The long-awaited competition has ended and the results are in. How did it go, what are the emotions and what did they learn from it? Let’s find out now!
Markus: “Okay. I don’t know where to even start from. The competition is over, so I guess let’s start from the beginning.
Before the competition, we had to present a one-pager to the jury. We’ll just show it to you and you can decide for yourself if it’s good or not. I wasn’t 100% confident in our one-pager, but I believed that our strong presentation would carry the slightly lacking one-pager onward. Because the presentation – oh boy…
We worked really hard on our presentation. We crafted and went through every last word and pretty much practised reading it out loud every day for a week. I was still quite demanding. For a moment, I even felt like I was overdoing the emphasising of each sentence, constantly repeating the importance of diction, and almost forcing Loreta and Gustav to be “even more enthusiastic! even more dazzling! even more driven and eager! ” On the day of the competition, the work we had put in was showing its fruits. We were confident, did not stumble or stutter. I was super happy with the team!
My gut instinct indicated that our idea is a bit more viable, better and stronger specimen in the herd of the competition. Which is not surprising – I believe we were one of the companies, who put in the most work. However, there were still two or three strong competitors that I observed. More specifically, there was one company that had a very strong idea in my eyes, and seeing their one-pager made me even a bit baffled. But still… our goal was to do our best. After the presentation, the jury asked questions, which I had to answer alone as the representative of our team. It was a bit silly that others were given a question and time to think of the answer. However, as I was left to the end and due to the lack of time, I was given questions without any time to think as if I had been involved in a scandal of some journalistic value. I answered everything, but as usual, I was still not 110% satisfied with myself. There’s always a possibility for improvement.
When our part was over, it felt really nice. I opened a pack of tomato chips (as I always do after competitions) and enjoyed the rest of the spectacle. After the presentations, the jury made its decision and then *cue fanfare*… announced the winners. And guess what? We didn’t win. We didn’t even get into the top three. And as it turned out later, the jury didn’t even consider our idea. And what else? None of the ideas I considered as strong competitors won. They didn’t get in the top three either. And as it also turned out later, the jury didn’t even consider them either. And I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed and I still am a little even now. Not because we did not win, but in this competition in general. We had contributed a lot to our preparation and we didn’t even get any practical feedback from the jury. For example, in the Q&A section of the presentation, one member of the jury simply said “You know, I’ve been an owner of a car for 8 years now and I don’t have any problems with parking!”. Indeed, this is a very good question! Thank you for that! This is how life works and there is really nothing bad about it either. It’s just nice to whine and complain sometimes.
It’s okay that everyone has their own opinion and that was just the decision of this particular jury. And I have my opinion too. And it doesn’t matter which one stays on top and which one doesn’t. They are just different.
After the competition, I called the team again and we decided to be “okay” with what had happened. It was a bit of a strange atmosphere. I spent the rest of the evening with two other classmates thinking about what it is that we are doing, up to why do any business at all. We looked at the stars and then I decided to just move on with my life. ”
Loreta: “To balance out Markus’ melancholy, I will still say that we are very happy for the winner. The idea that won solves the increasing problem of car thefts. This problem is real and it must be addressed. Thanks to fewer car thefts, the number of our future customers will also increase! Win-win situation. So congratulations to the winner and a high flight for the future!
In the end, it’s just a competition. There can always be only one winner, but it’s many times more important to enjoy the experience, the process and the whole (virtual) fun of the competition. In fact, judging such a competition can be quite difficult, and the jury gives points to the companies subjectively. The composition of each jury is different and each member of the jury is different, so all opinions are different. Had there been another jury, there would have probably been different results. But all this can only be assumed. For all the students, this is simply an additional opportunity to receive either financial support for further development or any other kind of support. For example, through the fact that the preparation period for the competition may re-energize the work and activities of restarting a slightly forgotten business idea.
Thanks to this competition we got a good amount of practical benefits. First, through thinking, fine-tuning, and constantly analyzing the one-pager, we got a good foundation for future one-pagers. For example, when it is necessary to create a separate one-pager for a potential investor, or if we present our idea to a jury in any other competition again. In principle, we now have a one-pager that has been refined thoroughly, nevertheless, new ideas for even more exciting one-pagers are coming in hot. On the other hand, we also have the part of pitching and presenting. These skills made a huge leap for us in terms of development as well. At first, I thought that a horrible stage-fright and nervousness would come up when presenting in this competition, but as it turned out, it wasn’t bad at all. I was still a little bit nervous (which everyone should always be before presenting), but the previous joint exercises with the team reassured me that everything has been rehearsed and the presentation will go great. So yes, practise DOES make perfect.
The long disputes, well-analyzed and considered choices in terms of both text and design of the presentation were not in vain. We set a great goal that our presentation would not have endless lines of text that the viewers would not be able to read anyway because we would keep on interfering with our talking. We put only the most important keywords in the presentation and said all the other important details in an enthusiastic tone ourselves. We based our presentation on the knowledge we have that presentations work many times better when we say the ideas and the goals ourselves, energetically and with a sparkle in our eyes. The presentation itself turned out completely as we wanted it to, which is the face of Rent & Go. The line, which we have followed when drawing the prototype of the app, when creating the landing page as well as the one-pager and presentation, is pleasantly uniform and makes our theme a whole. You can immediately understand when looking at any of them that “Yes, this is Rent & Go, the leader of the future of parking!”
Markus: “We took a week for ourselves after the competition. To digest the results and to rest. But we won’t be resting for long. Now the goal is to understand if our idea actually works in the form it currently exists in. We have looked up contacts of Tallinn city planners and the Association of Apartment Cooperatives, and we are also trying to cooperate with those to whom our platform is aimed at – cooperatives. We have already signed up for our next challenge – a smart city-themed hackathon. We have set plans for the next year in place and now we have to keep moving! ”