En entreprenöriell utmaning.

Syfte

Det uttryckliga syftet med projektet är att gå så mycket vinst som möjligt genom att sälja kaffe inom en knapp veckas tid utan tid för förberedelser innan utmaningen sätter igång. Nyckelord för att lyckas är tidsdisposition, kundkunskap och säljande. 

Förberedelser

Efter en övergripande planering på tisdagskvällen fanns en första affärsplan. Kaffe skulle förberedas på Ångström och sedan säljas på Uppsala centralstation. För att vårt alternativ ska särskilja sig erbjuder vi kaffe och kaka för 7kr – en summa lägre än pressbyråns 10 för endast kaffe och mervärde i och med den inkluderande kakan. För att nå en vinstdrivande nivå behöver 25 koppar kaffe med kaka säljas. 

Från 17:15 till 19:15 diskuterade Amir, Monica och Mubarak vilka strategier vi skulle använda i projektet. Monica och Mubarak åkte buss till ÖoB för att köpa snabbkaffe, kaffemuggar samt kakor, och de slutförde inköpet vid 19:55. Amir spenderade denna tid på att designa affischer för Uppsala Universitet, som vi avsåg att använda i reklamsyfte för att vinna kundernas förtroende.  

Onsdag

Under onsdagsmorgonen värvades en fjärde medlem och klockan 07:30 satte förberedelserna på ångström i gång. En termos av modell stor hade lånats och alla produkter köpts in. För att vara flexibla samt sparsamma, valde vi snabbkaffe – allt som då behövdes var varmvatten. Vid förberedelserna fick vi reda på att Nordea delade ut gratis kaffe åt resenärerna vid stationen – ett erbjudande vi hade svårt att matcha. Vi designade även och skrev ut två affischer som marknadsför vårt kaffe – Paint visade sig vara den mest tidseffektiva bildredigeraren och gav överraskande hög kvalitet. Photoshop var för krångligt och därmed för tidsödande då det var svårt att hitta de verktyg man ville ha. 

Figur 1: Affischerna som vi använde till att marknadsföra kaffet

Plan två var då att sälja kaffe på Ångström till kaffesugna studenter. Vi hoppades att mervärdet från kakorna och det relativt billiga kaffet skulle få dem att välja oss över UTH gård eller övriga studentföreningar. Innan försäljningen hann komma igång blev vi upplysta om förbudet att konkurrera med Kafé Ångströms. Vi begav oss då till Uppsalas mest besökta turistmål – Domkyrkan. Den nya målgruppen var nu förbipasserande och turister. Här lärde vi oss värdet av kundens tid. I regn och rusk var det svårt att locka med kaffe och även om vi inte meddelade priset direkt fick vi inga intressenter av de runt 80 stycken frågade. Turisterna var alla redan välförsedda med frukost och med begränsade kommunikationsmöjligheter var det dags att tänka om. Vi behövde en målgrupp med mycket tid och stort behov av billigt kaffe. Studenterna på BMC blev den 4e iterationens kunder. 

Figur 2: Vårt tillfälliga kaffestånd utanför Domkyrkan

När vi väl anlände till BMC runt 09:30, var frågan vart vi skulle ställa oss i byggnaden. Näst intill cafeterian lyckades vi få tag på bord, möjlighet till elluttag samt vatten och papper som sparar på både resurser och övriga kostnader. På väldigt kort tid märkte vi hur stor efterfrågan var på det billiga kaffet och redan under de första timmarna lyckades våra bruttovinster hinna ikapp våra kostnader.

När vi skulle fylla på kaffekannan, så råkade vi tappa burken med kaffepulver i golvet så att det gick sönder. Vi städade bort glasbitarna och pulvret från golvet, men en del av pulvret hamnade på Amirs ryggsäck så att hans t-tröja fick en stor kaffefläck när han skulle till tandläkaren vid 13:00. 

