Yesterday was the last day of the AaltoES Boot camp. The teams still did one last 3-minute elevator pitch and we did something a bit extraordinary also this time around.
The teams also posted a document that was supposed to describe their business model for the judges. We posted this FinderBase business model description. Our team has effectively managed to almost entirely detach itself from reality and concentrate on the dream that we’re after with FinderBase.com. Feel free to comment our document.
Not surprisingly, we didn’t win.
But it’s interesting to see who did. The teams chosen by the judges well represent the ideology of the Aalto University as a home for scientific research. The top three were:
- Thermophotonic Heat Pump.
All of these ideas had a strong research background. All these teams have patented technology to base their solution on. The two first also have a physical product that they’re trying to build a prototype of.
Let’s have a quick look at the rest of the teams:
- Aalto Brain Company. A game.
- Audiodraft. A website.
- Barisma. A website.
- DreamTravel. A website.
- FinderBase. A website.
- Kassi. A website.
- LucSens. An iPhone app.
- Makumaku. A website.
- Relationship Games. A Facebook app.
- Videolla. A website.
- Shobble. A website.
Can’t blame the judges. Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.
Today, I was asked to appear as a guest blogger on the Aalto ES blog.
Check out today’s entry there!
Petteri’s pitch on AaltoES bootcamp, April 7th, 2010.
After a month of intensive development we had today an internal kick-off where the team members got to meet each other for the first time. I’m positively stunned by the great atmosphere and enthusiasm these people will bring to the table.
But a company needs to be organized.
We created an organization of six teams according to the needs of the future company. Following teams were created:
- General management team
- Technology and software team
- Business models team
- Product launch and marketing team
- Communications and branding team
- Stakeholder relations team
Every team has a leader who is responsible for achieving the goals set for that team. The best part is that after a while I no longer have to holding all the strings. People get to dedicate their effort to the area they fell most passionate about.
Founding a new company is now closer than ever.
We even got news that after a cancellation are now invited to the Aalto ES boot camp. This is a great opportunity to present our newly created organization in action.
I spent the afternoon today attending the kick-off session for the Aalto ES Boot Camp. Big thanks go to Petteri Koponen and Taneli Tikka for the inspiring keynote speeches.
But what were you doing there?
I was asked this question a couple of times. Someone might consider it a bit awkward to attend an event that not only were you uninvited but your were especially rejected from the list of participants. Well, it wasn’t quite that bad but I still was the only rogue attendee.
This first event of the boot camp was about the essence of entrepreneurship. One recurring theme in all the keynotes was the persistence of the entrepreneurs – you have to persist through failure. You have to pitch your idea a 1000 times to get good at it.
The program itself presented the justification for my stay.
In the end of the day, it all came down to a one-minute pitch by each team. I wasn’t especially invited to pitch but I asked for a permission to do so. Hard to say to no to that.
The end result was that three people came personally to thank me for an excellent pitch and considered it to be the most memorable of all the 14 pitches. They could even be right. The whole situation was on my side:
- My presence there showed true entrepreneurial spirit.
- I was instantly different from everyone else.
- Being different means being more memorable.
- Since I was rejected, my idea wasn’t expected to be any good.
- I had absolutely no pressure to pitch well.
So, whatever you do, find a way to stand out in a positive way. Sometimes it’s good to be bad.
I started today with an excellent discussion with one of the top names in Finnish entrepreneurial scene. I presented our prototype service and the business model in detail and I think he was at least convinced that we’re on the right track. His final message was quite promising:
Just make it happen.
And we will. One thing that we will not do is the Aalto ES boot camp that I mentioned earlier. Our team was rejected and the two people who I interviewed about it even had pretty good grounds for rejecting us. However, I know at least three the 14 projects that were accepted so I was planning to pay homage to their great ideas by joining the kick-off session tomorrow. See you there guys!
And by the way, the Alpha testing mailing list is still open for anyone interested in being among the first to see what our team has achieved.
Yesterday, we met a number of interesting people on the Boot Camp Info Lunch.
Our team of 9 people has applied to the program with the sole purpose of launching our service during the spring. Our team has strong competence in the fields of software development, marketing and sales but less on finance for example.
We have high expectations from the Boot Camp.
The Aalto ES Boot Camp is the first of its kind in Finland. It will be an honor to participate and we’re sure to use the professional advice the best we can. We will surely get to present our idea and hopefully raise discussion and get people to challenge us.
We’re expecting to hear tomorrow if we’ve been accepted to the program.
Our project experienced its biggest misfortune to this date today. Our business plan failed to make the top 10 with in Venture Cup. Feel free to check out the finalists, there is definitely some great stuff in there!
It is noteworthy that there is only one web service that made the finals. It is extremely difficult to determine the value of a web service. It all comes down to the actual users that the service gets. In favor of this finalist called AudioDraft, it must be said that their service is targeted for experts. That makes it perhaps a bit easier to put a price tag on their product.
Where do we go from here?
Now that we no longer need to concentrate on the Venture Cup we can focus our time and energy in developing our idea further. We have a proof of concept and now we need to take the steps to make it publicly available for a group of testers.
I want to personally invite everyone interested in helping to fill out this form to join an alpha tester mailing list.
What else is going on?
We’re getting closer to actually founding a company that will start making great things. We’re starting discussions with TEKES to show how our solution could help the Finnish economy.
We’re also eagerly going to the Aalto ES Boot Camp. This is a great opportunity for any entrepreneurial team to fast-track their ideas into a successful business.