I shall not lie, I almost forgot to make a post and collect some feedback. Luckily I used the idea of waiter app during the pitch workshop I did at SUP46, and for the other feedback I made some phone calls this morning to people in the hospitality sector I know and potential costumers. This combining with the market research we did using a survey we did for the report I think we can have a clear idea of what value our app can offer.
Photograph at SUP46
She really likedthe idea, and would definitely use she was always in a hurry and travels to a lot of divergent places she quit often ends up eating something at a take away. If the app offers her the possibility to pre-order she would love it. I must mention that she was the most enthousiastic about the idea and it might also help that I gave her a face tot face pitch.
Willem, restaurant owner in Holland where I used to work
He didn’t feel that much for it. Even though he really liked to simplify his administration he thinks that people come to his restaurant for the personal experience and having good staff gives him the possibility to justify the higher prices and offer something extra.
Cor, chef-cook at Willems restaurant.
He liked to idea as it cuts a way a link between the customer and the kitchen where miscommunication can find place. It makes him able to do his job more effectivaly. He also mentioned that there is also a challenge with the higher turnover rate and expectation for quick service that if you don’t offer this quick service people can get really mad.
Ilsa Maria, works for international company that travels a lot for her work.
She liked the idea but would only use it as it gave her the possibility to use it every where. She would stop using it if she went to a other city and only offers 2 restaurants in a multi-million city. The success would really depend and the scale of availability.
Mark Muller, dad and project developer and real estate broker.
He liked the possibility to have more say in the matter of placement and customization of food. But when going to a real fancy restaurant he wants the really restaurant experience with ordering at a real waiter. But he thinks it could be a good product for the cheaper and middle range restaurants.
So as I am a son of an entrepreneur I thought I had a good understanding of what it meant to be an entrepreneur and had a good understanding of what to expect of this course. The truth t is, I didn’t.
I didn’t learn all the terminology and steps I thought you have to walk to become an entrepreneur. But I learned this was also the complete wrong approach to become an entrepreneur. There is no handbook with steps you have to take on the path to success, instead there is only a wild river where you jump in and hope to surface still breading.
And so the course wasn’t teaching me a false reality where the most important thing was to know all the terms and names so you never look stupid among other entrepreneurs. No it learned my to step outside of my comfort zone and open up to all the possibilities around me. Don’t be afraid to look stupid or have nobody believe in you, prove them wrong and find out how willing people around you are to help you further.
In the first lecture Sadar told us to go out and go to start-up events and blog and much more, this I didn’t expect and one word get floating around in my head as I left the classroom, blog. This was something I simply hated and had tried to avoid as long as I could. But I must honestly say that I actually enjoyed it and saw myself growing in the ability to step outside my comfort zone.
Knowing now what I do and seeing what people make up the startup community I will finish my degree and would be very enthusiastic to become a intropreneur. As I think I could be very creative and am too passionate to become a 9-5 employee in a company but I also love engineering that much that I do see myself ending up a big company with the ability to be a game changer and focus completely on technology instead of having no sleep because I can’t find any funding. Combining these qualities I think become a intropreneur (a word I didn’t even know 6 weeks ago) suits me best.
So while everybody is busy studying for the exams, here as well as in the Netherlands. I took the time to reflect on my network and see which start-up I could help, and hopefully someone from my network as well.
So a while back I wrote a blog post about a start-up named kartent (http://intopreneur.com/?p=2709). They provide cardboard recycled tents for festivals, please read my post for more details. As I know one of the their co-founders I thought it would be nice to help him out. Now let me introduce a other company, Zeezout. They started as two friends who wanted to organize some parties at the beach for friends, but now they are one of the more house hold names in Techno and house parties in the Netherlands. And the founders used to live in the same student house in Delft as where I live and still quite often drop by for coffee or a beer.
Zeezout has a yearly festival which is only invite only for very close friends and family and with plans to organize a multiple day festival for a big crowed I imaged Kartent could deliver some value to Zeezout. And after making some phone calls, first to Zeezout and later to Kartent, I managed to put them in contact and am proud to say that Zeezout is going to buy 50 tents at kartent for their annual friend festival as a tryout for a possible bigger sell related to their planned multiple day festival!
I was very happy to put these two parties in contact and help both out. I was quite surprised that I ended up a start-up and a company who already where in my network before I participated in this course and this makes me wonder who else in my network could benefit from connecting with each other. And more interesting in who’s network can I offer some value to their other contact? Some nice food for thought.
So yesterday I went to a other start-up event, after having my family over and sleeping on a camping mattress for almost a week it was easy to say that I was tired. But just like the previous time I got really energetic and went home with tons of energy. So let my now begin by giving a small summary of the geast speaker and pitch workshop that where held at 19@19 in the SUP46 building.
The guest speaker was Austin Nicholas who calls himself Entrepreneur and Trust Architect. He gave a interesting presentation on how to accelerate your start-up. He spoke a lot about how a person should have the entrepreneurship DNA and he even gave a fun site where you can check what kind of entrepreneurship DNA you have (https://www.bosidna.com/dashboard) I am not sure how accurate a test of 10 questions can be but it is fun to look at anyway.
He also talked about how Microsoft, Virgin, Dell and Apple where all founded by people under 25 heading into a recession. This is quick in contrast with what Sadar told us about starting at any age but he has a point on how a recession can be a great climate for startups. With the enormous trend in startups and some can say a sort of recession this is THE moment to accelerate or start your startup.
We also talked about how entrepreneurs think diverent from your average factory worker. How a factory worker thinks he knows everything he needs to know while entrepreneurs are constantly looking for there Joda’s and mentors. And also a fun comparisons he brought up was how factory workers are always working towards their pension while a entrepreneurs never thinks about retiring, and why should you if you are doing something that you love? Also he told us that a factory worker only wants to invest in stuff to enriches himself while a entrepreneur invest in his team and people. Invest in people so they grow so much that they want to leave the brand but make sure they are so committed that they wouldn’t. Some great stuff to think about.