Torsdag

Efter onsdagens framgång, bestämde vi oss att fortsätta sälja i bmc. Denna gång samlades vi kl 07:30, då vi fick tillsägelse att byta position närmare entren. Vid kl 08:00 fick vi uppleva något som är väldigt svårt att undvika i den öppna marknaden, konkurrens från de andra grupperna. Grupp 1, Befann sig utanför byggnaden, där de hade med sig ihopfällbart bord samt bryggkaffe dessutom påstod de att de var sponsrade av “läkare utan gränser”.

Tack var det denna konkurrens blev vi bland annat måna om att kunden var redo att betala en större summa för en kopp kaffe, därav höjde vi kaffepriset med 2kr, dvs till 7kr per kopp. Med tiden märkte vi dessutom att kakor på köpet till kaffet inte var av något större intresse för större delen av vår kund sekvens. Av den anledningen valde vi att skippa köp av kakor till kaffet efter att vi sålt slut på de resterande kakorna i kakburken och då istället satsa på att enbart sälja kaffe för ett högre pris. 

Figur 3: Monica & Mubarak är glada för att det går så bra med försäljningen.  

Fredag 

Inför fredagens pass, hölls en diskussion angående om vi skulle inkludera te, i och med från torsdagen märkte vi att endel frågade om te fanns som alternativ. Av den anledningen köpte vi in te för att förhoppningsvis höja säljningen.

Under fredag morgon samlades vi återigen vid BMCs huvudentre, denna gången kl 08:00, då vi tidigare märkte att kundflödet var som mest optimalt mellan kl 08:00 och 08:15.

Denna gången sattes kaffepriset till 8kr för att pröva kunderna och försäljningen med ett successivt stigande pris. Redan några timmar senare märkte vi att vi fick minst lika många köp och kunder som gick med på det nya priset utan tvivel. Vi hade även en del återkommande “stamkunder” som vi kunde stå och prata med och sälja ännu mer kaffe till. 


För att sälja te, införskaffade vi tepåsar samt en mindre termos med varmt vatten, som ett alternativ till kunder som inte konsumerade kaffe. Då vi hade en deadline tills på lördag att lämna in Q.1 i business simulation, bestämde vi oss att fortsätta med försäljningen fram tills kl 12:15, då vi la märke till att efterfrågan efter kaffe blev mindre (lunchdags), och la fokus på Q.1 istället. Med de intäkter som vi hade lyckats få in, var vi nöjda och avslutade säljningen av kaffe efter när vi blev färdiga med diskussionen om business simulation.  

Figur 4: Martin och Amir blev också glada när de fick höra att bruttovinsten översteg 1000kr.

Skattefrågan

Då vi bedriver en hobbyverksamhet är skattesatsen lite annorlunda än vid ett vanligt arbete. I och med att vi tjänar under 30 tkr per år slipper vi också f-skatt. Vi slipper också betala momsskatt och arbetsgivaravgift. Vinsten vi gör i hobbyverksamheten delas på antalet deltagare och den redovisas som inkomst och därmet höjs årsinkomsten. För att negera restskatten kan vi kontakta eventuella arbetsgivare och be dem dra en högre preliminärskatt motsvarande vårt lönepåslag. Beloppet ska in i ruta 1.6 som tjänsteinkomst. Vill man ha pluspoäng hos staten kan man fylla i en T2 blankett.

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The first week of School of Entrepreneurship has come to an end and all the students have been immersed into the mindset of an entrepreneur with excitement, eagerness and a bit of confusion..!

The first challenge we’ve had to encounter is to manifest a coffee-selling company for one week, with the goal to earn as much money as possible. No clear instructions were given about where, when and how to sell coffee, which gave us the freedom to use our creativity to make our companies profitable.

My company consists of David (Head of Finance and Barista), Farangis (Head of Logistics and Partnership) and myself Agnes (Head of Documentation and Marketing). As soon as we were informed about the project we sat down to make a first business plan.

