Odense Innovation Tournament 2014

I had the opportunity to participate in Odense Innovation Tournament, an international student event, part of the entrepreneurship festival in Odense. We were split into several random teams and had the task of finding and pitching an innovative concept that would be use to rebuild/use an abandoned warehouse. The concepts would be judged based on the following 4 criterias:

  • innovation – how new and innovative is the idea
  • networking – how much is the concept enabling people to network
  • international – have an “international” approach towards the concept
  • social – involving local citizens and involving social activities

It was the first event of this kind that I’ve participated in, mainly the first entrepreneurship event where I actively participated. A new and interesting experience. Although I wasn’t part of the winners, I certainly understood what could have been better and what went wrong. The time was limited, 2 hours, to be exact, were allocated for finding the concept and preparing a pitch. The pitch had a limited time of 3 minutes. Apart from this, we had interruptions every 30 minutes, where a new “obstacle” is presented – this took a bit from our time but also gave us other perspectives to consider.

Ideas were ample, but fitting the important parts into a limited time frame and presenting them in an appealing manner was the tricky part. Like with real life products, it mostly comes down to how you present it and not necessarily what it is presented.

We first started by seeing what needs to be done and planning it. My team has identified the steps to be:

  • brainstorm – generate some ideas. It started by generating a “frame” to keep our boundaries in – listing all the elements related to the problem. After that we took into considerations elements like the target group and what it is in demand at the current moment in the town.
  • evaluate – the ideas and limit to a few – each idea was evaluated based on the above mentioned criteria and how can it relate better to all of them or a particular one
  • develop – get into details with the idea
  • pitch – prepare the presentation

At the end we concluded that we lost time in putting clear words on the idea (develop) – although we had some, we lacked the structure and some milestones to be achieved. Secondly, we noticed that we could have spent more time on the pitch and structure it better.

A better approach for next time:

  • come prepared (if you can) – find our anything you can about the subject and prepare some starting ideas
  • plan your time better – take into consideration what can consume most of the time, what should be allocated for most of the time and what can go wrong
  • define what deliverables are needed and turn them into smaller goals (milestones)
  • focus on the goal – in this case the pitch
  • don’t get lost in details that don’t matter – there were many things to be taken into consideration but obviously not enough time to cover even 1/10 in depth