Mathijs Gast (28), co-founder of Ciphix and Freeday started his entrepreneurial journey during his student time at Erasmus University. Together with two friends he founded his first startup Ciphix. The mission of Ciphix is as follows: ‘’Take the robot out of the human.’’ By offloading repetitive manual tasks to a digital workforce of RPA & AI-powered software, you enable people within companies to do what they do best and exclude the repetitive work that many people do not enjoy.
Mathijs felt that the course and career focus heavily lay on corporates as opposed to startups during his student time in Rotterdam. There were a few initiatives by Erasmus University to stimulate entrepreneurship, such as the ECE and the course “Entrepreneurship”, however he missed active stimulation by the University to actually get started. He remarks that this is where Graduate Entrepreneur is filling a vital gap nowadays. Coaching is the most helpful element when starting your own business, according to Mathijs.
That is also one of the main reasons why Mathijs and his co-founder Marcus applied as coaches for the Graduate Entrepreneur network. They want to be an example for others and want to make the path to success as an entrepreneur as short as possible, by closing pitfalls they already experienced and know how to overcome. Besides coaching, a co-founder who can complement your skills and with whom you share the same mission is crucial.
As co-founders it’s important to establish a process in which you communicate professionally and truthfully. ‘’Our monthly meetings always start with the question: are we still laughing enough with each other? If we are not, we know there is something that must be changed in the way we work together’’. This is fundamental to what makes them succeed as a team.