Target Group

The first thing we started to discuss was the target group of our company and where the greatest need would be. In our minds the answer was simple- students!!! For students coffee is always a good idea, especially in between lectures, and since we are students ourselves we thought it would be an easy group to reach. We also considered the best location for our sales and where the need would be the greatest and got to the conclusion that the student Aula at Polacksbacken was a good place to start, since there are no convenient cafes nearby.

Product

We decided to buy cheap coffee and brew it ourselves with a coffee machine from home to keep the costs low. Additionally, to spice up the coffee even more and give the customers a good café-like experience we brought milk foam machines from home so that students could get foamed milk in their coffee. Also, since many students appreciate vegan products nowadays, and are more conscious about the environment we only served oat milk with the coffee.

Pricing

In the mind of a student everything cheap is good and since the coffee we bought was quite cheap we have started off with a low price. The price of a plain coffee has been 5 sek and for coffee with foamed milk the price has been 3 sek extra, but later on in the project prices might as well increase.

Our fancy price list!

Marketing

Since we were not allowed to tell people that the project is a school project we wanted to come up with a good reason for people to actually buy coffee and maybe even donate more money. Also, since none of the group members wanted to keep the money for themselves, we decided to let the profit be donated to a charity organization. The organization that we chose to support and donate the money to is called GAPF (Glöm aldrig Pela och Fadime), since Farangis has good knowledge about their cause and has good connections to the board of the organization. The organization works against the honor culture in Sweden and is especially located in Uppsala, which we thought would be relatable to the students who live here.

Moment of truth…

The morning after we got the challenge, our company stood ready for the first round of sales outside the Aula. We had looked up what lectures were going on and decided to be there for the first break in the morning at 9.00 when many first year engineering students had their joint math course. Before the break we brewed the coffee and put it in a coffee container so that it would be ready in the break.

All set up and ready for the first round of sales…
Students love coffee!
Check out our fancy flamingo cups 😉
We also had some cafe lounge music to create a nice vibe 🙂

End of the day results

The first day we sold coffee during three breaks between 9.00-11.15 outside the Aula, and in between the breaks we brewed new coffee and set everything up for the next round. In total, we sold 57 cups during the first day and collected 409 sek in total! The profit on the other hand was 34 sek, since the cost of the company was 375 sek so far. However, the result was better than we expected and we are excited to see the end results of our one week business…!

To be continued… 🙂

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Passport Card

“The Elegant All-in-One Solution for Every Citizen”

Countries across the globe have implemented and have been successfully using National ID numbers for decades now to link all local activities. Normally, a National ID card is issued by the country to each citizen. Countries of European Union (EU) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) recognizes each other respectively and allow free movement with passport, but it doesn’t stand true among rest of the world. There are couple of implementations of passport card (in USA and Ireland) but they are very limited.

We can merge the National ID card to the Passport and create an unique ID for every citizen which works both inside and outside the county. I tackled all queries while designing the card. While designing, I researched many passports, the requirements, the guidelines, the design and the technology. Mostly impressed with what I witnessed, I went on creating designs which could serve as base model to all countries.

Read More →

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Oka

Hej everyone,

this is a late post about the OKAWARDS 2017 in Stockholm. It was a really interesting event and I am super glad that I was part of it. As a volunteer I could look behind the scenes and could help to set up the event. It was an honor to pass the award of the category ‘Best Business’ to EntryScape Catalog by MetaSolutions.se. Meta Solutions is a startup of former KTH students which is dealing and managing open data. Their winning project EntryScape is called as a sustainable information management platform for providing a workflow for modern data management. We had the opportunity to mingle before the event with the guests and the jury and get to know each others visions and getting advices. The two founders of MetaSolutions told us their impressive story about setting up the startup and explained what they do and what they want to do in future. For me as a German it was nice to hear that they will expand 2018 and will work together with Sachen – a state in Germany. Germany is not leading in dealing with Open Knowledge and young firms like MetaSolutions are taking a step in the right direction. For the future it is important to encourage innovation democracies and increase open data!

