Gæsteblogger: Comundu

Mia Grosen - på en af hendes mange rejser

Mia Grosen – på en af hendes mange spændende rejser

 

Når din passion bliver til dit arbejde

Man skal være passioneret omkring det, man skaber i sin virksomhed. Det er en læresætning, der ofte går igen, når man taler om iværksætteri. Jeg har startet virksomheden, Comundu, på baggrund af min store passion for at rejse – men er det altid en god idé at gøre sin passion til forretning? I det følgende deler jeg ud af den erfaring, jeg har gjort mig de sidste to år som passioneret iværksætter.

 

Alle kan starte en virksomhed!

Glem alt om, at det kræver en uddannelse fra CBS, års erhvervserfaring og en stor pose penge at starte virksomhed. Jeg sprang direkte fra min bachelor på universitetet, inkl. en SU gæld, ind i tilværelsen som iværksætter. Det første halve år lavede jeg lidt freelance arbejde ved siden af virksomheden for at kunne betale huslejen, og derefter fik vi en investering, og jeg kunne gå fuldtid.

Med en bachelor i statskundskab kan man ikke sige, min uddannelse forberedte mig på livet som selvstændig erhvervsdrivende. Jeg vidste absolut intet om at lave en forretningsplan, marketingsstrategier eller a-b tests, da jeg først startede Comundu. Men det gør jeg nu. Man lærer det løbende, når man skal bruge den pågældende viden – man behøver absolut ikke være iværksætter-ekspert fra start.

 

Fra passion..

Comundu er startet med rødder i min største passion, at rejse. At opleve verden og møde nye mennesker og lære om kulturer fra nær og fjern. Jeg var på min første rygsæk rejse efter gymnasiet. Seks måneder i Sydamerika med en veninde, hvor vi lavede frivilligt arbejde, lærte spansk, besøgte fem lande – og boede på hostels med massere andre rejsende. Siden jeg kom hjem, har jeg købt en ny flybillet, hver gang tallet på kontoen tillod det.

Fra Jordan til Sydafrika til Bosnien til Cambodia. Jeg har besøgt over 60 lande med min rygsæk og planlægger at besøge mange flere

Og det var netop drømmen om det at kunne kombinere min passion for at rejse med at arbejde, der fik mig til at starte Comundu. Jeg er ikke typen, der “altid har vidst jeg skulle være iværksætter”. Men da jeg fik en god idé på et hostel i Istanbul, der netop kunne kombinere min passion med at arbejde, tog jeg springet.

 


Hvad er Comundu?

Comundu laver software til hostels og unge rejsende, der bor på
hostels. Vi omdanner wifi’et på hostels til en kommunikationskanal,
så hostellet kan få information om events og lign. ud til deres
gæster, og gæsterne kan chatte sammen og aftale at mødes.
Gæsterne kan også downloade vores app, hvor de kan se anbefalinger
fra de ansatte på hostellet samt en oversigt over,
hvem der bor på hostellet.
Comundu er i dag tilgængeligt på 20 hostels i seks europæiske byer.

For mere information om Comundu - klik her Comundu

Comundu APP

Comundu APP

 

..til hverdag

Det er to år siden. I dag sidder jeg med min bror, som også blev min partner, på vores kontor på Islands Brygge i København. Med seks ansatte, investeringer fra flere offentlige fonde – bl.a. Fonden For Entreprenørskab – samt en bestyrelse med to private investorer, synes studielivet meget meget langt væk. Jeg valgte at starte virksomhed i stedet for at læse en kandidat i statskundskab. Den viden og erfaring jeg har gjort mig de sidste to år, kan ikke sammenlignes med noget studie. Men livet på farten med rygsæk synes også langt væk. Det er ikke blevet til nogen længere rejser de sidste to år. Jeg har haft en enkelt tur udenfor Europa til Ethiopien i ni dage, men det er svært at være rigtigt afsted. Når man har egen virksomhed, er det som at have en lille baby, man ikke kan give slip på. Man kan ikke på samme måde holde fri, som når man har et lønmodtagerjob. Man kan ikke bare slukke computeren kl. 17 og så tage hjem og leve sit eget liv. Dit arbejde er dit liv. Man tager arbejdet med hjem (og med på rejsen). For hvad nu hvis der skete noget vigtigt – godt som dårligt – mens man var væk?

 

Derfor er iværksætterlivet ikke lig med frihed, som mange tror. Idéen om, at man kan arbejde hvornår og hvorfra, man vil, bestemme sin egen løn og være sin egen chef, den holder ikke. Ikke når virksomheden bliver større end dig selv, og der er andre, der regner med dig.

