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

Bildschirmfoto 2017-11-29 um 09.38.02

 

Bildschirmfoto 2017-11-29 um 09.38.13

 

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.

 

Bildschirmfoto 2017-11-29 um 10.19.00

 

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!

 

 

peloton-drag-reduction

Source: https://peloton-tech.com/how-it-works/


During one of the lectures of Open and User Innovation we had a guest lecturer. The guest lecturer was Thomas Tydal and he is a train driver and software developer. He developed the application Railit Tracker. This is an application for train drivers and other railway personnel. In this application the train drivers can see where they are, where other trains are, how fast they are going and if this is the right speed, and when they will arrive among other things. This application has solved the main problem of data being unavailable to the train drivers, and also it prevents drivers from going too fast and thus reduces the amount of energy used. Thomas’ presentation was very inspiring and I learned a lot from it about how the subjects we discuss during this course are applied in real life. It was a great addition to the course. The website for this application is railit.se.

After Thomas told his story, one of the students asked about the future of trains when it comes to automisation and if his business was threatened by possible automised trains. To this he said that trains are not the same as, for example, trucks. During a train ride often systems in the trains breakdown, but passengers do not notice all these failures because the train driver repairs these malfunctions. This comparison to trucks and the fact that his application saves energy made me think of a company I came across during one of my previous projects called Peloton.

Peloton is an automated vehicle technology company. They try to solve the two major problems in the trucking industry: crashes and fuel use. Peloton develops trucks that have advanced software and radars that allows them to keep track of each other and other traffic on the road. Each truck has multiple types of sensors that register data and they can share this information with other trucks on the road. Peloton software alerts the drivers if there are other drivers nearby and available for a “platoon”. When a platoon is formed two trucks are linked together when driving behind each other. With vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), the acceleration and breaking systems of the two trucks are connected. This way, if the driver of the first truck breaks the second truck will automatically break too. Also, the drag between the two trucks is diminished so the first truck no longer suffers from this. By forming a platoon the fuel use of the first truck is reduced by 4.5% and the second truck by 10%, leaving an overall fuel saving of 7%. The platoons are only made when it is safe and every platoon has to be accepted by the Operations Center and they can change the platoon parameters to the situation of the trucks. Also, the drivers always have primary control over their truck, they can stop the platoon at anytime and can still use the brakes and acceleration themselves when necessary.

The V2V communication made me think of the subjects discussed during Open and User Innovation. The trucks all register data and share this openly to other trucks, creating a sort of open data community for trucks and their drivers. They help each other navigate and warn each other for upcoming traffic and dangerous situations. Also, by platooning they work together to reduce fuel use. I thought this was an interesting form of open data and communities.

 

//Lynn Reichenfeld

I retrieved the information about Peloton from their website: https://peloton-tech.com/ , if you’re interested to get more information be sure to check out the website!

 

Bildschirmfoto 2017-11-17 um 09.01.58

I would like to share my first video guest lecture at KTH from Electrolux about their perspective of open innovation. Let’s extend and share our knowledge about this phenomenon to promote creation and improvement.

Electrolux is a leading global appliance company from Sweden since 1919, which is present in more than 150 markets, including the brands AEG, Anova, Frigidaire, Westinghouse and Zanussi. They sell more than 60 million household and professional products and is the only appliance manufacturer in the world to offer solutions for both.

The Open Innovation Strategy according to Beatrice Maestri is to create new value, new products, new services and new experiences for customers. They define innovation as new business opportunities and a new way to interact and work with each other. In short: A new way to do business. Therefore, a important point is the exchange between internal and external networks but with the main focus on people.

Open Innovation provides new technologies, new ideas, additional competencies and new and other markets. Due to fast innovation processes and the speed behind new trends, it is a common need to outsource. As Beatrice Maestri mentioned: “It is not possible to be an expert of everything”.

Access to vital information for decision making, flexibility of skills and influencing innovation in an ecosystem are benefits of open innovation for Electrolux. To capture this benefits, they defined roles and responsibilities to deal with open innovation. A team of 5 people is working full time on open innovation to capture new innovative business solutions to create new value for their customers.