Jury               Award

Open Knowledge Awards are for celebrating heroes in open knowledge and are an incentive for sharing more data and information, also in a digital way. Three out of six winners couldn’t come to the event but joined per Skype call and were happy to hear that they got the award. All winners: Beate Eellend (www.openaccess.se), Wikimedia Sverige, EntryScape Catalog by MetaSolutions.se, Lidding, Helena Bengtsson and Eric Borälv are leading in sharing data and setting examples. We need all to shift our mind about sharing knowledge to overcome challenges in the future. Sweden is on the right path but has a big potential to improve – in 2015 the country was ranked #27 in the Open Knowledge Index. Leading countries are Taiwan, Australian and UK.

Sweden

All in all, it was really instructive and informative to join this event as a volunteer. But moreover the people who helped to set up the event and the winners are a big inspiration for me! It was also a perfect opportunity to talk to founders of Startups and to work on the most important thing in future: network! I want to thank all of you for making this event as it was and also Serdar again for the Kebab at the end of the day 😉

#ME1033 Open and User Innovation at KTH!

 

References:

https://entryscape.com

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The Nobel lecture by the Economics Prize winner, Richard Thaler was held on 8th of December, 2017 at Stockholm University. When I decided to attend this lecture, I had mentally prepared myself to queue outside to get a seat and listen to a talk filled with scientific jargon that I may not understand. But I was pleasantly surprised when Professor Thaler delivered a presentation with relatable stories to explain 30 years of his research and even included a funny picture of Homer Simpson in his slides!

nobellecture_2   Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 7.18.44 PM

He started his talk with a story about cashew nuts in a dinner party when he had invited his friends over. The bowl of cashews on the table was being consumed quickly and as a responsible friend, he hid the bowl in the kitchen like most of us usually do with a packet of chips or a huge piece of chocolate cake in a party. Taking it away makes us feel relieved but he pointed out that from an economics point of view, taking away a choice shouldn’t make us feel good. This story and several other thought experiments led to Professor Thaler to research on ‘supposedly irrelevant factors’ (SIFs). There are a lot of these supposedly irrelevant factors that are in fact, not irrelevant. As humans with bounded rationality, unless we are influenced by nudges (like cashews being taken away), we tend to stick to the known and have an aversion for giving up what we already have.

At this point, you might be wondering how this fits into the topic of open and user innovation. During this talk, I realised that when we brainstorm for new ideas in our courses, we always assume that the potential users and partners will make a rational choice like downloading a new app which is better than all the existing apps, buying a new product with better features instead of using a poorly designed product that they already own. But we rarely pay attention to creating ‘nudges’ that can influence these potential users to change their existing behaviour without forcing them to do anything.

An example of a nudge mentioned in the talk was by the Swedish government which encouraged people through an advertising campaign to choose their own pension portfolio in 2000.  One of the ads even have Harrison Ford recommending a portfolio. 75% of people enrolled themselves to a custom plan that year rather than using the default plan and the nudge has lasted for 17 years for these people.

Another interesting point related to open innovation was the use of open public data from Sweden and Denmark. The research by Professor Thaler on Swedish pension plan was using open data provided by the National Social Insurance Board of Sweden and the Premium Pension Authority. Another research paper mentioned in the talk was by Raj Chetty and colleagues using open data from the Danish government to prove that the impacts of retirement savings policies on wealth accumulation of people depended on whether they changed their savings rates by active or passive choice. This was done using 41 million observations on savings for the population of Denmark from 1995-2009.

If you curious, you can watch the entire recorded Nobel lecture here. There are lots of other great insights in the talk that I might have missed out in this post.

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Innovation night took place in Nymble building on the main campus of KTH, the event started with inspirational speeches from start-up founders and academics in the field of Innovation.
Here’s a recap of the speeches. Amir Sharafat the co-founder of Shortcut Labs AB / Flic emphasized the importance of being curious, passionate, determined and most importantly that you should not be afraid to try and fail. Niklas Arvidsson Associate professor at KTH spoke about how the innovative idea of blockchain got rid of the middleman of transfer money such as banks and creating bitcoin as a digital currency. Johan Båth – Customer Success Manager at Detectify mentioned the idea of crowdsourcing white hat hackers that can be spread all over the world to find vulnerabilities of different websites and that is a very good example of how open user innovation can be utilized.

