Nothing to wait for anymore. The mouth is dry from practising the pitch and the Ajujaht jury is waiting! Our heroes are confident as always, but is there a reason for that? We will find out right now!
Markus: “Pitching for Ajujaht was finally here! We were the first performers on the first day. Let’s set the bar high, right!? It was a shame that all of the stuff was taking place in Zoom. It’s just not quire right that way. However, it is much safer. In an emergency, you would have to run away when on the spot. You might not even find the exit due to the confusion or you could trip on the camera tripod. In Zoom, you can just stop moving and write in the chat “help, I think my computer froze !?”.”
About the day of the pitch.
“I slept okay, woke up early. I revised the pitch a bit, but not so much that my head would get tangled. Everything seemed perfect. Since I had just finished moving in the day before, there was nothing to eat at home and I had to go to the café to eat. I had, or well, since there was such a minimalist menu I had to take, some kind of chicken sandwich. It was quite a big one, too much mayonnaise, but I still ate it all. Being polite is important. I wiped the crumbles out from the corner of my mouth and started walking to university, where we had to be together with the team during the pitch. I parked my car behind the school using a competitor’s app (more painful than you think) and started conquering the stairs of EBS. Remember that chicken sandwich and that there was too much mayonnaise? It turns out that courtesy is not only important but also can be bad at times. This monster of a sandwich started circulating in my stomach and caused nausea. I drank water and breathed fresh air. I practiced the text a few more times in front of the others as well and then we waited for our time. We had arrived with time to spare and the longer we waited the more tense it became. And the more tense it got, the faster the sandwich started to rock inside me. Here’s a pretty primitive, but important suggestion – don’t eat any nonsense before performing! I was already afraid that when I would finally start pitching, I would throw up this nonsense. In advance I can say that I did not do that. I just had to keep the window open to get some fresh air all the time. The other three put on their jackets and had to deal with my strange desire to play ice age.
We all waited tensely for us to be let in the Zoom conference. A few minutes later, a long table full of various „aunts and uncles“ jumped into the picture. The quality was so bad that I couldn’t identify anyone. I imagine I was in front of them all, with my face on an embarrassingly large screen. Just like when you have stayed home during the hybrid studies and the teacher says that you will only receive a grade if you take part in the lesson with video and audio. What a nightmare.
I said calmly “Hello!” and I tried to be very calm yet confident. I then told them the Parkngo story (which went exactly as I practiced!) and then came the questions. A few questions were understandable. But then came the big one! I can say as much that this question was about money but that was all I understood. I peeked at my teammates for help – and it felt as if I was looking in the mirror. I made something up then and finally I realized how bad it was … And then I just said out of nowhere “200!” with great confidence. I was also surprised myself as to where it came from. But well, if 200 then let it be 200. We were thanked and thrown out of Zoom. For a moment, it felt like “is that it?”. Everything went by very fast and I wasn’t really happy with this 200 at all. But everyone else confirmed that everything was fine and I had no other choice but to think, “what’s done, is done!”.
Then started the waiting again. I purposefully dealt with other things, and I didn’t really want to even worry about what might come as a response. I had given my best anyway. Fortunately, there were only two days between the pitch and the announcement of the results. So there wasn’t any anticipation for too long. In the meantime, I heard funny stories about things that occured to my other classmates who had also been invited to pitch in front of the camera. Some had their thoughts tangled, had forgotten something or said completely improbable things. I got to laugh and smile at the fact that I escaped without any minor issues myself.
I will now say it as quickly as we found out about it. We didn’t move on to the next stage. No one from our course did. But still… WE couldn’t get further. It felt weird for a while. I bought a packet of tomato chips, ate them under the blanket and realized that I couldn’t care less about it. Everyone gets a “no” at one point and that’s kind of cool as well. At least we tried. Rather, I felt the need to prove myself. The need to show who we are and what we can do. I also sent an email to Ajujaht, asking them to point out the weak points of our idea. You can fail, but afterwards you need to learn from it! ”
Ajujaht results were announced but what next? Getting into the TOP100 of Ajujaht proved that our idea has potential, so obviously we will move on swiftly. In fact, we also had a secondary plan in case we weren’t happy with the result of Ajujaht – Prototron. It is similar to a business idea competition such as Ajujaht, and supports innovative start-ups by helping them to create a prototype. This good opportunity cannot be missed, so we decided to take part! We will talk about Prototron in more detail in the next post. A little more about the work we had done before talking about Prototron.
And again – meetings, meetings, meetings
Loreta: “As time went on, all the problems and the solutions became more concrete and real. The initial discussions were done and then we seemed to be back in the beginning. We had discussed everything in general to get a brief overview. We briefly went over the problems, the branding, the financial side, we looked at the competitors and more. This list could actually go on and on. But then we started discussing it all again, and this time there was no time for any mixed thoughts or plans. We needed concrete steps, concrete arguments, concrete proposals. More times thoroughly than we had done so far. We had reached a phase where the company was dismantled for the first time and we then understood what and how we were going to deal with. We realized that now we have to rethink everything from the very beginning but IN DETAIL.
For faster development and more productive work, we decided that not everyone should start doing everything. We divided ourselves between areas of expertise based on interests and strengths. However, the division into areas of expertise was not carved in stone, it is always possible to rearrange things. At first, it seemed that such an approach could be more effective, and with this step, the division of labor between team members was much clearer to everyone. It was clear who was responsible for which area. Of course, the team work also continued, more independent work was simply added.
With the tasks divided, now we have to start dealing with them. Initially, we made it a priority to conduct a proper market research that would give us a thorough knowledge of the market and the customers who would use our platform. We decided to conduct a questionnaire, in which we study people’s parking habits and readiness to rent out their parking spaces.
But now I would like to give one example to show why one should always keep one’s eyes open to notice the signs that life gives us. One morning, when reading Äripäev, there was an article published about how to rent out parking spaces and garages, which felt as if it was published to support our idea. Really a very informative and useful article, which included current problems and their possible solutions in terms of renting parking spaces and garages. In addition, there were pointed out different fields that have the potential for future growth. The problems highlighted in the article clearly showed the necessity of our idea and the great potential it has for making the field of the rental field more innovative. So, in short, the moral of the story is to keep your eyes open, to notice what is going on around you and to take different „signs“ as indicators for determining your direction! ”
As you can see, the parking topic is not very sexy for the Ajujaht jury. But does Prototron give Parkngo a chance? Stay tuned!