Malta’s top students learn secrets of business success

Malta’s top students learn secrets of business success

The second edition of Budding Rockstars was held recently, enabling 130 high-achieving Form 5 students and 50 teachers to engage with successful entrepreneurs.

The event kicked off with a discussion on what it takes to become successful in the world of tech entrepreneurship. David Darmanin from Hotjar, Steve Mercieca from Quicklets/Zanzi Homes and Ben Carlotti from OulalaGames – encouraged the students to be passionate about their aspirations, to take the plunge, and not to be afraid of failure. They encouraged the students to always think global when identifying which problems to solve through their entrepreneurial ambitions.

Janika Wijkmark from the social enterprise Contribute Water then shared her experience and motivation. Such enterprises enable entrepreneurs to bring about social change by leveraging socially-motivated business models. In the case with Contribute Water, for every Contribute Water bottle sold, a portion of revenues is directed towards social causes.

Andrew Mangion from EC English Language Centres and David Vella from Altaro Software focused on the merits of building strong teams. Both stressed the importance of business leaders to pursue good teamwork and team culture and drove home the message that it is execution, not ideas, that matters the most.

It is execution, not ideas,that matters most

Global success advisor Reinhold Karner shared his story of perseverance and integrity in the face of adversity and failure, culminating in success. He advised students to avoid putting all their eggs in one basket to reduce the odds of failure. But he argued that entrepreneurs should feel free to fail, provided they treat failure as a lesson learned and bounce back swiftly from it.

Students also put their creative hats on through hands-on workshops. Under the direction of staff from the University of Malta’s Edward de Bono Institute, students formed teams and adopted creativity techniques to come up with new ICT-driven products or services and to sketch their business idea on a cardboard chart. The results included the creation of a sign language translator, the reinvention of a classic mobile phone game, and an app for inmates to share their stories.

The teams behind the best three ideas – as voted by the students themselves – were invited on stage to pitch to a panel of judges including business advisor Helga Ellul, Silicon Valletta president Simon Azzopardi and Edward de Bono Institute director Dr Leonie Baldacchino. Besides choosing the winning team the judges also provided feedback to the three teams.

The event was organised by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA)  in collaboration with the Edward de Bono Institute, the Directorate for Educational Services and Junior Achievement Young Enterprise with the support of the Secretariat for Catholic Education, the BeSmartOnline campaign, and SME Week 2016.

The MCA has set up a Facebook page for Budding Rockstars to serve as a platform for further engagement.

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