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After that, participants were divided into the different Case workshops. There were 4 workshops: Sogeti, Karma, MAD, KTH Innovation. The event was a very good place to meet with innovative students from different majors and experienced mentors and moderators that have a lot of experience with the innovation process. I participated in the Sogeti and we worked on how to utilize a high-speed wifi connection on SAS flights in an innovative way. In less than 30 minutes the teams came with a lot of innovative ideas that can be employed and this is a vivid example of how the open user innovation works and how it adds values to the different technologies.

IMG_20171106_201253

 

Later we had a very interesting panel discussion with Andrew Hennigan, Niklas Arvidsson, Emelie Ekblad, Johan Båth and Gustaf and they kept bouncing ideas and advice that it is really beneficial for anyone wants to start in the field of innovation.

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Overall, it was really good experience and a perfect opportunity for networking with mentors who started their journey of innovation already and have a wide experience.

 

 

This event was part of the Armada fair and the registration is on Armada website and I highly recommend it to everyone in the upcoming years!

 

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IMG_20171207_131859

Last Thursday I volunteered on the biggest of the year organized by EIT Digital. During this event, several companies showed the projects they are working on stands or presented it during presentations. In the following blog, I am going to share my experience of the event.

About 150 people registered for the amazing event in Kista. The most interesting and innovative project in my point of view was of the firm https://www.qinematiq.com/. Qinematiq designs “products for the professional film and television market through professional engineering technology” [1]. The project they presented during the EIT Innovation Day was about machine learning. Sensors and cameras scan the body position and analyze it to find wrong movements.

Foto von IsabelleFoto von Isabelle2

During six short exercises such as doing one squat or balancing on one foot, my complete body got scanned. Afterwards on a 3D animation of my movements, the orientation of my hips, knees,… got highlighted out. And I could see what I do wrong. I got explained those weak points by an employee of a Qinematiq and he showed me which exercises I should do to make the movements smaller and to relieve bones and muscles to avoid pain and diseases caused by wrong body position. I think it was great to see how easily I can avoid having pain in 50 years. With three exercises that are perfectly adapted to my body, I can avoid this. And the best part it does not take even longer 5 minutes to do them.

If you have ever the chance to make your body scanned and analyzed, I highly recommend doing so for your health and fitness.

The biggest problem in fitness studios is that you do not know how to do the exercises correctly. Imagine this scanning/ analyzing-tool is used to check how to use the gym machines to prevent you from using them wrongly and to prevent accidents and pains.

 

During the event, EIT Digital students who participated in the IOT Hacker Challenger pitched the ideas they have worked on. The winning team of the challenge presented a chip that can track your workouts in the gym: how many repetitions you do and when. Wouldn’t it be nice to add those two ideas together? Don’t you think that this would improve your gym experience, by ensuring you to exercise correctly, in the amount you need it, adapted on the exercises you should work on to improve your body shape?

Let me know what you think and comment on this blog:)

 

I think, that the event was very great and everything went smoothly thanks to the organization of Joanna and the help of all volunteers.

In case you know those guys in the picture this is not a coincidence: May I present you now the Open & User Innovation Volunteering Group?

Foto von Isabelle3

 

Did you like my comment? Stay tuned, I am sure more volunteering comments about this event will follow.

 

 

References:

[1]

https://www.facebook.com/pg/qinematiq/about/?ref=page_internal

 

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This thursday, 7th of December 2017, we had the last lecture for our course Open and User Innovation with another very interesting guest lecture by Cristina Gadibadi. The topic was ‘Learning from Failures’ based on Cristina’s experiences as a serial entrepreneur and her last failed startup ‘Get Deals’. In this blog post, I am listing some of the key things I learnt from the presentation.