 

At Rejse Er At… Arbejde

Der er selvfølgelig også gode ting ved at gøre sin passion til sit arbejde. Jeg har aldrig fløjet så meget, som jeg har gjort det sidste år. Jeg har i gennemsnit besøgt to europæiske byer om måneden. Spist tapas i Barcelona den ene uge, drukket Guinness i Dublin den næste, og nydt udsigten fra Karlsbroen i Prag måneden efter. Og det var jo netop min drøm – at se verden gennem mit arbejde! Min pointe er blot, at man skal gøre sig bevidst om, at de mennesker, man er så fascineret af og passioneret omkring, pludselig bliver til kunder og brugere, som du skal lave en forretning på.

 

 

English version

When your passion becomes your work

“You have to be passionate about what you create in your company” It’s a doctrine that comes up time and again when talking about entrepreneurship. I started the company Comundu based on my great passion for traveling – but is it always a good idea to turn your passion into a business? In the following, I’ll explore the experiences I’ve had in the last two years as a passionate entrepreneur.

 

Anyone can start a business!

Forget the idea that it requires a degree from CBS, years of work experience and a big bag of money to start a business. I jumped straight from being an undergraduate at university (with a student loan and all) into life as an entrepreneur. For the first six months I did some freelance work on the side to pay the rent until we got investment, and then I went full time.

I can’t say my BA in Political Science prepared me for life as a self employed. I knew absolutely nothing about how to make a business plan, create marketing strategies or what a-b testing was when I first started Comundu. But I do now. You learn it as you go – you definitely do not need to be an entrepreneur expert from the start.

 

From Passion ..

Comundu started with roots in my greatest passion, travelling. I love to experience the world and meet new people and learn about foreign cultures. I went on my first backpacking trip after high school – six months doing volunteer work in South America with a friend. During the trip we learned Spanish, visited five countries, and met lots of cool fellow travellers whilst staying at hostels.

After that, I bought a new travel ticket every time the numbers in my account would allow. From Jordan to South Africa to Bosnia to Cambodia, I’ve visited over 60 countries with my backpack and I’m planning to visit a lot more. And it was that dream, the dream of being able to combine my passion for traveling while working at the same time, that made me start Comundu. I am not the type who “always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur”, but when I got a good idea at a hostel in Istanbul, I took the plunge.

 


What is Comundu?
Comundu makes software for hostels and its guests.
We turn the wifi in hostels into a communication channel that
the hostel uses to get information about events and offers out to
their guests, and the guests use to chat to each other and arrange
meetups. Guests can also download our app, where they can see
recommendations from the staff at the hostel and an overview of
who else is checked in. Comundo is now available in 20 hostels in
six European cities.

For more information go to Comundu

 

Comundu APP

Comundu APP

 

..To Everyday Life

Now it’s two years later. Today I’m sitting with my brother, who is also my partner, at our office on Islands Brygge in Copenhagen. With six employees, and investments from several public funds – including Young Enterprise – as well as two private investors, my life as a student seems very far away.

 

I chose to start a business instead of doing a master in Political Science, but the knowledge and experience I have acquired in the past two years cannot be compared to any study. However, life on the road with my backpack also seems far away. I haven’t taken any longer trips in the past two years. I have had a single trip outside Europe to Ethiopia for nine days, but it’s hard to be away for real. When you have your own business, it’s like having a baby – you can’t let go. Work and freetime isn’t so cleanly divided as when you have a salaried position. You can’t just turn off your computer at 5pm and go home and live your own life. Your work is your life. You take your job home (and with you in the backpack). Because what if something happened while you’re away -good or bad?

 

Therefore, the entrepreneurial life doesn’t necessarily equal freedom, as many believe. The idea that you can work when and where you want, determine your own pay and be your own boss is a misconception, especially when the company becomes greater than yourself, and there are others who count on you.

 

To Travel Is To … Work

Of course there are also good things about turning your passion into your work. I’ve never been on as many flights as I have the past year. I’ve visited, on average, two European cities a month. I’m eating tapas in Barcelona one week, drinking Guinness in Dublin the next, and enjoying the view from the Charles Bridge in Prague the following month. And that was and still is my dream – to see the world through my work! My point is simply that you have to be aware that the people you are so fascinated and passionate about suddenly become customers that you need for your business.

