Business Insurance

Interview Series for Business Students: Q&A with Matteo Vittorio Flamigni from Nottingham Trent University

Education is one of the most influential factors in determining a young person's future, and we want to share experiences of the up-and-coming generation of professionals. Our team at NimbleFins is conducting a series of Q&A interviews featuring top students at different universities across the UK. This interview is with Matteo Vittorio Flamigni at Nottingham Trent University.

Tell us one thing about you that’s not on your resume.

I am currently studying to submit my application to Stanford MBA and Chris Hennessy Scholarship in 2020.

What has your experience been like at Nottingham Trent University?

It has been a unique learning opportunity that went far beyond the pure teaching experience. Appreciating how different cultures approach work, study and friendship was immensely valuable and made me a better, more agreeable individual than what I thought I was.

What other school were you considering, and why did you choose Nottingham Trent University?

I was considering Edinburgh business school and Copenhagen business school.

What influenced you to pursue the MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship programme?

What drove my choice towards the Msc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship was the range of subjects taught, the support of the Hive and the support offered to startups in Nottingham.

What has your experience been like with the programme? What did you find especially valuable about your degree course?

The programme has been formative on a variety of layers: personal, professional and academic. The most valuable experience was leading a team of 5 different nationalities. The most rewarding was working on my startup with my classmates and seeing that they shared the same enthusiasm for the project.

What was your favourite class/module and why?

My favourite module was the International consultancy and the reflective report that I had to write on my role as team leader. It was a great opportunity to combine my primary experience with theoretical studies on cultural differences that consolidated my understanding of multi-cultural teams.

What has been most challenging about studying MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship? Is there anything you wish you had known ahead of time?

The lockdown has been a big challenge in terms of my startup growth. I wish I knew that the pitch to Silicon Valley investors in Turin (IT) was cancelled in September 2019. I always felt that would have been the ending that the Masters deserved.

Have you participated in any relevant internships? If so, where were they and can you tell us about your experience?

I didn’t take part in any internship as the Masters’ focus was developing a venture rather than encouraging work for an existing one.

What are your future career plans and aspirations?

Opening BOOST, my startup aimed at easing the adoption of electric cars by making private chargers publicly available and listing private accommodations that feature a charging point. I also hope that DIRT, my second startup project will be able gain traction.

What do you think are the challenges that young entrepreneurs face?

We are often sold the dream that opening our startups is going to be a “piece of cake”. Reading books, networking and “starting with why” is not enough. I wish I was taught how to compile yearly statements, pay business taxes, register a business and negotiate with suppliers. I wish we learnt more about how to create an app, raise funding and had the possibility of pitching to a real panel of investors.

Have you overcome any challenges as an entrepreneur yourself? If so, can you give us an example?

Often times business founders become “attached” to the first version of their business idea. I had to overcome that bias and pivot BOOST towards a leaner, more financially-viable proposition.

What is the best piece of advice related to your field of study that you have received?

You get out only as much as you put in: never miss an opportunity.

Find cofounders that you admire. Doing business is like dating and people invest in teams, not ideas. People buy the “why”, not “what” you sell. Only sell something that you would buy yourself.

Show enthusiasm, smile, be investable yourself and your business will be too.

Do data analysis when possible, but always trust your gut.

What advice would you give someone interested in MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship or Nottingham Trent University?

Enrolling in a Masters in entrepreneurship is only 20% of what it takes to launch a startup. Build something that proves your concept. Investors want to see traction and know where the money is: passion is not enough.

Do you have any favourite books, websites, or media that you would recommend for someone interested in MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship?

“Start with why” by Simon Sinek and “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnige. I would also recommend to watch as many interviews as possible of famous entrepreneurs.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Me and 2 friends of mine are launching a startup called “DIRT” in early November. We sell pocket-size, stylish and slim hand sanitizers with the slogan “get your hands dirty”. We want to inspire people to keep hustling and grinding even during the current hard times.

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.