Yesterday marked the climax of our iQnite case competition on climate change at inQvation. 5 teams pitched their ideas for solutions in front of a very experienced and competetent panel.
All the teams did a great job, and in the end Kleen Hub ran away with it. I will now get the opportunity to help them grow their circular concept within fast food packaging over the coming months. It is a really great team with an equally great idea, and I can’t wait to get started.
It has been an amazing experience to start from scratch with no more than a vague idea and then finish off with being able to crown a winner. We have learned a lot from it – the good and the not so good – and we will spend the coming weeks reflecting and documenting our learnings, so we can hopefully return with a new edition of the iQnite case competition at some later point.
It is not that often that I recommend stuff. And in fact I have never recommended a podcast before. But lo and behold, there is a first time for everything.
Today, my very first podcast recommendation goes to the brilliant ‘Pivot’ podcast from Vox Media Network starring Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. You should really check it out if you are into everything in the intersection between business and tech. It is twice a week now, and it is pure gold.
Especially professor Galloway – who also has his own blog – calls them like he sees them. He is razor sharp in his analysis, and good fun to listen to as well. If for nothing else, hearing him read the sponsorship messages is worth the entire experience in itself. Go, go, GO and check it out.
Today this winters Startup School at Y Combinator kicks off with the first lessons. And I will be a part of it.
The 8 week programme is for aspiring entrepreneurs or people who have already embarked on the journey. And I have enlisted to both learn, reflect and just plain see, what it is that the worlds leading accelerator wants to put founders through in order to be able to create a successful startup.
I will be monitoring my progress and share here as time and purpose permits. I am not expecting too much, but I think it will be an interesting experience. And something everybody looking to create a startup should consider putting themselves through. If for nothing else then just for gaining the respect for what is actually needed to succeed (hint: it is about much more than ability to build a product).
At inQvation we have a lot of different projects in the pipeline. This includes a couple of projects that we feel strongly about in terms of potential to become new, great startups.
In order get these projects to market, I am hiring a new frontend developer for the Studio team. The right candidate has a couple of years of hands-on experience, an efficient toolbox and a personality that just want to ship things and see what happens in the market.
We work very experiment driven, so we will be doing everything from landing pages to MVPs (and potentially beyond if the project is right), and there is amble opportunity to have a personal impact on the work that we do as a team. We are ambitious, celebrate success and learn from failure, and if that sounds like a lot of fun for you too, then apply today!
Eventhough I am a big proponent of starting small and experimenting your way forward when building a startup or a new product or service for that matter, there is one thing that always needs to be in place: A vision.
It is so easy to get an idea and just start executing small scale. It is harder to succeed in closing the first sale, but it becomes super tricky if that first sale is not supported by a vision of where it is you want to take your new company long term.
With a vision in place, you will know whether your first sale sets you off in the right direction and gives you something to build on. With a vision in place, your chances of making that first sale happen based on criteria and terms that supports your overall goal increases. Without a vision you risk tumbling in the dark. And – more importantly – without a vision you risk building a business that will never really be able to take off but will just (best case) hum along.
Even the best and brightest ideas should start small on the implementation side. Just out of respect for the fact that you could have it terribly wrong. Especially if your opportunity is huge, you need to be mindful that you don’t run the risk of creating a big mess by overreaching from the ‘go’.
Naturally, if you are developing a brand new and hugely innovative service or product, the world has never seen before and thus not know it needs, you will think differently about it. My point is just that those invention cases are the outliers. Most of the time you will be trying to improve on something already out there.
Moving in smaller steps doesn’t kill your opportunity. Because of course you have a flexible roadmap that will adapt as you move along and learn more. And because you learn and show respect you will gain trust of those you are trying to serve. And that trust will serve you well when getting to the point where you start reaping all the good stuff you have sowed.
It is great that a group of the worlds biggest players within the IoT-space have come together to form Project Connected Home over IP; an initiative to develop more common standards for IoT-devices large and small.
So far one of the big issues with regards to IoT has been a lack of standards. Lots ot things loosely joined – or sometimes not joined at all. Besides creating a focus on technology itself it has also made the usecase almost hopeless for many normal people. Just visit one of the many forums for smarthome-early adopters and watch the agony of trying to make things work.
Normally I don’t believe in technology before figuring out the problem. But in this case, I think that getting closer to standards will actually enable us to focus more on the problems and the use cases for real customers. And thus also the ability to start to fulfill the huge potential of IoT.
Hello 2020! It’s a new year and with that comes fresh opportunity including the opportunity to set really ambitious goals for the coming 12 monts. So naturally, I have done that on behalf of my work as Head of Studio at inQvation.
In 2020 I want us to co-found at least one startup taking on a really big problem that affects +100M people worldwide.
I want us to develop a project from idea to startup with an experienced entrepreneur-in-residence, where we use our combined strenghts and experience to make a mark. Maybe we could even combine it with the above goal?
And finally, I want us to create “A Path To Success” for great talent within the startup space in Denmark, where inQvation becomes the ‘go to’-place for those looking to unleash their potential to bring great tech solutions to people who have the problems and pains to match.
Ambitious? Yes. Doable? A stretch but if all things align right, why not? Realistic? Not if we don’t try.
(And then of course there are all the other things that comes with being part of a great team that pulls together when needed :-))
2019 is running out and now is a good time to reflect on the year gone by and looking ahead to 2020.
May 1 I joined inQvation as Head of Studio. It has been an amazing and hectic experience so far. When you are trying to build something from scratch, there is a lot of heavy lifting that needs to be done – a lot of things you need to figure out. I have learned a lot, and overall I think we’re a lot wiser on what works and what doesn’t going into 2020.
We’re very ambitious about 2020. This is the year where all the work, we put in, and the experience, we have gainedm, should enable us – and you too – to start seeing the first real results of our work. Not the end product as such, because building a startup is an ongoing process. But we will be signaling intent and trying to make our mark in some very interesting spaces. I promise. And I look so much forward to it.
Happy New Year!
Not at all. It is just not something we talk about in the same way as we did only a few months ago.
Disruption has moved from the rostrums, talks, columns and what have you and from people who basically have little idea about what the notion means to the lab, the office, the daily grind, where experienced brilliant people are working at it instead of talking about it.
There is nothing new in that. Far from it actully. We have always been like that: Faster, longer, higher. It is an anxient phenomon; always looking to improve and – at best – with a significant margin. It is just human nature. And it’s best left to action rather than babble.