shows, emphasize the importance of being able to elaborate on a business idea, to develop the necessary business skills, and hopefully to get the seed money needed, in order to start a business.

I find these shows very educational and they seem to be very appealing to young people like me. I recently discovered there is a big initiative focused towards helping startup companies in the Information Technology sector to develop their business ideas further and hopefully become successful.

For example, a few weeks ago The Telegraph helped organise the London Startup Weekend. Startup Weekend is an international organisation of active entrepreneurs who focus on founding startups and launching potentially successful ventures. During 2012 they organised more than 600 events in 100 countries around the world.

Those events encouraged application developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts to come together, share ideas, form teams, build products, and subsequently launch a startup. The winner of each national competition represent their country in an international event, where people from all over the world vote for their favourite startup idea such as their favourite web application.

I'm writing about this because I have a personal stake in the competition - my cousin took part in the recent London event and actually won the UK competition with his team, Smartward, and then came thrid overall in the internaitonal competition.

These startup events are very important in helping bring awareness to the industry and encourage young entrepreneurs to participate and become part of a wider network of individuals and companies who can assist each other in achieving their goals.

By participating in these events, we can build our confidence, meet other people with similar interests and in general develop vital business skills early on in our professional lives.

I am sure we all have a lot of business ideas for a startup or a web application, but those ideas will not become reality unless we decide to take them one step further. I believe that by taking part in events like the London Startup Weekend, we will be making a good start towards turning our ideas into reality.

And finally, as the Chinese proverb says: "A good start is half way to success."

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