SOLEKKO SOLUTIONS: THE YEAR OF A STARTING ENTREPRENEUR

THE YEAR OF A STARTING ENTREPRENEUR

We’ve sunk countless hours into developing our product and company. Despite the product coming along nicely we are still primarily students.

In September 2017 we wanted to try our hand at developing a software solution for the construction sheet metal industry. It has now been a year since we started working on our business idea. In that time, we won a business idea competition, met so many people who helped us develop our idea into a product, and started a company. More importantly, we’ve sunk countless hours into developing our product and company. Despite the product coming along nicely, we are still primarily students.

Balancing studying and entrepreneurship hasn’t always been easy but fortunately for us, the Oulu University of Applied Sciences has allowed a lot of flexibility in our studies. We’ve been able to integrate entrepreneurial studies into our studies and gain extra credits that way. It has still been an extra workload for us and free time has been short. It isn’t always easy, but the long days (and sometimes nights) have paid off. At the end of a long day, the relaxing feel all the better. And what an experience it’s been!

Late last year we got to work with the Smart Construction Cluster and we gained a lot of insight into how technology has been applied in the construction industry and how it will be used in the future. We got to validate our product with industry professionals, got a lot of feedback and improvement ideas, and got a lot of motivation to improve and work on our idea.
Now we’re slowly coming to the point where we have something to show for the past year of work. The CBS Entrepreneurial day is the first opportunity for us to show what we’ve been working on for people outside those involved in the development and early feedback.
Come to check us out!

Follow Solekko Solutions on Social Media!

The story behind Packitup!

THE STORY BEHIND PACKITUP!

We went through all the classic stages of a start-up, from proof of idea trough proof of concept to proof of business, constantly looking for all sorts of constructive criticism and input.

To make it short and precise, Packitup is a mobile application to find travel buddies all around the globe. But let’s skip the elevator pitch, concept descriptions and technical stuff for now and go back a little bit.

Say hi to Amalie and Max, who in late 2015 got together for the first time to talk about an app where you could get together with other travellers, find travel buddies and discover new places, basically our own idea of a travel app. Both of us are enthusiastic travellers with a knack for techy stuff, so why not combine the two and see if there is interest in a(nother) travel app? We wanted to do things differently though.

The rough, really rough, concept originated sometime in 2014, somewhere in the middle of Texas, where I was crossing the desert for days. Our car always half empty and without proper planning of what could be done out there, we were a little lost. Over the following year, I tried to come up with a plan of how to design a travel app that gets rid of that problem. Basically, meet other travellers and see awesome places. Anywhere in the world.

This is where Amalie comes in, the person who we have to thank that we all can download PackitUp today on our phones. We spent a long time taking the concept apart, dismissing things that just didn’t make sense and improving the idea until she made a deal with the travel gods and got granted a lot of app code (I’m guessing this is how app development works, no clue, go ask her).

We went through all the classic stages of a start-up, from proof of idea trough proof of concept to proof of business, constantly looking for all sorts of constructive criticism and input.

PackitUp has since been part of several incubators and start-up centres in Copenhagen, constantly improving, developing, networking and trying to deliver a travel app, which we, the users, can enjoy and actually use for improving our travel experience.

The motivation to do this comes from the desire to really create something that all of us can use to improve our travels. We want to deliver the best app possible to the users (where we include ourselves) and challenge ourselves to come up with innovative ways of doing that.

Now, if you’ve downloaded PackitUp on either iOS or Android you will see that it is all based on a map where you see trips. This is backed up by traveller profiles and a chat. The PackitUp community is already over 3,700 users going on over 1,000 trips strong! Feel free to join us on Android or iOS.

Stay cheeky!

Follow Packitup on Social Media!

#CHANGETHEGAME

This year, more than 4,000 students, entrepreneurs, researches, business professionals, investors, speakers and like-minded people will participate in the CBS Entrepreneurial Day 2018.

They not only share a common “thinking out of the box” attitude by going beyond the ordinary and the rules, but they are also exceeding the expectations. They are reshaping the way of entrepreneurship. They are #ChangingTheGame.

Their hard work and creative ideas have proved that new business models, approaches, technologies and perspectives are doable and can contribute to turning an idea into a business. Their contribution to the entrepreneurial world and to other like-minded has inspired the purpose of this year’s event: to recognize the innovative entrepreneurial environment in the North, within education, student start-ups, research and extracurricular activities as well as to spread their diversity and inspire others.