  1. Speak the customers’ language: The majority of the Swedish population is good in communicating in English. However, as a Swedish company, when trying to on-board clients it’s important to communicate with them in Swedish. It’s their first language and the one they are most comfortable with. While Cristina talked about language in a specific context, the learning can be applied in a much broader sense. As an entrepreneur, it’s important for clients to truly understand the value proposition and to be able to do this successfully, we have to speak their language. To put it more simply, if customers do not understand, they do not buy.
  2. Be smart at outsourcing: It’s really cheap but really difficult to manage remotely. There are a lot of operational issues when outsourcing projects to foreign countries. Hence, when outsourcing larger projects, it’s better to approach companies rather than freelancers. While companies are more expensive, they have established procedures and are more likely to meet our demands. Freelancers on the other hand can be really good for shorter projects (e.g., Logo Design, Short Video etc.)
  3. Bootstrapping is hard: If one does not have enough money to bootstrap a company, it’s best to look for venture capitalists (VCs). VCs provide funds to run a company in exchange for equity or ownership stake. Cristina puts it very well saying ”It’s better to own a part of your dream business than no dream business at all”. Moreover, VCs bring in a lot of valuable experience and knowledge.
  4. Try Guerilla Marketing: Most startups have zero to little funds to spend on extravagant marketing. As entrepreneurs, we need to be more creative in such a situation. Cristina mentioned ‘guys in the amazon holding a sign for Get Deals’. While this has nothing to do with the product, it’s cheap, different and more memorable for the customer.

Go Entrepreneurs!

— Shivam Verma

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Bildschirmfoto 2017-11-29 um 09.38.02

 

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I was yesterday at an interesting and impressive innovation talk from IKEA about

CO-CREATE CHANGE! IKEA + Social Entrepreneurship

at United Spaces Stockholm. In this blogpost, I want to share my experience and my learnings from this event, due to the high importance of this topic.

 

The well-known Swedish company IKEA is one of the most popular furniture and design shops in the world. I am a big fan of IKEA furniture and love to stroll through IKEA shops to get inspired by design options. Another reason to buy IKEA stuff is the appropriate prize. I never thought about where the products come from and therefore I was totally surprised when I heard that IKEA is working on expanding their production for handicraft products made by women organizations. The blue cushion cover above belongs to the project “Tilltalande made in Jordan”, which should be launched 2018 in Sweden. By 2020, IKEA is committed to create 400 new jobs for refugees and women in Jordan to fight against property and empower women in this challenging areas.

The concept behind this is social entrepreneurship by working towards a social mission. The central criterion is mission-related impact rather than wealth creation. IKEA established a team, which is working on this by finding new partnerships and sustainable development goals. IKEA want to increase their work with small social entrepreneurs, which have normally no chance to become one of IKEAs’ suppliers and to add them to their value chain. Through the creation of decent jobs, IKEA can fight against poverty and focus on people and the planet. The longterm goal is to provide the social entrepreneurs with a market place and not making them dependent. They started by pointing out social needs: many women at home and no infrastructure. As a result, they introduced different village centers and brought the work home to the women. To support women is one of the utmost importance for IKEA.

 

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IKEA already created 10,500 jobs in vulnerable communities by empowering women in urban areas, in rural areas and in challenging areas. A short video shows how

IKEA and Jordan River Foundation create livelihoods for locals and refugees in Jordan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SwgvHKBd4Q&t=66s&index=27&list=PLZKweYqjSlQTkErqhhbCtjWzcxSaE2mz3.

 

In this area – social entrepreneurship – innovation comes from small insights and can lead to powerful changes, through sharing a social mission goal. Innovation does not mean to come up with something new, but it should create value. IKEA already started to expand this and already built 19 partnerships. However, they do not have the solution for every part. Therefore, they are looking for commitment and are open for ideas. It is about how can I or/and my company contribute to the growth of social economy and give long-term opportunities. It is an important issue and the approach of social entrepreneurship can lead us to a better world. Thank you Mrs. Gunnarsson for sharing this inspiring work and insights with others to co-create change.

