On Friday 15th of November the competition “Cre8 the future” took place at Jernkontoret’s facilities in Kungsträdgården, Stockholm. Jernkontoret is the branch organization of the Swedish steel industry and they announce each year the “Framtidsstipendium” where three teams out of eight get to share a huge price sum. The attending teams are given a case in which the students are to work with for three hours and then pitch the solution for five minutes towards a panel of judges from the steel industry.

Loggor Cre8, Jernkontoret, KAU

This year it was Höganäs that presented a case that they wanted a creative solution for. The problem is that Höganäs has the ambition to produce steel in a more sustainable way but that the subtractors don’t find it incentive enough to buy sustainable steel that is more expensive but does the same job. How are we going to create value for sustainable steel? Value in this context didn’t have to be economical, but could also be social or environmental e.g.

Bildresultat för höganäs logo

My team and I were deployed in the CEO’s office (the fanciest office I have ever seen) where we struggled with the case for three hours. It was so much fun that we totally lost the perception of time and in the end, we did not have time to practice the pitch even once. All we had time to do was to divide the pitch into topics and just freestyle the rest. The minutes before the pitch was some of the worst that I have ever experienced, and suddenly we were standing in front of the judges and a camera. Five minutes went by and suddenly we were standing out in the waiting hall again. I couldn’t tell whether the pitch was any good or if the judges liked it or not. All we could do now was wait for the winner announcement.

A screenshot from the pitch that was live-streamed.

The third place was announced and then the second, and all we wanted to do was to leave and take a drink somewhere. One of the judges then started to read the motivation for the first place position and I reluctantly started to recognize them. And then it happened, our team name popped up on the screen and we had won. It was completely unbelievable.

When I eventually came to my senses the first thing I thought about was how grateful I was for the School of Entrepreneurship (or the School of Serdar) that first of all encouraged me to sign up for this competition, but also taught me and my teammates to think in the way of entrepreneurs and how to approach problems like this, and maybe most of all how to present a good pitch. Good times.

Team Future Industeels

We have heard several successful entrepreneurs say that you need to “fail fast and learn from it” to finally succeed as an entrepreneur. I am sure they are right, but I also think a good way is to learn from others. 

As students at the School of Entrepreneurship, we were encouraged to contact Startups and offer them a brief evaluation of their product or service and give them feedback. I reached out to a startup hub in Stockholm, called Startup Sthlm, and they invited me to their Facebook group “Startup Sthlm Community”. I posted a message where I briefly introduced myself and asked if anyone were interested in getting feedback on their product of service. The response was great!! 

I got in contact with the founder of the website brunchsthlm.se, which is a website that helps people to find the best places for brunch in Stockholm. He asked me to use the website and focus on how to make it more user-friendly and to see if I were missing any desirable information. It was both fun and educational for me and I hope my feedback was valuable to him in the continuing work with the website.

I also got in contact with a young woman who was writing a business plan for an innovation competition. She asked me to help her to make sure that she where able to share her vision in a convincing and inspiring way. Since this wasn´t really in line with the assignment and definitely outside my comfort zone, I first hesitated if I would be able to help her. But I am happy I did. She really appreciated the feedback and at the same time I got the opportunity to learn more about how to create a business plan and what is important to think about. It can be a true challenge to put your vision into words in a way that makes it as clear to others as it to you.