According to their vision: Unlock universe’ potential.

A key challenge is therefore for the open innovation team to move beyond the trusted network and to find brokers. Brokers are the intermediate connection of the company and innovators outside. According to Beatrice Maestri, they cluster Broker in “DNA”, for example industrial, academic, media, etc., to match and rank brokers. At first they focus on a balanced portfolio of brokers, then they launch – create perfect match between needs and brokers, afterwards they scout, screen, OIB, Brokers Activity and at the end is the management of brokers.

It was a nice experience to see what is possible nowadays, as i already mentioned that it was my first video guest lecture. The whole presentation was well structured and  gave a good impression of Electrolux’s open innovation strategies and how important it is to treat and involve open innovation. Thank you again Beatrice Maestri for sharing this knowledge and strategies with us in the course #ME1033 Open and User Innovation at KTH!

References: http://www.electroluxgroup.com/en/electrolux-in-brief-492/

 

 

I am not writing about a start up but about an important bank and insurance firm, Groupama. They have 32600 employees in 11 countries, mostly in France.

Be honest, few of our generation dream about working in a bank. Young talents want to work for start-up style big companies like Google. But this bank needs new talents and want to find an innovative way to recruit entrepreneurial talents, not just people wanting to make money.

To change their image and the profile of candidates, they have changed their recruitment system. Instead of the usual meeting with HR head, candidates meet together at an escape game.

Wikipedia Definition : An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms.  Games are set in a variety of fictional locations, such as prison cells, dungeons and space stations, and are popular as team building exercises.

For 60 minutes, 10 candidates will try together to get out of the room. Depending of the session, a HR employee will be hidden in the master game room or will play with the candidates. They will be graded on their nature, group work appetence, strengths, weaknesses.

Personally, I love escape games so I would very much enjoy such a recruitment session. And that advertising on escape game made me look at jobs offer in that firm. In fact, in those games, your true nature is revealed because you are under stress during one hour. You can see who follows intuition, who is strategic, who is easily adaptable.

For example, it’s not that easy to take the leadership in such a situation, with people who don’t know each other very well and are under stress ; it is however an important role for someone to assume to ensure the success of the session. Anyone who manage to obtain this role, by natural authority, a vote, or whatever else, will prove (s)he has a strong managing potential.

So if you are truly competent, you will be hired whatever your experience or your diploma.

 

What about you ? Is the recruitment process important when you are applying for a firm ?

I was convinced by one of my friends that it would be fun going to this lecture, like Forrest Gump, I just went with the flow. When I signed up for this lecture from Dr. Terrence Brown at Playhouse Theater, I thought I would get the same content he delivers in his classes at KTH but I was in for a treat.

Here is the conclusion,

There is a thin line between love and hate

This is what he said, that’s it. Now, to understand what this conclusion means, I had to stay until the end.

The conversation started by some light jokes from Dr. Brown to set up a jovial atmosphere in the Theater, followed by his introduction. His talk started with a brief overview of how some brands have trademarks which have now become too generic, some examples of which are Velcro, Band-aid, Superhero(co-owned by both Marvel and DC comics) etc, also he told that few brands have lost the trademarks because they could not utilize them frequent enough, the examples he delineated were Heroin, Videotape.

Then, post this introduction of trademarks going generic, he moved on to explain that there are four types of innovation- technological innovation, product and service innovation, process innovation, and business model innovation. Technological innovation is what we can see around us happening at KTH, product and service innovation are visible in the advent of new gadgets in the market, process innovation is done within companies, business model innovation is reinventing and redefining how a firm makes money. To point out the importance of business model innovation and how standout the performance of business model innovation is, he showed us the figure below, indicating the there is six times more growth in business model innovation compared to other innovation strategies.

