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.

MEET THE STARTUP: ARONO

MEET THE STARTUP: ARONO

Arono is a health service with a mission to make it easier for people to live a healthier and happier life. Arono offers customized diet plans (“kostplan” in Danish”) for anyone who wishes to lose weight, live a healthier lifestyle or gain muscle mass. By tailoring the diet plan to the individual’s goal as well as nutritional needs, Arono enables the user to reach their goal on their own terms and within their own time frame. Week by week, the user will get closer to living a better, healthier, and happier life.

With Arono, we wish to make information about health and nutrition more widely available and easier to understand. In a world where we are constantly overexposed with facts, information, and opinions on what to eat and how to live, we want to create a platform where people can reach their health goals – no matter how big or small – in an easy and simple way. Because at Arono, we believe that everyone deserves to live life to its fullest.

Arono was developed with help from experienced healthcare and nutrition professionals and with data from the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark. Throughout their use of Arono, users are teamed up with a dietician as a way of providing support and help to the users. The health service is subscription-based and currently consists of 250+ recipes that are adjusted to the user and their needs and goals.

According to the Danish Agriculture and Food Council four out of ten Danes followed a specific diet in 2015 with the aim of losing weight[1]. By offering customized diet plans, we we wish to offer a more beneficial and long-term solution to anyone wanting to live a healthy life. Food is one of the few things that bring people together while making them happy. At Arono we believe that eating a healthy and nutritious diet will increase your quality of life and help you become a happier person.

To learn more about Arono, please visit our website at https://arono.dk/. The team behind Arono is looking forward to meeting you at CBS Entrepreneurial Day 2017!

[1] http://www.lf.dk/aktuelt/nyheder/2015/august/4-ud-af-10-har-vaeret-paa-kur-det-seneste-aar

INCLUSION OF MIGRANTS IN THE LABOR MARKET

INCLUSION OF MIGRANTS IN THE LABOR MARKET

The professional community can accelerate the integration process

By: Stig Nielsen – YESCPH CO.

Hiring refugees and other groups of migrants is a socially responsible action that also helps secure the future of Denmark. Dialogue, social inclusion and sustainable integration are counted among Denmark’s rewards, while a social life with colleagues, a professional network in the labor market and financial independence from the state are among the benefits of having a job – regardless of ethnicity.

In Denmark, the “integration question” has taken a near-permanent position in the agenda of everyday life. Religion, oppositions as well as eating habits are dominating the space in newspapers, and dissent along with political scoreboards have become independent goals for the debate over long-term strategies and pragmatic solutions to the “question”. One of the reasons for this can potentially be found in the fact that that people debating the “question” do not always agree as to what is being debated.

If you consult Gyldendals Den Store Danske concerning the meaning of integration, it is written that integration refers to the process that unifies separate entities and creates a greater whole. The same publication states that cultural integration revolves around the inclusion of ethnic minorities into a society. The definitional issue therefore becomes which “entities” should adjust and to what extent for integration to be successful. Social science has a series of concepts that describe varying degrees of adjusting in integration. Two British researchers Ager and Strang use the concepts of integration, assimilation and segregation when describing the degrees of adjusting done by ethnic minorities relative to a majority culture. Assimilation refers to a complete conversion to the cultural majority by the minority, segregation is an expression for the concept we know of as parallel societies and integration is understood as a mutual adaptation from both minority and majority. Integration should not be understood as any type of perfect median, merely as a process where both ethnicities give and take.

The purpose of this blog is not to discuss the extent of how much difficulty, different ethnicities and cultures have in adjusting to each other. The purpose is also in no way to define how much adjusting is required from either ethnicity in Denmark. This is fundamentally a political process. The purpose is rather to discuss the foundations for an effective integration process and provide a few concrete suggestions for actions that could assist in the process that everyone can take in Denmark.

Our suggestion – and business model – therefore, is founded in a pragmatic reality where globalization, Schengen borders, refugee flows and more traditional migrants are already present in Danish society, and will continue to be in the future.

It’s about dialogue and interaction

The basis of our suggestion is dialogue and interaction. We need to communicate with each other, take the time to address issues but also to understand people that need help. To us, integration is about understanding and understanding is best gained through dialogue and practical experience.

