Photo: The three founders of Ideel Coffee. From left to right it's Johan Fellmann, Lærke Voergaard og Bogdan Coste.
Usually, the Incubator Advisory Board judges the pitch competition, and usually, there is no prize money involved - but much is different than it used to be during the corona crisis.
- It is interesting for the students to participate in pitch competitions, whether online or by physical attendance, because they get to test their ability to clearly and accurately present their business idea, says Morten Dam Jespersen, project manager at Inkubatoren at Cphbusiness.
Practice makes perfect
The pitch competition is usually held twice a year as a physical event. The corona crisis has moved many events into a virtual environment, and the pitch competition in the incubator is just one of them.
During the spring of 2020, Ideel Coffee has participated in - and won awards at - several championships related to the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship. The championships have all been conducted online, and this has probably been an advantage, says Bogdan Coste, co-founder of the company and student at the Bachelor’s Top-up degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cphbusiness.
I think we had a bit of an advantage given our previous experiences at the regional and national stage. During those competitions, we had the chance to fine-tune our pitch, but also get in the rhythm, and get better at controlling our emotions, he says.
Pitching online is different from a physical event. Bogdan Coste himself misses the thrill of having to speak to a live audience, but it does not change the fact that one must be able to deliver a solid performance in all conditions and that practice makes perfect.
- I remember thinking after our pitch that it was most likely our best performance so far, and it's all because of practice and repetition., says Bogdan Coste.
Conditions for entrepreneurs
The union HK sponsored the prize money for the pitch competition. First place got DKK 5,000 and second and third place fought for DKK 3,000 and DKK 2,000 respectively.
HK represents many study programmes at Cphbusiness and has agreements with many of the companies that employ graduates from Cphbusiness. But this is not the only reason why HK would like to be visible to the students at the competition, says Dorte Omdal, Consultant for IT study programmes in higher education at HK.
- We know that the work as an entrepreneur or freelancer is very unregulated, and we want to engage this market, so that as a self-employed worker, for example, you are not cheated in a contract, but has rights, she says.
To that end, HK has created freelancer.dk and students in the incubator are some of those who may be in the target group for HK's work to obtain better conditions for entrepreneurs and self-employed workers.
Prize money puts it on the edge
Having HK involved meant something to the competition itself, says Bogdan Coste.
- Having the HK involved brought a bit more seriousness to the competition. We felt we had to put up a good performance and represent Cphbusiness in a way that brings it prestige. Hopefully, we did just that, he says.
Ideel Coffee is currently working on completing a prototype of their product, and in that process, every financial help counts, says Bogdan Coste who appreciates the DKK 5,000.
Read more about Ideal Coffee here: Incubator companies win categories at regional championship in entrepreneurship
The plan for what each company would use the prize money for was also part of the criteria of the pitch competition, and the prize money itself made the competition even more interesting.
- That puts it a bit on the edge, that there is something to fight for, says Dorte Omdal.
The companies Nøddeskal and Konsus got second and third place, respectively.
The quotes of Morten Dam Jespersen and Dorte Omdal are translated from Danish.