Business Model Innovation showing 6x growth

A cool example was given later after this, this was the Haloid Case of 1959, model 914, skip this paragraph if you already are familiar, otherwise, read on. Haloid created a new way to create copies using static electricity and flashes, the process had a big capital cost initially. They approached big companies like IBM, Kodak etc. but were rejected outrightly. On facing a no from all the big brands, they started to lease out the machines, with providing the paper and ink free for up to 2000 copies. They were successful in creating a sustainable business model and they renamed themselves from Haloid to Haloid Xerox to Xerox.

This example was followed by lots of business model definitions, Terrence said that the one from Joan Magretta[1], who says that business models are just

“Stories that explain how enterprises work”.

This was followed by highlighting the importance business models that it helps the organization and managers, and gives a good overview of a venture, in capturing the value, in driving innovation, to optimize production, and to reduce failure rates.

After this, there was a long discourse on the move from business plans(30-40 pages) to business model canvas(1 page). Although time and again, it was told by Terrence that it is just a framework or a tool and focussed on explaining it is the wisdom of the user, by reiterating thrice in his talk that

“A fool with a tool is still a fool”

He told that Business Model Canvas has evolved and had taken many forms, and simply think of the business model as the way a venture makes money. There was a minute overview of Alexander Osterwalder famous author of book Business Model Generation [2]. Alexander Osterwalder’s doctoral thesis [3], however, analyzed established corporates and not startups(and is thus not a one size fits all tool, may fit well with some but might not fit at all with others). Business model just is a widely used tool, or rightly told later in the presentation widely abused tool.

The talk then diverted to a discussion about lean methodology as suggested by Eric Ries in his great book The Lean Startup and Steve Blank’s Customer Development with quotes about lean manufacturing and a customer centered product development. Terrence then said a simple statement that defined the evening’s talk about business tools that how they lose the essence when the common public has to be educated about the business concepts.

“When methodology is repackaged, it is oversimplified”

Summary

Now explaining what the first figure means.

There is a fine line between love and hate(this was said about the business models, you can love them or hate, them). All in all, you have to be wise, tools won’t do that for you.

References

  1. https://hbr.org/2002/05/why-business-models-matter
  2. http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470876417.html
  3. http://www.qpt-consulting.com/cms/upload/documentos/20130213115948.osterwalder_phd_bm_ontology.pdf

On 22nd November, I went to this innovation event called Lean Tribe Gathering 41st with my friend and teem member Miss. Jori Witte. It is an event held by #SUP 46, where they provide competitive advantage to startup people and their members through its world-class ecosystem of investors, partmers and advisors.

It was a very cool event with 4 lectures given by three successful startup persons and one manager from the famous Swedish game company called the King (who developed “Candy Crash”). People who attended that event were mostly business people who are running their own companies/ startups and people who work for companies instead of students. So we were quite “young” for that event. But still, we learned a lot from it and find it really exciting and interesting.

The first lecture was from Jonas Hombert, talking about a mindset for quick failure and slow success. He mentioned that when we are facing with a failure, it just means that we are trying new things. It’s not about any permanent disappointing stage where we can never get our feet back again. And people may run into failure very often (especially in startup field), but they can still be successful person one day. He also thinks it’s important to be flexible as a startup. To know when are we doing things right and when are we doing right things, and to change swiftly between them is important.

The second lecture was given by Cecilia Borg with her startup called Looklet. They managed to expand the company from 25 persons to 78 persons within 8 month. And she shared her experience during this expanding without pain. According to Cecilia, one of the most important point here is to understand that the engineers don’t want to assume responsibility. The company has to make sure that people can and feel comfortable consuming responsibility so that everyone can cooperate with desire and joy. She also talked about the values of her company, which are trust and respect, transparency and collaboration. And their agile methods are: aligned goals, daily standups and keeping teams co-located, which all aim to help their team members work actively and finally lead to the success of the whole company.