In today’s world, professional identities, functions and wages are a big part of everyday life. Therefore, our suggestion is that this space could (and should) be a natural part of the integration process. We know from Ager and Strang’s research that one of the major indicators of successful integration is work and access to the labor market.  Having a job provides financial opportunities that has a significant impact on a range of other conditions that are essential in the integration process. Things like: being part of a union, going on vacation, being able to pay health expenses – things that many Danes take for granted.

Besides the elements stated above, working also means access to Danes. It is said that Danes are hard to get to know and that the Danish language is hard to learn. Regardless of this, interaction and dialogue between newcomers and Danes is a necessity if we are to achieve sustainable integration. The consequence of not having interaction and dialogue are predictable cultural misunderstandings, parallel societies and ultimately mainstream xenophobia – from both sides.

Interaction and dialogue in the labor market

This far the suggestion is founded in theory and common sense that the Danish labor market can and should be a catalyst for sustainable integration. One half of the argument is straight forward and simple. Newcomers that have a job pay taxes and support the Danish society. At the same time, newcomers can interact and communicate with Danes. In other words, both parties also receive an insight into the others’ norms, societal understanding and the chance to broaden their cultural understanding. Newcomers can ask about anything from Sankt Hans to how do I file my taxes – and it goes both ways. It becomes prevalent to point out that while integration is a very localized process between a group of people, this also refers to Denmark and the global reality. Within dialogue and interaction, the exchange, adjustment and matching of expectations, that can never take place in the absence of interaction and dialogue, is founded.

Dialogue and interaction in the labor market requires only three things: a desire, an opportunity and capacity.

MEET THE STARTUP: MAIN & PARTNERS

MEET THE STARTUP: MAIN & PARTNERS


Today, we are happy to introduce the vision behind Main & Partners, a CSE-started consultancy startup who’s mission is to push radical innovation in the world. Now, while that might sound overly ambitious (or even cliche), Founder and Creative Director Alexander Main breaks down his vision to achieve just that. Welcome to Main’s Master Plan.

Step 1: Become self-sufficient (VaaS – Visualization as a Service)

Because any great idea can – and will eventually fail due to lack of funding, the first step in the plan is to become self-sufficient. This is achieved through offering B2B consulting services with quick turnover (low risk – steady growth). Although old-school, this setup allows the company to grow step by step, gaining experience and building key relationships.

In this case, the service of choice is ”photo-realistic 3D product visualizations”, offered to companies in the consumer electronics, automotive, life-style, health and aerospace sectors. Instead of developing our own products, we help other companies better communicate their own. On itself, this is a very interesting area which we are extremely passionate for. We already have the skills to visualize any product or idea at the ultra-realistic level, whether it’s real or not giving us a great power. More about CG product visualizations can be read at our blog post: “The New Era of Product Photography is Not Photography”.

Step 2: Expand towards development (IaaS – Innovation as a Service)

Here is where things become more exciting. As we grow our visualization business and stabilize our pipeline, we will expand towards the actual development of innovative technology products (initially at the conceptual level). Together with our world-class 3D Visual Artists, we will add Industrial Designers, Engineers and Technologists to our team, all committed to the creation and envisioning of future products. Our company will create its own mini “Skunkworks” division, an “Innovation Squad” ready to develop its own ideas, and offer B2B innovation services.

Step 3: Becoming an Idea Incubator (Joint Ventures)

At this stage, our consultancy will engage in higher-risk, but higher-rewarding activities, such as the creation/co-creation of products and the launching of spinoff companies/joint-ventures. This will turn the company more business and investing oriented, while retaining its highly innovative and technology-focused core.

Currently, we are at Stage 1, having reached a modest “self-sufficient” status a few months ago (which is amazing on itself). We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with MIT’s Hyperloop, visiting SpaceX (meeting Elon Musk for one second), working with several technology startups and recently with Danish hearing aid company “Widex”.

Running the company is full of ever-lasting challenges, such as building a dream team, securing profitable clients and scaling up the business. However, I look forward to having a life-time to growing this vision, step by step, the old-fashioned way.

