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.
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.
Today we finally started developing our new social media web service. Two developers sat 11 hours straight for building the foundation in a functioning community.
I’ve worked a few years managing software projects and I can say these guys did in 11 hours what it takes a team of two 11 days in an average software firm. And they did the job with virtually zero management.
What did you do then?
I was running in circles and pitching our idea to a dozen people. Big thanks to all you who helped to develop the idea further.
One of these pitches was even videotaped so you can find the it online if you know where to look. However, it’s a poor quality video and will probably give you totally wrong idea on the whole concept, so don’t waste your time searching for it.
Where’s is the demo?
The demo will be out when it’s ready. Hopefully tomorrow. Or next week. Or Later.
I’ve spent the most of today finalizing our business plan for the Venture Cup deadline tomorrow at noon. Better yet, my team has been supporting me in this undertaking.
My first exposure today was at Zipipop where I was apparently the first one to use their Zipi Doctor service. Thanks guys for sharing your ideas. It was great to reflect my thoughts with you.
While writing the plan I got a rare opportunity to sit next to a room full of high-ranking Finnish business and IT people discussing about their own business ideas and venture funding scenarios.
The opportunity to pitch my idea to them was so appealing that I did just that. I even remembered to link them here to my blog. So thank you guys for your valuable time.
If any of you read this entry, I challenge you to rate my pitch on a scale of 1 to 10.
For an entrepreneur it is important to constantly utilize the possibilities to expose themselves to criticism. The more knowledge the people listening to you have, the better comments you usually get. And if you don’t get any criticism that means the audience doesn’t understand what you’re saying.
Expose yourself to the worst possible criticism. That gives you the best possible starting point for improving yourself for the next pitch.
I’ve been saving today’s post to send a status update to all of you following my project.
As I mentioned before I was pitching an idea at the Aalto ES today. It went about as good as I expected and definitely better than the rehearsal speech on Monday.
The judges apparently liked my pitch and my idea came third out of eight. That was probably the best possible place to be at, since I got concrete help on where the drawbacks of my idea are. I will have plenty of time later to tell you more about the idea and how I’m going to make it happen.
In the pitching competition the first place was awarded to a great social media experiment called Promises where you can make a promise that your friends can see so that you have the social pressure of keeping it. I love the idea. Get the site running guys and I can come and promise to do the million before thirty.
The second place went to an idea of starting a Colombian coffee franchise in Finland. All they need is two million to start with but really I hope they pull it through.
So what now?
Now I will discuss with the Tuli people on Monday how they see how they see the market potential in what I’m doing. After that we’ll just start doing it together with the team I will be building in the next few days. It was great to see so many people who had good ideas and wanted to help me in any way they can. Thank you all, I really appreciate your expertise and love to see your ideas developed further.
What comes to this project financially, obviously so far it is on the negative side. After registering a couple of domain names, I’m now at -$21.90.
People asked me how I plan to do what I’m doing. I don’t have an answer ready but I’m not going to sit back and think about it for too long. Realizing a plan calls for action and I’m ready to do what it takes.
Do you have a business idea ready to make the million?
I don’t think any business idea can ever be ready and no idea is worth anything without the people determined to pull it through. Ideas I have plenty of and the more I talk about this project with people the more ideas keep popping up. I’m planning to present one of these ideas at the Aalto Entrepreneurship Society pitch evening on February 17th.
But you do have to have a lot of money and a really good idea to succeed
I’ll argue that a successful business is about:
- 10 % about the idea
- 20 % about the resources
- and 70 % about the team
So you’ll just found a company and try to get it sold for a million by your birthday
Well yes, this goal requires founding one or more companies but I don’t intend to sell my share in them just to cash in. Instead I’m most willing to help entrepreneurial spirits find their own companies to pursue their dreams. I want people to stop dreaming and start acting. I only want be a part of a company where the whole is more than people doing it alone and where I’m worth more to the others than the cost of having me aboard.
What is this blog for?
It is primarily for all my friends as a source of inspiration on how to affect their lives. But it’s also for anyone interested in keeping up with current events and the status in this kind of project. Finally, it is an important tool for myself to keep me on the right track with the goal clear in mind. This being said, I’m planning to send an update daily and try to do something, however small, in my life every day to improve myself in terms of pursuing the goal. That will amount to a staggering number of things throughout the project.
Where can we follow the status of the project.
I’ll send an update every time something happens on that field. At this point I’m still firmly standing on the zero marker.