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!
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.
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!
During a recent presentation in the Open and User Innovation course, some of my friends presented the topic of User Behavior and Free Innovation wherein they discussed ‘What motivates free innovators ?’. Combining my learning from the class and my experience as a Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) contributor, in this blog post I reflect on what motivates software developers to contribute their time and effort to building free software products.
Intrinsic Motivation –
In general, Intrinsic motivation refers to the inherent motivations of doing a task. It’s possible that there are no other outcomes that motivate the ‘free innovator’ other than the satisfaction of being able to complete a task and having fun while doing it.
It can be further divided into the following two categories:
- Enjoyment Based – Much of open source software contribution is motivated by the satisfaction of being able to ‘fix’ a certain bug with a software and being challenged while doing it. A task that is within the skillset of a programmer but also challenges their creativity provides the most engaging experience.
- Community/Obligation Based – Larger F/OSS projects have a very strong sense of bonding and community. It’s very common to see the most experienced contributors of a project helping an absolute beginner in getting started with code contributions.
Extrinsic Motivation –
Extrinsic motivation refers to the external aspirations of a developer other than the aforementioned intrinsic motivations. For example, the immediate need of a bug fix motivates some to contribute to the projects they use. I personally, have fixed bugs in an open source software because I needed to use it in my project.
In addition, developers might have long term motivations such as learning how to code better. Most F/OSS code contributions are reviewed by experienced programmers which helps novice programmers in improving their skills. F/OSS contributions are also a great way to build a strong network in the programming community which could lead to better job opportunities and career advancement in the long run.
From my personal experience of having interacted with a number of F/OSS contributors over the past few years, it’s a mix of these extrinsic and intrinsic motivations that makes F/OSS a very successful Open Innovation model.
A more thorough analysis of this topic backed by data is available here. I would encourage everyone remotely interested in Open and User innovation to go through the article. It explains very clearly the motivations of ‘free innovators’ and the learning can easily be carried over to many more areas in addition to F/OSS.
— Shivam Verma
A while back, in September, I got the chance to attend STHLM TECH FEST with the help of KTH Innovation. I thought I would share my experiences of this event with you.
This was my very first time attending STHLM TECH FEST. The first day I was there, on Monday the 4th of September, I got to witness a panel discussion with the co-founder of Klarna, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, the head of Nordics and Baltics of MasterCard, Sasha Krstic, the co-founder of iZettle, Jacob De Geer, and the CEO of Bambora, Johan Tjärnberg. They spoke about the future of the world of fintech and of the difficulties that lie ahead.
After that there was a city pitch held about the opportunities for Swedish startups and companies to open up offices in Poland. The person giving the pitch was trying to convince Swedish companies such as Truecaller and Klarna into setting up offices in Krakow and Warszawa. It was good to see how a pitch might be done in real life with the pressure of having a room filled with people criticizing your idea.
After attending a couple of these panel discussions and pitches I made sure to check out the fair. There I had the chance to speak to a couple of company representatives from the start-up that some of you might have heard of, Stilla. What they are offering is a product called Stilla Motion that you put on any of your belongings that you would like to protect from being stolen and such, wether it is your backpack or wallet. This device connects to your mobile device through the Stilla app and an alarm goes off on your smartphone when your belongings are being moved. What I think is a really interesting feature is the fact that, in the app, you can adjust how sensitive the movement sensor in the Stilla Motion device is and it also has many more adjustable settings. If you want to know more about Stilla visit: https://wearestilla.com.
Lastly, I would just like to comment on the fact that KTH Innovation has been able to do a great thing by providing free tickets to KTH students who want to attend the STHLM TECH FEST. As one of our guest lecturers, Tobias, mentioned previously in his presentation to the class, it is very important that we create platforms and meeting places where different people can meet and interact, because we want to be able to take advantage of the synergies that arises when this happens. I would hope that in the future more students get the chance to attend STHLM TECH FEST and similar events. In november I will also be attending the STHLM TECH MEETUP, so I am really looking forward to that.
Thanks for taking the time to read this! Let me know if you’ve been to STHLM TECH FEST before or anything similar to it 🙂
All the best,
Houda Abu Zeid
Just a couple of days ago, I wrote my first post at LinkedIn and this blog post will be about what I learnt from the experience. In the post I asked for a mentor as I believe having someone guiding you in personal and academic choices can be helpful to develop as person as well as finding the right path. Even though your parents or older friends could advice you concerning the future, they are not as neutral as an “outsider” would be. To get good at what you would like to do, learning from others with experience is essential.
However, I did not expect the outcome. Today, more than 13.000 people have seen the post and I have gotten several replies from people that are interested in helping me out. I have called or met three of them so far, and they have all given me new career insights.
The reason I chose to write about this, is because I want others to take advantage of the opportunity that LinkedIn offers. It is a great tool to reach out to interesting people and expand your network. The last person that I met yesterday studied HR management and gave me some pro LinkedIn tips & tricks that I would like to share:
- Use an interesting title. Most people only have their work title / academic background and this does not say much about the person. The title gives the first impression, therefore choose something that would make people interested enough to click to your profile. Also, in general people have short titles. Make them longer (but split them into several informative parts). On a computer a lot of information can be shown and it is possible to add a title that is more than 100 words long. Mine is for example: Creative HCI student @KTH | Pursuing an international career. I could probably add more information as well.