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Visit Main & Partners at CSE or online via: www.mainandpartners.com

THREE TIPS FOR UPCOMING ENTREPRENEURS

APPLAUS: THREE TIPS FOR UPCOMING ENTREPRENEURS

Save up some money for a decent burn rate

When we first started working on Applaus, we were either studying while having a student job or working full-time. We put all our extra available hours into the project but started to realise that doing a startup is more than a full-time job on its own! But going full-time on a project is quite daunting since most startups do not get funded before they launch.

In the period transitioning from our normal careers to going full-time (about 6 months), we therefore saved enough funds on our own to have a burn rate of about 12 months. Having a decent burn rate in the period where little to no income is generated will make it possible for you to focus on what really matters, building up your great startup!

Put the right team together

No matter what type of startup you are going to launch, it is important to set the right team. However, getting the right people onboard can be very time-consuming; we have put in countless of hours finding the right people for our founding team. Knowing the people you start the business with can sometimes be a good idea since you are familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. But at some point you might have to look for people outside of your network.

From our experiences, two considerations are important when deciding to give equity to a new team member. Firstly, the person should have a skillset important for realising the type of business that you are starting, preferably complementary to your own, and be great at it too. Secondly, doing a startup is normally quite a bumpy ride and it is therefore important that everyone has a passion for the business field in which the startup operates while getting great along with one another – we know that this might sound cliché but when having to put in 80 hours a week from time to time this is really a necessity.

Be willing to change direction

The initial idea for Applaus was solely to display and sell last-minute tickets. However, over a period of a couple of months, we realised that it would be too time-consuming for the individual venues to create last-minute tickets on our platform from scratch. We only realised this due to the feedback provided by the venues during our development process. Instead of making the venues create the content themselves, we therefore chose to collect the data through public API’s, enabling the venues to just add the number of last-minute tickets they would like to offer as well as the price at which they should sell.

Product development is rarely a straight process, getting feedback from day one and being willing to change direction if necessary can therefore be crucial.

Good luck with your future entrepreneurial endeavours!

Team Applaus

Meet Applaus at CBS Entrepreneurial Day 2017!

MEET THE STARTUP: APPLAUS

MEET THE STARTUP: APPLAUS

How to know if the startup world is something for you?

Starting a company is no walk in the park. It requires tremendous motivation, dedication and passion to start from just an idea to launch the actual product or service. We all know this but sometimes forget that behind all the success stories lies rejection, long working hours, and tremendous perseverance.

Applaus is no multi-million success story, at least not yet, however, we would still like to share what it is like going from just an idea to an actual working product and what some of the struggles that we have faced so far have been. Maybe knowing about what we have learned until now can make it easier for you to make the decision of going startup instead of corporate!

Not more than a good idea

Having a good idea for a startup is a start but the most important point in our opinion is how the idea is executed. An idea is no more than an idea until you try it out. Our idea was and still is quite bald; we want to do for the cultural scene as what Spotify has done for the music streaming industry, i.e. make cultural events more accessible for everyone. You are probably thinking something like “Sounds great but is that really achievable” – yes, we think it is otherwise we would not be doing what we are doing. We believe in our product and that it is possible for us to do this since we have a great team, the motivation and passion for the area we are working within.

Being able to execute our idea correctly is not easy at all, we face many challenges every single day. These could e.g. be how the design of the app should be, what database provider should we use, how do we make our product scalable, what should our marketing strategy be like, when should we get investors onboard and so on. Faced with these problems we have been forced to break down the problems into smaller parts, solving these individually and then putting all the solved pieces together to get the full picture. Working on a startup is like solving a puzzle, you cannot see the full picture before all the pieces have been put together. Starting your own venture or working for a startup will teach you great lessons about solving difficult problems, giving you a new perspective on things.

Reaching out

We started out about 6 months ago and since then we have had coffee meeting with more than fifty people (and personally talked with hundreds of people about the project). These people have been willing to take time out of their busy schedules because they think that our project is sympathetic and something they could see themselves use in their daily lives. We have not been afraid to reach out to a lot of people even though it has been daunting at times but getting feedback from leaders within the theatre world, advice from a CFO of a financial institution, or talking with a music artist has been helpful for us on our journey so far. All the meetings we have taken has provided us with valuable information that we have either acted on or are keeping in mind when our situation change.

