Juha-Pekka Ahvenainen, Markus Alavaikko
We were lucky to be part of the winning team at Digital Wellbeing Sprint (DWS) which took place in Metropolia Leppävaara on August 2017. The first price was an opportunity take part in the third Belt Bootcamp on 18-20 September 2017 in Norrköping, Sweden. We were able to send two of our team members to Norrköping, and due to our personal schedules, those two were us.
The Belt project aims to generate new start-up’s & business entities across boarders by utilizing co-creation methods. BELT BootCamp is a 3-day free event that aims to match-make talents, ideas and start-ups from Sweden, Finland and Latvia with a purpose to establish new cross-border entities and empower co-creation. At Belt Bootcamps start-ups and talents get the opportunity to develop their business ideas and models further with the guidance and support of experienced facilitators and business coaches. The main focus of Belt Bootcamp Norrköping was in different Smart City related themes. You can apply for the next Belt Bootcamp at: https://www.beltproject.net/
Our journey started on Sunday 17th of September at 8.30am. After a short flight we had a bus transfer from Arlanda to Norrköping with fellow participants from Latvia and Tampere. On Sunday we had some time to get to know the city. Norrköping looks a lot like Tampere. Both cities are also are well known of the textile industry. A river runs through both cities.
The official part of Belt Bootcamp started on Monday. After a good breakfast at our hotel Best Western Princess we walked to the Norrköping´s Visualization center C, situated in the Linköping University Campus. There we were given opening information about the Bootcamp and we also watched an epic 3-D movie: Dream to flight. It was very impressive!
Our day continued nearby in an old fabric dying facility turned into classrooms. At first, we had a short introduction to smart cities and after that everyone gathered to their own tracks. Each track had 6-8 persons and had to think of two major problems to be solved. Our track was smart health and the other one of the problems came out as a question: How to increase person`s consciousness about stress? We didn´t get to work on our original idea from DWS, which felt a bit annoying at the time.
After a match-making process we ended up to a group of three person. Our third member was a Swedish guy named Fredrik from Linköping. He is an expert in business and marketing. We started to consider our subject with a tool that is called problem tree.
In the the afternoon, we had an introduction to Lean Start-up Thinking. A lot of new information to us! We understood that we are not very familiar with start-up business. But it was interesting enough, even so that we got a bit excited and we are going to study a lot more of Lean Start-up Thinking.
“A startup is temporary organization designed to for a repeatable and scalable business model” – Steve Blank-
We also had an inspiring lecture about proactive entrepreneurship. The main point of the lecture was that we should do more collaboration among Baltic countries. Hansa 2.0 is coming, are you ready?
Back to the question for a while; How to increase person`s consciousness about stress? During the day, we noticed that the question was too broad. We were going nowhere!!! Or so we felt at the time. We are used to thinking about a problem from customers point of view. So, we needed someone for whom we were solving the problem for. We came up with the most obvious Persona we could find, actually we were surrounded by them, a student. That opened up everything. Students are fast to adopt new things, they use devices, they stress on exams, money, future.. But we had no time to think about right then. In the evening, we ate very tasty cheese hamburgers in a good company at a cosy restaurant called Asken. It was a long but a fruitful day.
On a Tuesday morning, after a good cup or three cups of coffee and a little warm-up, we continued our teamwork. We did a lot of benchmarking at night, again, and it paid off. We went through what we got, wrote it down and let it set for a while. Then we had an interesting lecture about significance of a good team. We had a good team already, but could it be even better?
We had a pleasure to meet a lot of new people from Latvia, Sweden and Finland, so we talked some, laughed some and changed some ideas about a lot different stuff. Fredrik introduced us to his friend Jacob around this time. More of him later! In the afternoon, we got our first one-on-one coaching. Three different coaches gave us a lot of good advice from different points of views. We found it very useful.
In the Tuesday evening we had a nice bus trip to Linköping where we first explored a new part of the town called Vallastad. It was a new kind of smart city area that had Sweden´s biggest urban living expo. After that we headed to Swedish Air Force museum where we had a nice dinner and opportunity to adore exhibition of old airplanes from different decades. Could not find a Gripen, though!
On a Wednesday morning, it was time to finish our main idea of the service and summarise our concept to a 3-minute pitch. We are not very experienced pitchers and we know that we have to work on that, but fortunately we had a talented speaker, Fredrik in our team! Thank you, Fredrik.
After the pitching session and feedback, we still had one 1-on-1 coaching session. It was the best, because Kaija Pöysti was awesome. She helped us to plan our next steps with our service concept and make it doable.
To our surprise the jury liked our idea a lot and we were awarded for showing start-up potential and exceptional progress during the Bootcamp. The price was an opportunity to have more 1-on-1 coaching with Belt bootcamp experts back in Finland.
We had altogether an amazing trip. We made new contacts and new friends, and we are planning to proceed with our idea. We grew our team with one more member right away, so now Jacob is part of the team. We have a cross-border start-up coming on!
After all, we learned a lot about modern entrepreneurship and got especially interested in the Lean start-up thinking. We still have lot to learn, but we got a great start! Now we have to figure out where service design comes to show? It´s still a customer game.
“A startup is a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty” -Eric Ries-
More information on Lean startup: http://theleanstartup.com/