- The introduction on your page is important. Mention what your aiming to do and what you have done in the past with a few sentences, as well as something about you as a person. It could be anything that hows off your personality, for example “I am always up for chatting about new work opportunities, management strategies or Harry Potter/football/80’s rock.”
- Verify others’ competences, then they are more likely to verify yours. Although, make sure they are abilities that you have seen or have real insights of.
- Do not forget that volunteer experiences can add just as much to the profile as other jobs. Add them under work experience or volunteer experience. Then they are displayed early in your profile. Volunteer jobs with less significance can be added to the section “organisations”.
- Add when your expected graduation date is if you are a student. For example June 2016.
- Add a description to each work experience. A good length is one sentence about the job, including the department (especially if the company is well-known), two sentences about what you did there and two sentences about job achievements. Adding numbers is also good.
- The webpage http://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi shows statics of how your profile compares to others in the same field as you.
- Look for mentors or interesting people in you surrounding by simply writing the occupancy/field/company that your interested into the search field. Then either write them a message when adding them or email them. Many people have emails on their LinkedIn profiles. In most cases people get excited about hearing that someone wants to talk to them about what they are doing. Just show real curiosity and you will get to meet a lot of cool, new people. The guy that I met had reached out to around 90 people so far and none of them had taken it the wrong way. Many even payed for the lunch or fika because he was a student and was expected to have less money than them.
- Write posts now and then to attract people to your profile.
I hope these advises will help you just as much as they help me. At the moment LinkedIn provides a way to reach out to people unlike most other sites. Take the opportunity, because no one knows how long it will last. Good luck in future decisions!
So, the course ME2603 Entrepreneurship has now come to an end and it is somehow sad. It has been a course that has most likely made many of us students to feel more comfortable presenting pitches, talking about our ideas and getting feedback on them, but most importantly making new connections.
As a medical engineer, I do not have that much of knowledge in entrepreneurship and everything that is connected to it. That is why I chose this course, to learn things that are outside my comfort zone and to know where to go whenever I get an idea in the future and where to put it forward. I have now begun to go to events (which I would never have done if it wasn’t because of the course) and it has been such a good experience. I have meet people from my field, but also people who have a totally opposite educational background. Also, I volunteered at SUP46 and got more engaged in schoolevents.
To conclude, I have not only learnt about what entrepreneurship is but also to start networking, going outside my comfort zone, meet with people who are successful in their fields and to grow as a person. I really do recommend this course to everyone.
Everyone has most likely seen the program called Draknästet (If you’re not from Sweden then it is probably called something else in your country). It is a program where entrepreneurs can present their idea or prototype to inventors, and tell them how much capital they need in order to accomplish their idea. If the idea is good, then the inventor will be willing to invest otherwise not.
One of the prototypes that were presented on the show, and caught my attention, was Mollii. It is an elektrodress that enables stiff and aching muscles to relax. Electrical stimulation is used to reduce the tension in muscles, as well as spasm. The electrodress is used by people with stroke, brain damage, etc . In the first part of the episode (you can find the link down below) you will see a little girl that, after using the elektrodress, has got the ability of moving her legs and doesn’t need to inject any medication any longer.
Personally, I find it immensely fascinating how a dress, like Mollii, can enable people to walk and move more freely and with a more relaxed manner. And there should be more products like this out on the market but more entrepreneurs need to get out there and show their prototypes.
Here is the link to the episode when Mollii was presented:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwoMXhdI4kw
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRHh1mMgB1o
Here is the link to their website: http://inerventions.se/
These types of products makes me even more motivated to one day innovate a product that will help people to either have the ability to walk, drink or eat. Basically some of the things that people take for granted. However, as a medical engineer I haven’t had that much of courses in management or entrepreneurship and, thus, this is the reason to why I am currently taking the course in Entrepreneurship at KTH.
Picture taken from: http://www.kth.se/en/aktuellt/nyheter/suited-for-treatment-of-brain-damage-1.421729
Thinking of innovation gives me thoughts about developing new products or services based on recent inventions or discoveries. Unfortunately that makes one forget about other opportunities to innovate something old that already exists on a “mature” market like developing new ways to offer, manufacture or advertise an ancient product. That kind of innovation is something that Mackmyra, a Swedish brand of whiskey has developed and based their business model on. The company is blooming and is noted on OMX Large cap and has today a stock market value of 105 MSEK. The business model is “low tech” but still pretty innovative in my opinion…
The company offers whiskey slightly above the price of an average bottle of “water of life” to customers sold in stores and they also sell larger amounts of whiskey in casks to restaurants and bars. BUT, the innovative side of Mackmyra is that they offer undeveloped whiskey in casks to private customers, which means that anyone can buy their own barrel of whiskey and have it aged in Mackmyras storage until it is finished i.e. aged correctly. In this way they differ from other liquor companies on the Swedish market because of their way of selling a product. This could be a great business opportunity as they offer a product combined with a service that provides great customer value. This makes the product much more of an experience as you get the benefits of being a whiskey maker without having to invest a lot of money. -You get to choose the characteristics of your whiskey, you will own the product during the time its aging and you will be able to treat yourself and your friends with hopefully great whiskey when the time is ready. This is an innovative approach of selling whiskey and I’m not sure if this is innovation in its true form, but since it is revolutionizing for the Swedish whiskey industry I would at least say that this business model really is innovative.
Do you have any examples of something similar in terms of ideas and innovation for traditional markets, or do you oppose my opinion regarding the innovativeness of Mackmyra..?