We all know that time is limited, especially when working on a startup, it is therefore important to only take meetings when it makes sense to do so. We have said no to talking with investors since we at the time did not feel it would make sense to do so, we did not have a product ready nor were we in need of capital. Maybe we should have talked with the investors since that could have let to something useful but we made sure to keep a good spirit while providing a legitimate reason for not taking any meetings with investors at the time. As such that door is still open and a coffee meeting is only an email away.

Creating an app

We started out building the app in SWIFT (if you are not familiar with code this is Apple’s native language for building ios apps) and rewrote the entire app to React Native (Facebook’s framework for building native apps for iOS and Android. Apps written in this language is e.g. Facebook, Instagram, and Airbnb). This was quite a decision taken by our technical co-founder since it required getting to know an entirely new framework for building apps. However, doing so has made it possible for us to only work on one code that is native for both iOS and Android, meaning that we are able to deploy new versions of the app faster and make it easier to maintain. Moreover, the same was the case for our website. It was originally written in Node.js (a framework for building websites based on Javascript) and rewritten to React (also from Facebook and using Javascript too), making the integration between our website and app more streamlined.

As you can see from our story above getting a startup up and running is nothing like going in a straight line but more so like a bumpy ride with an upward trend.

 

Good luck with your future entrepreneurial endeavours! See you at CBS Entrepreneurial Day 2017!

Team Applaus

MEET THE STARTUP: NOVIPEL

MEET THE STARTUP: NOVIPEL

 

 

How it all started – sex toys or medical devices?

2013 was the year I joined a group from DTU (The Technical University of Denmark) and KADK (The Royal Danish Academy of Design) and the year we hatched the initial idea, of changing the way we think about the unthinkable. As green as can be, we were open towards everything and everybody. The initial ideas ranged from a couple of sex toys, which could process live bio input of lovers and output a data driven “interaction” to more hardcore medical devices. We ended up somewhere in the middle with a research driven runway strategy to provide patients and practitioners, with a method of understanding how training pelvic floor muscles fights incontinence.

The first real step towards a start-up dream, which we later named NoviPel

We presented our first prototype and business plan at the DTU App Garage Pitch Competition late 2013. We came in second, just behind another Danish startup, who had just raised a round of crowdfunding. As we were in R&D mode, we had not raised any money yet, but were really happy to be told that first and second position were neck-to-neck.

Our team started to grow

2014 – the company grew with new members and new skills. We welcomed much needed electrical assistance and experienced leadership onboard. Pelvy was our first name (but we changed it to NoviPel after we were accepted into the first batch of Danish Tech Challenge.)

Failing fast

With 4 out of 6 people on the team still in school, a typical day was all work and very little free time. As the youngest team at DTC, we felt like we had to prove that whatever we lacked in experience, we would make up for in sheer determination. We had heard you had to fail fast to be successful, so we did all the errors possible. Nonetheless we were surprised and truly proud, when the finalists were announced.

Impressing the Crown Prince of Denmark…

We had fought alongside 22 companies, with highly experienced people and now had a spot on the stage with 5 other finalists. Now we just needed to put together our pitch deck, to impress the crown prince of Denmark and the jury. Filled with joy we got together for the final rehearsal, only to find out that someone had beat us to the finish line. With despair, we watched as a product, based on the exact same technology and marketing had hit the world hours before our rehearsal in front of the DTC companies. This was devastating; we couldn´t believe our eyes as all the big tech and women magazines around the world had featured articles. From ecstasy to horror in a matter of 60 seconds.

It’s not about how far or fast you fall….

But as everybody knows; it’s not about how far down you go, it’s about how fast you pop up again. We went back to doing what we do best; R&D. Admittedly with a bit of depression and compulsive drinking. Dazed and confused we came up with our best sensor to date. Being cornered we had fought back and delivered a truly unique and novel device. We demoed our idea in front of the DTC administration and got back in the fight for the final prize of 500.000 DKK and stardom.

Blood sweat and tears….

