For the second year in a row, ECCEDU was providing the second prize in the Soutěž a Podnikej contest, a competition that enables high school students to develop their business projects. We talked to last year’s ECCEDU scholarship recipient, Oliver Laryea, about how the competition and the scholarship helped advance his burgeoning career, and see what he was up to a year after the end of the ECCEDU summer program.
- How did you get involved in Soutez a Podnikej?
Completely by accident, actually. I saw a Facebook ad on deadline day and ended up sending my application around four minutes before midnight.
- What was your project for the competition?
I created ResTab, the ultimate solution for all restaurant-goers. Essentially, it’s a platform that enables the user to reserve a table, check the menu, order food, and pay at a restaurant - all from his phone. Unfortunately, due to massive overhead costs, I wasn’t able to start with the development right away, but am looking to begin shortly.
- What was your main take away from it?
It was my first time building a company from nothing, so the most valuable thing was that I got to understand design thinking and the entire iterative startup process better.
- And what did you take away from the ECCEDU scholarship you won? Something that helped kickstart your projects?
A big stack of business cards. Really, though – by far the most important thing that I got from ECCEDU was the sheer amount of amazing contacts.
- How did you enjoy the programme? What were you most impressed with?
I thoroughly enjoyed attending the whole summer programme, so picking only one moment is incredibly difficult. But if I really have to select only a single thing, it would have to be the opening ceremony – I have never attended an event of that magnitude.
- And what is your current project?
I am currently building my own digital marketing agency, LarMedia. I’ve already successfully completed several projects here, but am looking to expand abroad soon, particularly to the incredibly fast-growing African market.
Actually, I am only using it as a way of researching the market for my upcoming company/startup, which I have to keep secret for the time being, however.
- What role did the ECCEDU scholarship play in helping you achieve that?
You learn about a lot of topics during the three weeks, and that helped me discover my niche.
- Who would you recommend the programme to?
Frankly, anyone and everyone who is serious about working in business, finance, and similar fields.