 

 

Gæsteblogger: Fulham Enterprise Studio

Vesterdal Efterskole fik besøg af en klasse fra Fulham Enterprise Studio i November. To af de engelske elever, Omar og Leandro, deler her deres oplevelser i Danmark og tegner et fængslende protræt af Vesterdal Efterskole, Danish Entrepreneurship Award og læring.

– English version below the danish

 

Omars oplevelser:

Begyndelsen

Turen startede med, at vi tog med en minibus til Gatwick Lufthavn, hvor vi havde lidt tid til frokost og til at kigge i butikkerne. Jeg nød turen og det tog kun to timer! Da vi kom til Danmark tog vi et tog til byen, hvor skolen ligger, og da vi steg af toget ventede PROklassen fra Vesterdal Efterskole på os. Jeg synes, det var en rigtig rar velkomst. Vi tog skolebussen til skolen og fik tildelt vores soveværelser for resten af ugen.

Vores første hele dag gik med at lære de andre elever at kende og øve os på at pitche. Det skulle vi gøre selvstændigt i grupperne, og det var udfordrende sammen at finde ud af, hvad vi skulle sige på de fire minutter, vi havde til rådighed. Om eftermiddagen gik vi en tur langs kysten, hvilket var et af mine yndlingsøjeblikke på hele turen. Det var rart at gå langs havet og langs markerne.

Onsdag var vi alle sammen meget nervøse, for vi skulle øve os i at pitche til dommere. Vores præsentation gik rigtig godt, men vi var ikke forberedt på spørgsmålene. Til sidst gav dommerne (lærerne fra Vesterdal Efterskole) os rigtig god feedback, og vi forbedrede vores pitch. Om eftermiddagen pitchede vi igen, men det var sværere denne gang. Vi besvarede dog spørgsmålene meget bedre. Det var en god mulighed for os at lære de ting, der skal til for at få en god pitch og hvordan vi skal arbejde sammen med de andre medlemmer i gruppen.

Den Store Dag

Den store dag kom, og vi tog til Danish Entrepreneurship Award. Det var ikke som jeg havde regnet med, for der var så mange mennesker. Der var meget musik og en rigtig god stemning. For første gang oplevede jeg, hvordan det er når der tales meget dansk omkring mig, for lærerne og elverne fra Vesterdal Efterskole talte altid engelsk til os. Vores pitch gik godt, og vi var færdige indenfor de fire minutter, vi havde til rådighed. Det var vi rigtig tilfredse med. Efter vi havde pitchet spurgte dommeren os, hvordan vores idé kunne virke. Vi tror, al vores øvelse på Vesterdal Efterskole hjalp os med at gøre det godt, for lærerne havde lært os meget om, hvordan man pitcher godt.

Efter Awarden skulle vi sige farvel til elverne fra Vesterdal Efterskole. Det var vi rigtig kede af, for de havde fået os til at føle os rigtig velkomne. Da vi sagde farvel gik det op for mig, hvor meget jeg egentlig havde lært af ikke at være hjemme og at bo sammen med andre elever. Jeg ville ønske, vi havde haft mere tid! Vi tog til København og boede på et hostel. Det var hyggeligt, for der var et poolbord og det var et afslappet sted at være. Efter at have fundet os til rette gik vi nedenunder for at få aftensmad, og så gik vi en tur langs den gamle havn, hvor vi så de gamle huse og både. Jeg ville gerne have været i København lidt længere for at se byen i dagslys.

Det, jeg bedst kunne lide ved turen, var atmosfæren på Vesterdal Efterskole og eleverne. De var rigtig imødekommende og søde ved mig.

Gruppebillede af eleverne og deres lærer fra Fulham Enterprise Studio – Danish Entrepreneurship Award 2015

 

CREATE

På Fuham Enterprise Studio bruger vi CREATE-rammen for at vise, hvilke evner vi har brugt. På denne tur har jeg brugt de fleste af evnerne i rammen.

Kommunikation:

  • Arbejde sammen med de andre elever, tale med mennesker fra et andet land, der taler et andet sprog.
  • Pitche og huske, hvem mit publikum er.

Følelsesmæssig Intelligens:

  • Følge reglerne på Vesterdal Efterskole. De var meget anderledes end dem på Fulham, og jeg skulle tænke over, hvordan jeg passede ind i den her nye situation.

Gåpåmod:

  • Planlægge pitchen med min gruppe og præsentere den til en dommer på Danish Entrepreneurship Award. Vores idé var noget helt nyt, så vi blev nødt til at vise, hvordan det ville virke.