We are convinced that everyone possesses an entrepreneurial spirit and is capable to manifest it in the most creative forms and shapes. How can YOU #ChangeTheGame?

HOW TO NAVIGATE IN MUSIC STREAMING AS AN INDEPENDENT ARTIST

LIMELIGHT: HOW TO NAVIGATE IN MUSIC STREAMING AS AN INDEPENDENT ARTIST

Music streaming has revolutionized the music industry. As a result of this, CD sales has declined every year since the launch of Spotify – October 2008. Not many people know this, but in fact TDC was the first-mover in the era of music streaming. They launched TDC Play in March 2008 – more than 6 months before Spotify. TDC made the costly mistake of only making TDC Play available to their own customers only.

Since 2008, music streaming has been made available all around the world, and the main players in the market are Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, Pandora and Napster.

The above-mentioned platforms works for the well-established artists, who are signed on major (Sony, Warner and Universal) and large record labels. It’s a completely different story for the unsigned independent artist. They will most likely never get exposure on these platforms, as the influential charts are owned by the record labels, and they only push the exposure forward on their own artists. If they somehow gain exposure, the payment per stream is nowhere near the level of the established artists payment.

Source: https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/07/24/what-streaming-music-services-pay-updated-for-2017/

As an alternative to the aforementioned music services, the independent artist can upload their music to Soundcloud. Contrary to the other platforms above, it is free to upload on Soundcloud, but here the artist will not get paid at all, and the problem with lack of exposure is even more significant in this case. Because of an inefficient matching-algorithm and too much unsorted music, it is almost impossible for a relevant listener to stumble upon like-minded music. Soundcloud has evolved into a big mess of sound in various verifications (upcoming music, snippets of famous songs, podcasts etc.).

Limelight is the solution
It is really a struggle for the up-and-coming artist to get a breakthrough, and talent is definitely not enough today. You need connections, money and a marketing plan to gain a following. Limelight will change that! It’s a platform with a strong focus on the undiscovered talent and the ease of finding up-and-coming music from the underground environment.

Because Limelight’s unique matching-algorithm intuitively learns your music taste, you will be matched up with relevant artists through your very own personal radio (picture). Here you don’t need any knowledge about the underground scene to begin discovering. It’s as easy as one click (play) to start your journey of discovery. The music finds you, and not the other way around.

Why choose Limelight as an artist? (read more – Danish)

1. LISTENER FANBASE
The artist is guaranteed to be heard by a relevant audience with preferences towards their genre.
2. STATISTICS ON LISTENERS
The artist will learn about their listeners through Limelight, as we provide them with extensive data feedback – free of charge.
3. GET SIGNED AND BOOKED
The record labels and booking agencies scout talent through Limelight’s data.
4. GET PAID FOR STREAMS
KODA-members will get paid for streams on Limelight.

Limelight is for every kind of up-and-coming artist. To insure the quality on the platform, we simply trust the listeners’ ear. If the listeners ‘upvote’ a track it will be exposed to more likeminded listeners, and if they primarily ‘downvote’ a track it will be exposed less.

If you’re and up-and-coming artist, upload your music on Limelight’s website now, and be ready on the platform when the app is launched for the listeners in the beginning of 2018.

THREE ENGINEERS CREATING AWARENESS OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

BALLAST CPH: THREE ENGINEERS CREATING AWARENESS OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

Written by: Margrethe Løkkegaard

Ballast CPH became a thing when the three engineers Christine Svensson, Helle Vedø and Michala Mathiesen finished their master’s degree in Sustainable Design from AAU CPH in 2016. The dream is to create awareness of what it means to live with a visual impairment and from that improve the way of designing cities, websites and products.

The three engineers have worked with several tools to help people understand what a life with visual impairment can look like. One of the tools is the Perspectacles simulation goggles where one goggle can simulate endless kinds of visual impairment due to the design of the goggle which includes exchangeable vision filters.

The Perspectacles are also a part of the board game Perspectacles – The Game, that the three women have developed. The game is a teaching game and has two rounds. In the first round the participant is placed in the shoes of a person with a visual impairment – and has to go through different activities while wearing the simulation goggles. In the second round the roles change and the same participant now has to put himself in the shoes of e.g. a relative or a co-worker. The game results in better understanding, improvement ideas, as well as it provides knowledge on the most common eye diseases and their consequences.

