Wow, what an amazing experience this year’s Startupbootcamp Mobility Selection Days in Copenhagen was. I was one of the 60 mentors who sat through two tough days with hardly any breaks. What a pleasure, what an opportunity to listen to 20 teams of mainly young, clever and passionate people with an idea they believe in and have worked day and night to develop. The purpose for the teams is not only to get feedback on their ideas for improving and fine-tuning. There is a lot more at stake. Only 10 of the present 20 teams will participate in the 3-month program in Copenhagen with office facilities in an accelerating startup environment and have access to mentors with life experiences of sales, marketing, technical knowledge and not least how to run a business. Moreover, the opportunity to get access to different networks and investment capital, which can make the difference between dream and reality.
As a mentor you have the tough job of evaluating the presented 20 dreams, keeping in mind that there is only room for 10 startups in the program. During the high pressure of evaluating the potential of each startup, one of my main focuses was how committed these young people are and how meaningful it is for them to be part of Startupbootcamp. Somehow I find it amazing that within the 20 minute mentor session I can always give each team something to think about – from a communication aspect, a different way of looking at their idea to new skills they need to work on to make their business fly. It is such a great pleasure to give and I often wonder why this obvious mutual beneficial way of sharing is so rare – why not have an incubation startup environment in every town? This kind of matchmaking would create many more startups, knowledge sharing and even a great contribution to our sustainable growth as people, companies, communities and societies.
After more than 1 hour of deliberation, Lars, head of Startupbootcamp Mobility, announced the 10 chosen teams. I am looking forward to follow them all – the Russian EasySize, the Danish ParkFinder and several others will build great businesses. Especially the Cypriote Funifi with a mission of turning cleaning into a sport by making trivial tasks fun will be interesting to follow. Irish Storymap, one of the non chosen startups also caught my attention, as their mission to save and share local stories is interesting and different.
Thank you for the experience.
Claudia Lillebjerg Simonsen,
Vice President Human Resources & Site Operations at Milestone Systems
Debutant mentor at Startupbootcamp Mobility Copenhagen