Anvendelse:

  • Respektere skolens område og fællesskab. Jeg lærte meget om dansk kultur og fik en masse information, da vi havde en dansk besøgende på skolen, som lærte os en masse.

Tænkning:

  • Undersøge emnet, så jeg fik information, der kunne hjælpe mig med min pitch. Vi fokuserede på en ny service for hjemløse, der skulle hjælpe dem med at udvikle iværksætterevner.

Selvom ingen af grupperne fra hverken Fulham Enterprise Studio eller Vesterdal Efterskole kom videre til anden runde vil jeg helt sikkert sige, at jeg udviklede mine entreprenørskabsevner, for jeg fik erfaring med, hvordan det er at pitche til en dommer og få feedback bagefter. Hvis jeg skulle beskrive hele oplevelsen med et ord skulle det være “FANTASTISK!!”

 

Leandros oplevelser:

Danmark

Vesterdal Efterskole i Danmark var fed. Den havde små huse og havde et rigtig fedt sportsrum med træningslokaler og biograf. Lærerne stolede virkelig meget på eleverne, hvilket var vildt. Eleverne kunne træffe deres egne valg og kunne lave deres egne regler. Husene var blandede, så der var mange forskellige mennesker, hvilket betød at omgivelserne altid ændrede sig. Måltiderne var rigtig gode og smagte godt. Der var seks måltider om dagen, og de var alle sammen sunde. Jeg kunne godt lide, at alle har et tidspunkt, hvor de skal være i husene, så der er stille og roligt fra klokken 22. Vi gik en tur rundt kysten på øen, hvilket var pragtfuldt. Det var så sjovt, og jeg så så mange ting, som jeg normalt ikke ser i London. Der var bakker, træer, hav, strande og vi havde det rigtig sjovt.

Hvad lærte jeg

Den CREATE-evne jeg brugte mest gennem min uge i Danmark var Kommunikation. Jeg skulle kommunikere med de danske studerende for at introducere mig selv og arbejde i grupper. Vi skulle lære at pitche og vi skulle arbejde sammen for at være helt sikre på, hvad vi skulle sige. Jeg skulle også ‘relatere til andre’ mens jeg talte med de danske elever. Jeg skulle introducere mig selv og fortælle om Fulham Entreprise Studio – min skole i England.

Da vi arbejdede på vores projekt syntes vi det var svært at arbejde sammen som gruppe. Da vi endelig besluttede os for en idé begyndte vi at sætte spørgsmålstegn ved idéen, hvilket fik os væk fra den igen. Det var svært at holde os til den originale idé. Så stoppede vi, tog en pause, kom tilbage på sporet og fik lavet en fantastisk fireminutters pitch.

Jeg havde en fantastisk oplevelse i Danmark. Jeg havde det så sjovt og vil gerne sige tak til alle, der gav mig mulighed for at tage på den her tur. Jeg vil virkelig gerne afsted igen hvis jeg kan.

 

CREATE-rammen består af de seks elementer: kommunikation, relatere til andre, gåpåmod, anvendelse, tænkning og følelsesmæssig intelligens.

CREATE består af de seks elementer: kommunikation, relatere til andre, gåpåmod, anvendelse, tænkning og følelsesmæssig intelligens

 

Tak til Omar og Leandro for at skrive et blogindlæg om deres oplevelser og et specielt tak til Vesterdal skolen for deres entreprenørskabsengagement – blogredaktøren.

 

 

English version

Vesterdal school was visited by students from Fulham Enterprise Studio in November. Two students agreed to share their experiences in Denmark and draw a compelling picture of Vesterdal school, Danish Entrepreneurship Award and learning.

 

Omars experience

The Beginning

The trip started by travelling in the school minibus to Gatwick Airport, where we had free time to have lunch and look round in the shops. I enjoyed the flight and it only took two hours! Once we got to Denmark we caught a train to the town the school was in. The PRO class from Vesterdal school was waiting for us at the station. I thought that was a really nice welcome. We then caught the school bus to the school and were assigned with our bedrooms for the week.

Our first full day was all about pitch practice and getting to know the other students. We had to do this independently and we did find it challenging as a group to decide what we needed to say in the 4 minute time limit.  In the afternoon we went on a hike to the coast, which was one of my favourite parts of the trip. It was really nice to walk by the sea and in the countryside.