We also did a pitch workshop with the main goal to raise awareness and show your passion in stead of a just talking for 1 minute and boring a person into making a fake phone call. One thing I liked best that we had to start with giving a bad pitch to a random person to show how it shouldn’t be done. And he was right that I didn’t get what problem the person wanted to solve or what his sollution was, something with software development. The second pitch we had to do our best to show the product or service that we where pitch, the person in front of me was a lot more nervous than the previous one but she managed to tell be all about the marketing she could provide. And the last one we should try to talk as less as possible about our product and focus on the driving force and passion that made us want to do what we do. Even though I don’t really know what made Eva’s photography diverent from the others I am quick sure that if I had a baby or child I would hire her to make some photo’s of them. It was funny to also see the progress in my own pitch even after 3 times with diverent angles of attack.
To summarize everything, it was again a fun event that made me want to keep participating in similar events in the future. And that free wine helps with the networking
So just like some other classmates I also went to the start-up bar and will write a small blog post about my experiences. At the entrance of the hotel you could pick a sticker as a small ice breaker. So I picked one with the text “please talk to me” and boy did it work! When I was upstairs right on time 17:01 there where already quit a couple people. I saw some people sitting by there self sipping on a beer or chatting quietly with each other. The easiest thing to do was to order a beer and sit somewhere looking at my phone. But this would seem like a waste of my time so decided to step outside of my comfort zone and walk up to the first friendly face a saw.
This man was Armando Neves a really energetic front-end software developer who started a business in selling code for specific jobs in stead of hiring a developer for the entire project. To by very frank I didn’t quit understand all the software terms but after a while a other guy joined us who was launching a platform for commercial LAN parties. After 20 min of talking about there businesses and how I saw the difference between Holland and Sweden we decided to add each other on Linkedin. Only one problem the LAN-party guy didn’t have Linkedin so I explained the advantages of this medium and as he was here to network how it would really help him. Startup helped? Not sure yet if it qualifies as enough but it should really help him.
On my way to the bar for this now deserved beer 3 people tried to strike up a conversation. Did I already mentioned that the sticker worked? I ended up talking to a pension broker, Indian based software developer, entrepreneur looking for funding, consultant broker and in the end even the bartender.
On Facebook I saw that Lufthansa was sponsoring this event and where standing in a far end of the room. I was wondering why they where interested in this event. After walking around in the cockpit and business class with some VR-glasses they told my they simply wanted to show how traveling with Lufthanse looks like as entrepreneurs might travel a lot. After talking to people (mostly software developers) from India, Palestine and the USA they might be right.
I ended with a conversation with the organizers and permanently I wasn’t the first one because they told me they knew that there were a couple students from KTH here who all wanted to write a blog. Never the less I really liked to tell them how cool I think they bring so many people together with a team of only 3 woman.
Walking around here for just under 2 hours I was almost dizzy with all the new impressions but left with double the energy then I arrived. I know we are sepossessed to visit 2 start up events, and this was something I was not that looking forward to. But after this one I am really sure I would love to go to the next one and think I might even go to a couple more after this course ends. I made some great contacts and had a couple inspiring conversations. A good result for stepping outside you comfort zone.
I decided to make a post a the essence of entrepreneurship, things that we just find awesome! So there are some students from my home university in Delft, the Netherlands, who formed a startup and I believe this is one is seriously taking off. So there their simple idea is this: You go to a festival and have a lot of fun for a weekend an very hung over you start packing on Sunday. The smelly, gross, possibly torn tent you bought for a couple kroners at biltema you just leave behind as you can’t be bothered bringing at back. This situation sketch you can see below if you don’t believe people are doing this. So instead you also could have bought a tent from Kartent. This tent is made from completely recycled cardboard and fits 2 people. It even is rain-resistant for up to 48 hours!
I like the idea that you even don’t have to bring it along with you as you can order it in advance with your festival ticket and, depending on the festival, they are in between 30 and 45 euro’s! If you are not as convinced that this is a pretty awesome business idea let the fact’s speak for themselves. They started brainstorming last year and in their pilot season they sold at 10 different festivals, all very big and prestigious. Also Kartent is available in the Netherlands, France, Spain, germany and the UK.
I just want to wish all the best to them and I love what you are doing. Hopefully they keep going and we can expect to sleep in a Kartent the next time you go to a festival here in Sweden.
I all invite you to watch this 18 min video where Simon Sinek explains the way innovative companies work. If your time is precious to you I suggest that you put the speed to 2.0 and watch at least until 4.29. If you don’t make it until this time or didn’t get enthusiastic to finish the video please leave a comment and we can meet up for coffee as I am really interested on you point of view on this!
This TED talks is maybe 7 years old but the first time I saw it, 2 years ago, it made a real big impact on the way I think about businesses and still is really accurate about innovation and why big game-changers are successful. Using examples of Apple, Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers you can clearly see that this is a timeless way of thinking.
We should all try to adapt the why we want to make this product, service, value if we believe in our idea. Making money and creating a good product should be a byproduct of our achievement in convince people why we do what we do. I believe this is why people think of entrepreneurs as a “special sort” of people, they are annoyingly persistent and can be right up in you face but most of all they are fizzing with endless energy which is needed to show the world why they do what they do.
I shall not lay, as an engineering student I always try to find the best solution for a given problem or know a way to explain why my idea is the best but I rarely ask myself why I am facing this problem. This is also something I am working on to change as an engineer and realize that if I want to make it as an entrepreneur I must embrace.
I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did 2 years ago and did again as I viewed it again today.