A festival kit with a sleeping bag and a toothbrush, a day programme for the handicapped, video CVs, text message marketing, and a sensor sticker in incontinence products. This is a selection of services and products from enterprising students who were awarded for their efforts. Limburg Development and Investment Company LIOF celebrates its 35th anniversary and held an online competition for student entrepreneurs the past few weeks: LIOF Yeah. The starter sets of 35 thousand euros have already been handed out. The ten best ones can get to work in Limburg.
Maastricht University produced three winners: CVive, TextHamster and iShopLocal. The latter is a joint project with Hogeschool Zuyd. Almost one hundred ambitious students registered for LIOF Yeah. The twenty best ones, who managed to gain the most votes made it to the semifinals. A jury eventually chose the winners.
TextHamster entrepreneur Tim Rutten: “We will use the money to invest, to continue the development.” Together with Mark Bastiaansen, Mitch Maurits and Mehdi Zidani, he set up the text message marketing business in the master's programme of Entrepreneurship at the UM. What is text message marketing? “Companies supply a file with names and telephone numbers of their customers, we import this into our system and then run a text message campaign. Using personal text messages, we draw customers' attention to special offers or refer them to a webshop.”
LIOF wanted to use this competition to give student entrepreneurship a big boost. They also wanted to strengthen the economy in Limburg. One of the conditions was therefore that students were prepared to set up their business in this province.
The starter set consists of 10 thousand euros of venture capital and 10 thousand euros of innovation cheques from LIOF. In addition, 10 sponsors supplied all kinds of services and products worth up to a thousand euros, such as laptops, design of a corporate style, or building a website. Five thousand euros goes towards the rent of business premises in one of the LIOF Business Centers in Limburg.