The third lecture was given by Yassal Sundman, from the King, as I mentioned above. She talked about how do they use A/ B testing for their product and decide for the best solutions. The three key points for their decision making process are: 1. Figure out what to build and how to build. 2. Figure out challenges and how much of a feature it will be. 3. Learn fast. The interesting thing here is how they decide which idea is better. They do not use the normal ways like “the oldest win” or “the boss told me…”. Instead, they start with hypothesis and define their testable alternatives. Then they conduct the A/ B testing of all the alternatives, and make a decision for it. I think this is a really interesting way to decide because new and young ideas will not be buried this way. It is also faster and help the team understand what are they building and the risks.

The last lecture is from Erik Frisk. He is currently running a startup called Touch & Tell and doing it pretty well. He shared his understanding of “leaps of faith”. By saying leaps of faith, he means the very risky action taken place when one does not know what out comes will it bring, but still believe in the best for it. He’s holding the idea that sometimes we will feel uncertainity and have doubt in what we are doing, the leaps of faith does not eliminate the uncertainity for us, but it force us to face with these uncertainities and see how brilliant we can do out of them.

After the lectures, we had some discussions regarding to the questions about lectures in flexible groups. I find this even remarkably inspiring because here I saw all these young people starting to realize their dreams, and by sharing their experiences to each other, they help and inspire each other to do better. It makes me see the faith in startup people and applaud for their braveness.

On 4th December, I entered the Startup Day presentation event. It was held in EIT Digital office, in KTH Kista campus.

The event is more likely a workshop. There are several teams. Each team has 3-6 persons. Enrolling in the competition is voluntary. Participants find their partners and form a team before the event begins. The event lasted two days. Each team was given a topic at the first day, then they had two days to come up their ideas and solution to solve the problem or improve the situation.

startup event

Listening to all teams’ presentations, there are several ideas impress me. One of them is Altalk. We are overwhelmed by information from facebook, twitter, kinds of emails and other social platform in our daily life. The team noticed this problem and wanted to solve it. They developed Altalk. Altalk is a smart information manage system. It can manage user’s information artificially and intelligently. It connects all your social platform account and manages the information. For example, you want to find the detail of the Startup Day event, but you forget which platform you read about it or which email you got it. You can search the keyword “startup”, the system will automatically search it and list all the information about the startup. It save you time searching for the information you need.

Another one is socialize-me. Nowadays people in airport, in subway, they tend to put on earphones and play the smartphone but not to communicate with other person around them. The team made a survey about this problem. 50% passengers want to use the time to communicate with strangers and make a friend. The team developed the product with the help of wifi platform and position technology. For example, you are in airport waiting your airplane and the airplane will depart 2 hours later. You connect to the airport Wifi. When connect the wifi, the screen will display some options: I want to make a friend nearby or I don’t want to. It is obligatory. If you choose the first one option, the system will automatically match the one who have some the same interest. Then you can find a guy and have a face to face talk with him. Maybe you two can be friends after the communication.

After presentations, some professors and entrepreneurs who were invited to the event will give some evaluation and advice for the team. Through their questions and evaluations, using the open data to innovate something new is a good way to solve some problem of improve situation you meet in your daily life. When you find the existing product can’t solve your problem, why not try to develop a new product by yourself to solve it.

On 15th November, I entered a startup event called uppstart. Uppstart is a relaxed conference for anyone interested in the European technology startup. It was organized inside the castle on uppsala city. Many startups joined this event. They had their simple booths in the castle. Not only there were many startups, but also they invited some company managers to give discussions about the future of the technical society. Spending a whole day listening to world class speakers, meeting startups and knowing how they start their company from an original thought. I was so impressed.

uppsala

There are two startups leave me a great impression. One is Wehype. Through short discussion with this startup’s manager and listen their presentation. I know what the Wehype does. Wehype is an automated influencer marketing platform targeting the gaming community. The announcements are produced via a global network of broadcasters acting on the popular video streaming platform Twitch. They connect brands with Twitch streamers. The startup see there is a big market in gaming if they can reach millions of gamers. In other words, if you want to make your brand be seen in the public, maybe 10000 viewers, you may hire one ambassador to promote your brand to his 10000 viewers. Now, with Wehype, we can have 1000 ambassadors to promote your brand to their 10 viewers making totally 10000. I think Wehype is more likely an open innovation, I mean they use the Twitch platform (a live gaming video platform) to carry out the broadcasting. I remembered that during the open & user innovation course, we mentioned lots of open innovation cases. The open innovation means the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation.