As one disaster rarely hits alone, it should not have come as a big surprise, as three team members were informed about their family members‘ sudden encounter with a case of bacterial meningitis induced coma, late stage Parkinson’s and a stroke, weeks before the finals. It must be a sign, to keep fighting. It takes blood, sweat and tears to grow anything, worth growing. Especially if your product aims to make the world a place of less suffering. We did not win. We did not lose. The finals were amazing and the winner deserved the fame. We had gotten through and were stronger than ever. DTC gave us an experience for a lifetime, and helped noviPel become what it is today.

Renewed Energy at COBIS

2015 was the year of renewed energy and the year where we moved from R&D to actual business development. People had noticed us and we were offered offices at a VC company looking for a future partnership. Stoked, we accepted and started working from our first real office. Still lacking funding, all our spare money went to the company, with growing costs as we had to bring in legal help with our patent application and general company structure. We decided that we were not mature enough for venture capital and started a focus on soft money instead. We moved offices to COBIS and joined the ranks of other great medtech startups.

And now…

2016 brought along a shift in focus as we needed to fund our ideas and patents do not come cheap. This meant that we had to look for some serious funding, as our spare change could not fund this project forever. We were granted a double grant by Innovationsfonden; an “Iværksætterpilot” for a team member and a full “Innobooster”. During 2017 we matched the public funding with private funding and are now ready to hit the market.

Market launch

We are happy to announce that 2017 will be the year for our market launch, after 3 years of hard work, filled with ups and downs. Thanks to all that helped, fought and co-created. In a time where all are trying to go out into the world to find themselves, noviPel looks inside for the answer. Wanna join in, got questions or wanna hear more of this story?  Reach out, we are always open for a coffee date.

 

 

STUDENT TALKS: ATTRACTING THE RIGHT PEOPLE

STUDENT TALKS: ATTRACTING THE RIGHT PEOPLE

I would like to share with you here the fundamentals of attracting the right people around your venture. Not only members or employees, but also talent in general: customers, relations’ partners, advisors, ambassadors, mentors etc. The following information is based on my experience with managing Student Talks.

Keep note. Attracting talent does not solely focus on finding the right people to work for your company. It’s about creating a business that attracts influencers, expertise, and value. That creates opportunities that will make your company skyrocket! In this post I’ll refer to these people as “talent”.

I’m first going to tell you what we do at Student Talks. This will hopefully inspire you to find the value-propositions that your brand can offer. The mindset at Student Talks has always revolved around talent. If we weren’t able to find and attract extraordinary students we wouldn’t have any inspiring events!

Win over… with value

First things first. Who are you looking for? Do you want to create a community of professionals and specialists, is your target customer influencers or do you want a new partner on board with a specific skillset? Every case is different, but what all cases have in common is that you need to figure out a personalised value proposition to each of your target groups..

Let me break it down in simple steps. This is what we offer to our speakers and team members:

For our speakers

  • a curious crowd that wants to listen and discuss their passion
  •  the chance to inspire & develop their personal brand
  •  public speaking coaching, to intensify their message
  • access to the network of all other speakers around the world (coming soon)

“Luckily” the core of our organisation is based on finding talented students. I say lucky because it has been the backbone of our progress, and it has opened up opportunities that we didn’t see coming. I’m certain that you can create a similar model to any start-up – just gotta be a little creative.

For our ambassadors (organisers at local universities)

  • network full of driven students all over the world (Student Talks members &speakers)
  • the chance to impact the world, only having to put effort on the things that matter
  •  resources that make their events more interactive than anything they’ve done before
  • the perfect excuse for networking with people they wouldn’t normally interact with
  • a channel that will give them more exposure than the audience itself

We have also defined our value offers to our partners, sponsors, team members, mentors and audience. Once you have found your value propositions, it’s time for action.

Keep your karma points on the + side

In any relationship you always want to stay on the plus side, which simply translates to: you should always give more than you take. Give, give, give! I can’t emphasise this enough. Give! (Had to say it again…) If you start thinking this way, your karma points will compound and opportunities will come running.

Remember. People don’t expect anything from strangers, especially not something that will give them a personal gain in return. Most people are only interested in themselves. This is not news – we always like talking about ourselves and our passions. That is why before you present someone with an opportunity – get to know them, listen, and contribute to the conversation. Don’t just ‘empty listen’. That’s why personalised value proposition is key. And it doesn’t mean that every offer is different.