#ME1033 Open and User Innovation at KTH!

 

 

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This event was conducted by Founder Institute and held in SUP46 to give some practical advice on raising funding; how to pitch to investors, when to pitch for funding and what is equity.

As one of the speakers, Mikael Wintzell said, “Noone owes you funding. You need to earn it.

The evening started with a talk by Michael Lantz, CEO of Accedo. Accedo is a cloud platform which provides video experiences and it’s clients include Netflix, NBC, Spotify, Fox and Disney. Michael talked about the funding journey of Accedo. In 2004, he started working with his co-founder Fredrik based on the insight that emerging technology will transform how people consume video, but the stakeholders will struggle to keep up. They spent 3 years in their homes building the solution and went for series A round funding in 2007. On a reflective note, he said, “It would been a better strategy if we had continued to build and focus on getting the product to the market rather than seek funding at that stage“. In 2016, they received 10 million funding by SEB in another funding round. This allowed the early investors of Accedo, including Industrifonden and Acacia, to exit as part of their investment strategy. This was an interesting talk because I learnt how it is important to seek funding at the right time and view the funding effort as a tradeoff for the time spent on product development, especially when there are fewer employees. I also learnt that several seed round or series A investors exit after the next round of funding.

The second speaker was Mikael Wintzell, Partner & CEO at Wellstreet. He said, “If you are in Stockholm and you don’t receive funding, either your idea has no potential or your communication skills are not good because there isn’t a lack of investors in Stockholm”. When an audience member asked him what is the most important thing that investors look for, he jokingly said, “I’ll let you know if you Swish me 10k kronor”. His company, Wellstreet helps entrepreneurs grow and they also invest in these companies (mainly B2C and online-based) if they believe in their vision. He talked about how it is important for the founders to choose the right investor who can guide them in the right direction, just as how it is important for the investor to pick the right startup.

Michael was followed by a corporate lawyer from Lindahl, a business law firm. He emphasised the importance of preserving all the documents (contracts, receipts, sales proofs) and paying attention to the fine line in contracts.  He mentioned the importance of honesty from the founder’s side in their business and financial reports since investors usually hire corporate lawyers to verify all the documents before they fund the company. He also introduced the concept of a shelf company (a registered company that has no activity) which can be bought by founders who don’t want to waste time registering a company or are not Swedish citizens. This was quite interesting since it seemed unethical but legal.

Arno Smit, co-founder of FundedByMe talked about his company, a crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs who want to raise funds through a crowdfunding campaign. In 2010, Arno (coder from Africa) along with his co-founder Daniel Daboczy (with an Art major from Romania) wanted to launch a Kickstarter campaign for a video-site for sharing ideas. Kickstarter turned them down saying their idea was not valuable for the American community. So, they started their own Nordic platform for crowdfunding. Because of their backgrounds, it was hard for them to seek funding. But they succeeded in building the platform and raised equity crowdfunding for their own company.

Finally, the last speaker, Anette Nordvall, an angel investor talked about her funding experiences in California and the US. She, along with a group on 50 angel investors in STOAF, fund fast growing ventures and also guide them based on their experience and expertise. They invest in early ventures, help the companies grow and exit in the series A funding 2-3 years later. She had a valuable advice to potential founders in the audience – “If you can fund yourself, do it. That’s the best option. Funding is not easy or fun, either for the founder or the investor. It involves many steps and a lot of effort from both parties.

Overall, I felt very educated about the different investment terms after listening to the founder, investor and corporate lawyer’s perspectives on startup funding. I also met a budding startup founder from Stockholm and shared some perspectives on the different startup cultures in Singapore, Stockholm and India. I would highly recommend future events by SUP46 since they have good speakers and the sessions are usually held in the evening at a convenient time. It’s a great opportunity to learn and meet like minded people.

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