Another startup called Moggie. The founder of the startup found that sometimes our lovely cat may lose when we go outside. And we may have enough time to take care of our pets. What is more, we may not know that our pet get ill. Meeting these problems, they develop this Moggie product. Mobile app and smart collar help to provide better care for your cat. The product has 6 grams of artificial intelligence that recognizes health characteristics and movement. This startup is more likely a user innovation. I mean the developer expects to benefit by using it.

Not only participants of the event can meet many startups and listening to their startup stories and knowing their product, but also there are several presentations and discussions. For example, Alok Alström a general manager of Uber give us an speech about what is uber and what uber want to achieve and also share something about the future transportation.

This event gives me understanding about how an idea comes into practice and broad my view about the fantastic startup world. It reminds me that everyone can be an entrepreneur. We should pay more attention to everyday small problems and use the open sources to solve it. Sometimes your idea maybe thought as a stupid one, others may think you are a day dreamer, just do what you want do and insist what you think.

729041599894740684

 

 

123When I started this course I had no clue what to expect. To be completely honest, I basically ended up taking this course because I had a clash in courses which meant I had to find another one. A friend of mine then recommended this course and mentioned that it was a little bit different from other KTH courses. However, as the first class started I got to see why it was a good choice as well as I quickly realized how much more there is to know about entrepreneurship and everything around it.

Serdar has taught me how to look at myself from another person’s perspective in many cases, mostly through how I am viewed during presentations. He has also taught me to see things from another perspective. It has been quite a journey for me, to get out of my comfort zone and step into the world of the idea generation. Studying mechanical engineering I normally focus on the technological side of an idea, not the entrepreneurial side of it all as I have been doing in this course. Though, putting myself out there and challenge myself has been a bit tricky in my past, I have been pushed even further than I had expected of myself which means that I have exceeded my expectations. So kudos to Serdar!

But explicitly, what are the main learning outcomes from the course?

  • Pitching an idea The Elevator pitch step taught me how to make business idea concrete and appealing for others in the span of just a couple of minutes. This was something new for me and I believe this will be useful in my future career. It is crucial to be able to catch someone’s attention and make others understand why what you are saying or proposing is relevant for them. The Elevator pitch step of the course has helped me understand that and gave me tools in order to do so.
  • The meaning of Entrepreneurship As we needed to blog about entrepreneurship I started researching the topic reading current articles and looking at entrepreneurship websites. One of those blog posts was What is an entrepreneur? I also realized that I became more observant of articles and posts related to the subject on the internet scrolling through my Facebook for example. Writing the posts, attending the lectures and doing the project gave me further knowledge. I also gained personal insights into the subject, apart from the actual knowledge.
  • Running a company Having to work in a small group both to sell coffee and work on our made me understand what it is like to run a company. There is a lot to think about and a lot of coordination to be done. This made me both see the charm in being an entrepreur and the value of being employed by a company. Also through playing the “marketplace live” simulation game, a lot of knowledge and terms of how to run a business and compete in a market has been a tremendous amount of help for me.
  • Going from idea to reality The task of having an idea and actually putting it into reality has become more realistic. The lecture on prototyping and the whole project was what taught me that. I realize that if one has an idea it is not impossible to go through with it if one really wants to do so. Finding and  trying out start ups see Lendify – the service that makes you rich $$$ and My experience with Instabridge and attending the start up events taught me how many start ups there are out there and how many great ideas there are that potentially could bloom into great things.
  • How to attract investors Attending the start up events I learnt both how to attract investors and the importance in doing so. Having investors is often necessary to fulfill an idea, to going from idea to reality. I learnt that the idea can be great but if it is presented poorly it will not matter. More about this in these posts 19@19 startup event with SUP46 and STHLM TECH Meetup.

Thanks again everyone!