Creating the start-up, Ballast CPH, was the direct outcome of the three engineers’ master thesis, which focused on how to explain visual impairment in the best way possible. In the beginning of the thesis project the idea was to focus on designing for blind people,but quickly Christine, Helle, and Michala found out that the amount of completely blind people in Denmark was low. Nevertheless they found that there was a lot of people living with different degrees of visual impairment that found it difficult to make their surroundings understand what their eye condition meant for them in their day-to-day lives.

Christine, Helle, and Michala then decided to find a solution, thus this resulted in making the Perspectacles simulation goggles as a communication tool for both private people as well as sight professionals.

Currently, a year after they finished their thesis, Ballast CPH has customers in Denmark, Germany, Portugal and Rumania, and are now working on pairing the Perspectacles with Augmented Reality.

VEJRHØJ: OUR BEST ADVICE ON CROWDFUNDING

OUR BEST ADVICE ON CROWDFUNDING

by Janus Aarup and Fritz Pelzl, VEJRHØJ

In 2015 we funded our first collection of wood and steel watches on the crowdfunding site
Kickstarter. We raised about USD 100,000 in 30 days, though we did not know much about crowdfunding and primarily relied on word of mouth advertising and PR. We gained some good knowledge throughout the campaign and have since been in contact with many other crowdfunders. Hopefully, we can use this expertise when launching our next campaign in September 😉 

Here are some basic tips we´d like to share:

A SIMPLE & EASY TO COMPREHEND REWARD SYSTEM

When designing your reward-system make sure it is easy to understand for your backers. Many campaigns create reward structures that are way too complicated for backers to comprehend. Also, you will need to create some “urgency” in the reward structure in order to create an incentive to back your project right away instead of waiting.

 

THE VIDEO

The video is a core element for potential backers’ purchasing decision. However, you will most likely have to make a compromise here as professionally produced videos are not really a bargain. Good for you if you can rely on friends or family to support.

We recommend you to follow a clear script and focus on the message you want to convey. Depending on your product you´ll have to decide if a technical or lifestyle oriented presentation is more appropriate. As far as our experience goes a length of 1 – 3 minutes works best. You might want to think about investing some money in a professional sound design. Finally, we encourage you to speak the video yourself. This – in contrast to professional and/or native speakers – gives the most authentic impression and it will also go easy on your budget. Your video should end with a call-to-action to your backers.

 

MARKETING AND PURCHASE DECISION

Very successful crowdfunding campaigns have always come along with massive marketing support. Word of mouth might be highly effective, but competences with regards to Facebook’s advertising system is essential. While this knowledge is easy accessible, the data sets to build on are not. A lot of backers, especially in niches, are serial backers, that are not easy to target without further help. Specialized crowdfunding agencies offer Facebook and Google ad services and if you look at their track records their results are quite impressive.

Besides that, we think that a careful and trustworthy campaign design makes quite a difference. We have seen many campaigns without regular updates, FAQs or poorly designed information supply. A crowdfunding project always implies a certain risk for supporters. Therefore, it´s vital to follow an open information policy, present yourself as trustworthy and address as many concerns as possible beforehand. Backers appreciate transparency.

Another powerful tool is social proofing. You may include all kinds of reliable feedback starting from customer opinions up to blogs or magazines writing about your project on your campaign wall.

 

HANDLING THE AFTERMATH

You have successfully been funded? Congratulations, but you have a big hurdle ahead! Shortly, you will have to send out hundreds of products in a scarce period of time, file custom papers for delivery in countries around the globe with dissimilar address systems. And please don’t underestimate the cost for shipping a package to Indonesia.

Simultaneously, you will have to keep track of backers who are asking for a different model or another quantity than they originally backed for. Kickstarter does not come with a backend, where you can make updates or changes to customer purchases after that the campaign has ended. A possible solution is to accept extra orders through your website or use a service such as backerkit, which provides an extended backend.

 

We will kick-off our next watch collection with a new crowdfunding campaign end of September.

Keep updated at:  

Web        www.vejrhoj.com
Instagram  www.instagram.com/vejrhoj

Facebook   www.facebook.com/vejrhojdanmark

Janus and Fritz

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING

EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING

That day I remember as it was today. It was typical Danish Monday in November. Rainy, dark, faded and I was on my way to work. Not a fancy situation, right?

At that time, I was working in a sushi restaurant. Some might think that it is not so bad position to be a ‘’sushi chef’’ preparing luxury looking food for wealthy people but the problem is, that I was dishwasher, which pretty much means – scum for everything.

