21 November 2015
Students who started their minor in ‘Entrepreneurship in IT’ this year had their first class in a very special place: Gamebasics’ football stadium office. Gamebasics’ CEO Jeroen Derwort lectured the students as a special guest, he showed them the rise of Online Soccer Manager.
First, the 17 enthusiastic students got a tour of the office. Afterwards they could occupy the stand to listen to the lecture which was followed by a drink.
“Gamebasics’ story of existence: started out in an attic room, grown to become a global player with 5 million users, is an inspirational story for our students” says Peter Becker, teacher at De Haagse Hogeschool and one of the minor’s creators. “That’s why we decided to start the first semester at Gamebasics.”
Gamebasics’ growth was explained with the help of the Lean Start-up method, which is the basis for this minor. “OSM started working with a Minimal Viable Product, which was tested by potential users in its early stages” Derwort told the students. “We had to deal with a clear Pivot, when it turnt out our first revenue model with advertisement didn’t seem to work. I changed this into a hybrid model with subscriptions and advertisement. The Lean Start-up theory didn’t exist at that time but it was really by the book.
The minor ‘Entrepreneurship in IT’ is offered by De Haagse Hogeschool in cooperation with Corsspring Lab, located in the Dutch Innovation Factory. Particularly for young IT students who decided to start for themselves. The ‘Lean start-up’ method is well applicable within the IT branche. ‘Often entrepreneurs start with a plan based on a lot of assumptions, only noticing the problems at the end. With the Lean method, your users have to test your product from the start. This way you won’t be presented with surprises.’
Besides going to class, the students have to build a prototype. Becker: ‘The students have to ask for users’ feedback after every adjustment.’ This way you can keep improving your project. There’s nothing more efficient than learning a start-up their talents and traps.
Derwort says the students’ ambition is sufficient. “I heard some interesting ideas, like a new clothing line, a repair service for smartphones and a start-up that builds websites for clients. Students will be able to use these minor’s learnings to their advantage. For me, it was very inspiring to have the students around at Gamebasics.”