Based on the idea of creating an online platform “by students and for students”, two Slovak students are on their way to make an interactive visual guide to help newcomers to know the local scene.
By Sherry Yan Shi
“We don’t know where to take a nice girl for a coffee, or where to have a drink with friends. We still don’t know the city even we’ve lived in Aarhus for quite a while already.” The co-founders of DiscoverCity, 20-year-old Slovak students Jozef Simo and Juraj Pal went through some difficulty of moving to a new country that every international student could encounter: to know the local scene.
By students, for students
Both of them believe all the answers to the above questions should be just “one click away”. Based on this idea, the business major sophomore Juraj and the design major freshman Jozef are on their way to establish DiscoverCity—an interactive and visual online platform for students to find all the necessary information and unexplored spots in their city.
“We invite all the other students to co-create the environment around them by letting them share their discoveries with friends–from the best places to have a cup of coffee to the hidden spots to go for a walk or study.” Juraj told Jutland Station, “We want to make DiscoverCity with students, not just for them.”
However, the discovery journey of DiscoverCity is not alone “with just students”. Partnering up with the Aarhus Kommune, Aarhus University and Youth Goodwill Ambassadors of Denmark programme (Copenhagen Capacity), they created a foundation that allows DiscoverCity to expand its reach and benefit from partner strengths and networks. “We pitched our business idea to Aarhus Kommune, and even though we are just students, they treated us as business partners.” Juraj recalled.
Start-up tips for newbie
When asked if there are any tips for students who would like to run their own business, Jozef and Juraj said they don’t want to call it tips, because they have simply just started the journey, but they would like to share something they think is important for starting business.
1.Does it solve a real problem?
Building a product can be easy. But does it solve a real problem? The two founders emphasized the reason they are making DiscoverCity is to solve their own problems of being new in a city without any knowledge about it.
“Not only us, there are also other students sharing the same problems, especially the newcomers.” said Jozef. Therefore, the two young men believe the work will deliver value to themselves and others, which is also why they enjoy the whole process.
2. Evaluate your product ASAP
Jozef thinks the key is to evaluate the product in the real world, and evaluate it as soon as possible. In order to improve their web design and functions, Jozef and Juraj asked different people for comments and organized workshops to get the honest and first-hand feedback from students. Jozef also recommended a “startup Bible” of his, called the Lean Startup, by Eric Ries.
The DiscoverCity team has never been so busy and so excited, since they are about to launch their startup during the Internet Week Denmark on April 30th in Aarhus.