Wednesday was really nerve wracking as we had practice giving our pitch to the judges. Our presentation went really well but we weren’t prepared for the questions. At the end, the judges (teachers from Vesterdal) gave us some really good feedback and we had to go and improve on our pitch. In the afternoon, we gave our pitch again, but it was harder this time. We answered the questions much better though. It was a good opportunity for us to learn the skills needed for a good pitch and how we have to work together with the other members of our Group.

The Big Day

The big day arrived and we went to the Danish Entrepreneurship Award. It was not what I expected as there were so many people there. There was lots of music and a really good atmosphere. I had my first experience of hearing lots of Danish being spoken, as the staff and students at Vesterdal only spoke English with us. Our pitch to the judges went well, we finished in the four minutes that we had, we were really pleased about this. After our pitch the judge asked us lots of questions about how our idea could work. We thought all the practice we had at Vesterdal helped us to answer this. The teachers at Vesterdal taught us a lot about how to do a good pitch.

After the Danish Entrepreneurship Award, we had to say goodbye to the Vesterdal students. It was really sad because they had made us feel really welcome. Saying goodbye made me realise how much I had learnt from the experience of being away from home and living with other students. I wish we could have had more time! We travelled to Copenhagen and stayed at a hostel. It was nice because it had a pool table and was a relaxing place to be. After settling in we went downstairs to have dinner. Afterwards we went for a walk by the old port, we saw the old houses and boats. I wish we could have stayed longer in Copenhagen because I wanted to see it in the daytime.

Overall, the thing I enjoyed the most about the trip was, the atmosphere of the school and the students there. The students they were extremely inviting and nice to me.

191115-DEA-nem-088 - ham

Students from Fulham Enterprise Studio are pitching to the judges at Danish Entrepreneurship Award 2015

191115-DEA-nem-089 - hende

Students from Fulham Enterprise Studio

 

The Creative Framework

At Fulham Enterprise Studio we use the CREATE framework to show what skills we used. During this trip, I used most of the skills on the create framework.

Communication:

  • Interacting with the other students and starting up conversations with people from a different country who speak a different language.
  • Delivering my pitch by thinking about who my audience are.

Emotional intelligence:

  • Following the rules made by the students at Vesterdal. These were really different to our school and I had to think about how to fit in this new situation.

Enterprise:

  • Planning my pitch with my group and presenting it at the Danish Entrepreneurship Award in front of a judge. Our idea was something totally new, so we had to show how it would work.

Applied:

  • Respecting the school environment and community. I learnt a lot about Danish culture and information as we had a Danish visitor in our school who taught us a lot.

Thinking:

  • Researching information to help me with the pitch. We focused on a new service for homeless people to help them develop their enterprise skills.

Although none of the groups from either Fulham Enterprise Studio or Vesterdal went through to the next round, I would definitely say that I improved on my entrepreneurship skills as I was able to get experience on what it is like to pitch in front of a judge and receive feedback afterwards.

Finally if I had to summarise the whole experience in one word it would have to be “AMAZING!!”

 

Leandros experience

Denmark

In Denmark, Vesterdal school was awesome. It had little houses and it had a really nice sports room with a gym and a cinema. The trust the teachers had in the students was amazing. The students were free to make their own choices as well as creating their own rules. The houses were mixed so they had different people which meant that the environment was always changing. The meals they had were really nice and tasty. They had 6 meals a day and all meals were healthy. I liked the fact that everyone had a curfew to be in their houses by 10pm, as it will make the night peaceful and quiet. The hike we did on the coast of the island was wonderful. I had so much fun and I saw so many things that I normaly would not see in London. There were hills, trees, the sea, beaches and we had a lot of fun.

What did I learn

The most common CREATE skill I used during the week in Denmark was communication. I had to communicate with the Danish students to introduce myself and to work as a team. We had to learn how to pitch and we had to work as a team to perfect what we had to say. I also had to ‘relate to others’ while talking to the Danish students. I had to introduce myself and explain a little about Fulham Enterprise Studio, my school in England.

When working on our enterprise project, we found it hard to decide on an idea as a group. When we finally chose on one, we started questioning it, which led us off the idea. We were finding it difficult to stay focused on the original idea. We then stopped, calmed down and went back to produce an amazing 4-minute-long pitch.

At the end of the week, I had an amazing experience in Denmark. I had loads of fun and I would like to thank everyone who gave me the opportunity to go on this trip. I would really like to go again if there is a possibility.

 

 

Thanks to Omar and Leandro for sharing their story on YOUNGTREPRENEUR and a special thanks to Vesterdal School for their entrepreneurship commitment – the blog editor.