This week, I have attended two entrepreneurship events. On Tuesday I visited the exhibition “Fluorescent space vibration” by Hyper Island[1], and on Wednesday I participated in “How to start a startup” by VP Consulting and SUP46 (Start-Up People of Sweden).

The events were both on the theme of creativity – but out of diametrically opposed perspectives. Where “How to start a startup” was about how to position yourself in the market with your product/service/etc., “Fluorescent space vibration” (as maybe guessable from the name) was on creativity and invention.

This is what I’ll discuss in this blog post – the interesting contrast between invention and innovation. As we learned in class: an invention is a novel idea, while an innovation is the commercialization or implementation of that novel idea. Both are important – there will be no innovation without invention. But to just be creative and come up with great new things will not make the world move forward – nobody will know that it exists, and even less use it, if you don’t develop your invention. When inventing – the customer/user is not a part of the process! I would say that this is the most important distinction of innovation compared to invention – innovation is user centered.

I’ll now show you some examples of what I saw during these two nights. At Hyper Island, I watched two playful inventions. One used the pretty cool (innovation) Durovis Dive see to give you the possibility to see yourself from behind and thereby being able to navigate and place a cube in box. The other one played with the concept of a slot machine – but instead of an arm, there was a unicorn’s horn to hold onto, and instead of winning money occasionally you got a gum every time. Really amusing inventions but created more for their inventors than for their prospective users or for becoming commercially viable.

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At SUP46, me and ten other people met up to see the speech “Competition is for losers” by Peter Thiel, one of the co-founders of Paypal and one of the first investors of Facebook. The talk was a part in a series called “How to start a startup” and had been recorded at Stanford university during the previous week. Us visitors were a group of people who either 1) wanted to start a startup or 2) had started one already but failed. It was a very interesting collection of people, and the most valuable part of the evening was sharing their experiences and strong wills to become entrepreneurs, often without having more of an idea/invention than wanting to start a startup in “food or fashion”. Really inspiring out of an entrepreneurial point of view!

Thiel’s speech was mainly centered on blue oceans (albeit him not mentioning the book anytime during his speech), and the importance of not competing but finding your own niche and be the big fish there. Thiel even said that customer development is overrated and that an extraordinary invention did not need testing before launch. But, although his speech was not on the exact subject of commercializing/user-adjusting your invention and its business model, the main thought was on how your startup should put the target segment in focus.

It was an interesting week, and even though the two events did not give me any extraordinary revalations, I realised that this class has given me a new perspective on innovation and entrepreneurship. I have not reflected this much on entrepreneurship as being a way of understanding the user, what it is willing to pay for (and how!!!) and how to turn your creativity into tangible, value producing, startups before.


[1]Hyper Island is a private tertiary institution and educational company specializing in real-world industry training using digital technology.

As our group has chosen to continue and build a business concept around the app Barfinder, I decided to talk to a couple of friends, friends’ friends and friends’ friends’ friends about the idea. We gathered at a local bar a cold Monday to discuss whether this app is something that they would buy, and how we could improve the concept. Below are their thoughts, their tips and their criticism.

sophieSophie, 25: “One possibility to make the app profitable would be to sell statistics from the app to people. Maybe sell it to someone who wants to start a bar, or to people needing statistics on the movement and habits of students. I would like to be able to put an upper limit on the price and maybe also being able to adjust the distance I am willing to walk to get cheap beer.”

erikErik, 29: “For me, it is necessary to be able to adjust the distance and the maximum price of the beer. Also – you need to state the volume of beer that you get for the price; some bars have beers that are 40cl while some have 50cl-beers instead!  A smart thing to do would be to have a business model where the bars pay the app some cents every time they show up on the map of the user; what the bar owners want is to be seen”

magnusMagnus, 25: “I don’t like beer – would it be possible to expand to champagne? But, even if you changed it into champagne, I think it is impossible to make money on this app.”

Marita, 26: “Maymaritabe you should have some extra features in the app? For example: “bars that are open until 01” or “bars that also sell wine”. I don’t know if the users would pay for this app, as the target customer is a poor student. To get the bars to pay for participating would also be hard, as the app would be really bad if only five bars joined.”


Frida, 26: “I think that the users of the app would be willing to pay a lump sum if they get cheaper beer, or extra popcorn, or maybe peanuts, when they arrive at the bar”

To conclude – it was a very interesting discussion, and we are bringing the thoughts with us in writing and structuring of the business concept of Barfinder. It is clear that the idea is innovative and appealing to the target customer, but that a stable business model is tricky to find! To be continued – and feel more than free to come with your own feedback 🙂


We have pledged and tested a kickstarter product! Pressy

The product is the one in the picture, you can the the video for a quick understanding of what the product is.

In a few words it is an aditional physical button for smartphone which can be customized to make diferent actions according to the sequence the user press the button.

As you might know in kickstarter you can pledge the idea woth different amount of money (5$ to support, 17$ to have the product…). We chose the 17$ pledge to have the product so we could test it!

This button idea is really interesting and useful. We’ve tested it and we all think it could be useful for everybody who owns an Android phone.  It is really easy to use and customize. In the beginning the sequence that have to be performed to use distinct functionnality is a bit dificult to make but after a few minutes it becomes natural. Of course it is a gadget we don’t need it, but once you have it it is quite pleasant to use.  Many people miss physical butons this one is all buttons in only one.

Pressy is already a year old project anddevelopers still working and negociating with manufacturers to mass produce it. As 28,818 backers we think that the Presy has a great future.

What about you, will you buy it in a few months?


We’ve had the opportunity to meet up and have a short interview with a young Stockholm entrepreneur – Fillipe – about his work, his driving forces and his tips to others aspiring to build their own startup.


who are you and what do you work with?

I am a 28 years old Brazilian living in Stockholm för the past 8 years. As a person I don’t see much limits. I like to take risks when needed. Right now I’m the COO of TopGrade, a startup company in the private teaching sector. We focus on math for high school students.

how come you became an entrepreneur?

Probably because of the need I have to work for myself, to learn daily and to be active in the decision making process. The holistic view of the business gives me the knowledge required to effectively expand the business and keep our quality standards.

what’s entrepreneurship to you?

Entrepreneurship for me is that risk taking attitude when for example testing a new idea, it is the joy of not taking the same old track that already has been explored.

what are crucial things to think about before you start your own company or join a startup?

Think about the financing. That’s a good way to avoid been forced to choose “B” when you really think that “C” is the best option, but you cant pay for C. Another thing, tell to your loved ones what you are doing. You most likely will need the support from your friends and family. Don’t forget them.

what’s the funniest part of your work?

Making mistakes. For too long we’ve been taught that is bad to make mistakes – but what I’ve seen is that they are not only necessary, but most of the time quite funny as well.