However, depending on the type of person a potential speaker is, the value proposition may change slightly for example by putting emphasis on certain aspects. And you can always (to some extent) customise your offer to create a win-win situation.

Where to go?

So where do we find these A-players? We find them in places they like to go. Groundbreaking!! We find them at technology conferences, inspiring events, incubators, co-working spaces, and through our own network. Obviously, it depends on the target and their interests. And the bigger our network grows, the easier it becomes to find new people to join.

Let’s spend some time on networking. To be honest, it is my favourite part. And I know that some of you hate networking, so here’s my advice to you: before Student Talks, I just wanted to go out there and meet as many inspiring people as possible. But I found it hard to gain attention. Most people are not interested in hearing about you or the company you’re founding unless there is a personal gain for them (this is certainly not always true, but if you set your mind to this mindset it will help you a lot). So what can be done about it? At a conference I would go up to a person that seemed well-connected. I’d ask if he/she knows anyone who made an impression on them at this event, because I wanted to meet talented and extraordinary people. I would then ask for an introduction or walk up myself, and present them with my value proposition.

Anything else you need to know? Start small and focus on the quality. As soon as you get talent on board, more talent will automatically follow.

As a final thought I want to mention luck. Beforehand, when I was planning or making a strategy I never calculated for luck – and by luck I mean meeting the right person with the right set of skills, in the right place in his/her life, where we can help each other. But now I don’t worry in the same way about recruiting the right people. If you create value in your network, then it kinda just happens – we create our own luck.

Are you looking forward to meeting your next talent? 😉

3 FAST QUESTIONS FOR THE SYNGJA FOUNDERS

3 FAST QUESTIONS FOR THE SYNGJA FOUNDERS

How did it all start?
Philip Price (CMO): About 1.5 year ago I was brainstorming with a close friend of mine about just starting some kind of green business. Somehow doing that evening (it suffices to say, that we were under the influence of an undisclosed amount of alcohol) the idea of edible insects came up. It stuck in our minds. A few months later we met Jakob at an insect networking event in Copenhagen (there were 5 participants), and we learned his fascinating story about starting his own urban cricket farm (in a basement in Nordvest). It didn’t take long from there before we joined forces and came up with the concept about insect enriched beverages. We believed (and obviously still do) that there exists a gap in the market for this product type; a market which expands with exponential growth rates these years.

What makes it so exciting?

Jakob Rukov (CTO): There is a never a neutral response when you tell people that there is a cricket in their beverage shot. Either you get an extremely positive response, or you get the extreme opposite. But one thing is for sure: people never just shrug their shoulders and walk off. Edible insects arouses a natural interest, because it is so new and culturally foreign (to us in the Western hemisphere).

We believe in the transformative power of edible insects as a driver for a better, more sustainable world – whether that being food safety for the soon-to-be 9 billion people in the world (estimates for 2050), the impending climate degradation, or general cultural openness and inclusion. Already, 2 billion people in the world eat edible insects on a daily basis. It is only a trick of the mind, that hinders all of us from doing the same. The potential to change this – to inaugurate a food revolution, so to speak – is what makes it so exciting!

What is the concept behind Syngja?

Philip Price: Syngja’s concept is to promote a new consciousness on edible insects as a healthy, sustainable and tasty food. Basically, there are no rational arguments against the consumption of insects; they are extremely healthy, extremely sustainable, and they are very tasty too – in fact, crickets convey a distinct, lingering sense of umami (due to their high protein content).

Obviously, though, there are some major cultural roadblocks that deter consumers from eating insects. The Syngja vision is to break down these barriers by introducing a gateway drug to a world of new food solutions: in our case, tasty and familiar-looking shots and mixers (for instance to use in cocktails). In this way, we can provide the majority of consumers with an extremely positive (and to many of them, surprising) first-time experience of eating insects. It is a super empowering force when people drink our shots (in some cases without realizing it contains crickets), which equivalents eating 10 whole crickets – something they would never do on its own.

We know the first insect can be difficult. We also know the second one is easy. And we make that choice easy. 

Meet the team behind Syngja at CBS Entrepreneurial Day!