In that rainy Monday I was hungry, waiting for my train, thinking about the food that I am going to buy before work. I was already late so I had to choose fast-food, but at that time I was quite in a ‘’good shape’’ (still am :D) and I didn’t want to eat a junk food. On the other hand I knew, that only apple or banana won’t full me enough. Then the dots in my head got connected: (on my way to work) Sushi – (I was already late) Fast – (Good shape) Healthy = FRUIT SUSHI.

At that moment, I forgot about hungriness and started google some information about this hybrid idea. I found a video with some Japanese granny rolling fruit to the rice but not any other mark about it. I said that to my friend Jiri and he actually liked it. Our first attempts didn’t look so fancy as you can see, but we didn’t loose the enthusiasm and kept going. Currently we are cruising around Copenhagen with our food bike, making frushi for different kinds of parties, events, graduations and attending start-up events because our long-term goal is to open a chain of frushi ‘’fast-food’’ restaurants. Nowadays I am not working at the sushi restaurant anymore but without this experience, I would have never even think about sushi in connection with fruit.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Meet FRUSHI at CBS Entrepreneurial Day 2017!

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE A STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR?

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE A STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR? 

By: Jiri Vacek, FRUSHI

Sometimes they say that our generation (also known as millennials) is a generation that is sometimes very restrained in terms of productivity and hard work. We got used to the convenience of the Internet and all its benefits that comes with it such as home-office, working while travelling etc. All of these benefits sound great until one has to perform.

As I have discovered during the time I started my own business, it is 24/7 responsibility because no one else will take care about certain things apart from you. Even more hard it becomes when you are a student and you have to combine all your responsibilities together. As we are in a food industry business, it requires a lot of work since buying the ingredients, making the FRUSHI, taking our bike and look for an ideal place that would be the most suitable for the particular day. Sometimes it is very hard to balance all of the activities that are needed in order to study and keep the business running.

In my opinion, what one needs is a well-structured plan, that personally helped me very much. As I am a structured person that needs to have everything scheduled it was vital for me to write things down and build the well-needed self discipline in order to keep up.

However, there is certain need of reasonable thinking and prioritizing needs to work as well. Sometimes it is not possible to make both things work at the same time and that’s the hard time when we have to decide what will we focus on.

In order to sum up, I would say that the most important thing when running a business while studying is to be focused on the long-term goal and be persistent. Sometimes it is very difficult but at the very end of the day, sit down and enjoy the feeling of the productive work done.

MY EXPERIENCE AS AN INTERN AT A CSE STARTUP

ARONO: MY EXPERIENCE AS AN INTERN AT A YOUNG CSE STARTUP

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be part of a startup? CBS student Emilie Rosenørn recently worked as an intern at a young CSE-startup. Read on to hear about her experience and what she learned from it.

In the summer of 2017 I spent my time interning at the startup Arono. Arono is a health platform that offers customized diet plans for anyone wanting to lose weight, live a healthier lifestyle or gain muscle mass. The great thing about Arono is that it enables users to reach their goals on their own terms and thus be able to live a happier and healthier life.

Looking back, I am so grateful for the experience and how I got to spend my summer with an incredible team of young, talented, and dedicated entrepreneurs. I would definitely encourage all college students to intern or work at a startup company if they ever have the opportunity.

The entrepreneurial spirit

It didn’t take long for me to feel passionate about Arono because I clearly saw the passion and energy that the founders of Arono have put towards the company and it was simply contagious. They believed in Arono’s mission and so did I, which made me even more intent on sharing it with others. The company’s culture was deeply inspiring and it gave me a better idea of what I would want in a future workplace.

Responsibility and influence

Interning at a startup is quite unique because you are given a great amount of responsibility. At the same time you get to contribute to the success and growth of a company and influence it in its very early stage. This means you get to create value and experience the outcome and difference that your particular contribution has made, which was one of the great aspects of interning at a young startup.

Startup insight

My experience at Arono has left me with great insight into startups and all of the hard work that goes into starting and building a company. My time at Arono introduced me to a whole new world of tech companies, apps, funding, building a website, buying domain names, and the life of an entrepreneur. I was told countless stories about successful and failed startups which I learned so much from.

During my summer internship at Arono, I firsthand experienced how a startup works, how much hard work goes into it, and how the amount of things that must be done can seem endless. My internship has left me with tremendous respect for anyone who chooses to start their own company and decides to pursue a cause that they believe in.

Interning at Arono was an incredible experience. If you are interested in meeting the founders of Arono you can find them at CBS Entrepreneurial Day 2017 – I’m sure they’ll love to say hi.