Our guest blogger this week is Erik Paalsrud from CosyTech.
CosyTech. Who the **** is CosyTech? We’ve been through a rough and intense 3 months, and we’ve never really had the time to stop and look back – nor time to explain or tell what has happened to us. We’d like to use this opportunity to express some of our thoughts by telling the story of how we came to be, what we’ve been through and what we’ve felt.
We started CosyTech briefly 3 months ago. 105 days ago, to be exact. This is not my first attempt on a venture, nor will it be the last – that’s for sure.
CosyTech started out like many other ideas out there, in a coffee shop with a couple of people. We didn’t know each other and we had just started studying innovation at the Oslo School of Management (Markedshøyskolen). We had been encouraged to start thinking about business ideas we wanted to chase throughout the semester.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if we had wristbands which automatically sends friend requests on Facebook when they touch?”
– Aleksander Owren asked in a sarcastic manner.
We actually experienced an epiphany from this “stupid idea”.
The natural next step was to start dig up everything we could find on NFC technology, to see if it was a feasible tech to play around with for this particular idea. Before we knew it, we had discovered so much about NFC that our initial idea had evolved into something else. Infact, it had pivoted about 4 times in a week. Such lean. Adaption was fast and vigorous. Intensity and engagement was high. We adapted to the point where we no longer saw the markets we aspired to disrupt. It was new turf. Unclaimed land. What we had did not exist.
When we applied to attend Web Summit’s Alpha Program, we hadn’t really thought everything through. Don’t get me wrong! Our idea was legit, but we didn’t even have a proof of concept. No graphical reference, no developers, just a handful of cash – that was supposed to be spent covering our school’s semester fee. It was one of our “fuck it” moments. I mean, it only took us two minutes to apply.
A week had passed when we got our first reply. I remember it well, because I read the email 6 or 7 times. They had wiped out 80% of the applications and we were still standing. 8 out of 10 had folded. Web Summit was the big blind, and it was our turn. We called the bet and wanted to see where it got us. Another two weeks had passed, interview process was done and we were waiting for Web Summit to bet. One day, whilst in a dialogue whether we wanted to fold or not, an email came in.
“Many thanks for speaking with my team over the past few weeks, great to hear what you guys are doing at CosyTech. We’ve had a huge number of applications, and have spent a great deal of time selecting the companies to join ALPHA.
As you know, we can’t invite everyone.
However, I’m happy to say that it seems CosyTech are a good fit for ALPHA, the early stage track at Web Summit.”
The heart rocketed to the throat. Web Summit raised the bet so much we wouldn’t be able to call it. Was it an opportunity? Did we want to prove a better hand? Should we go all-in? We didn’t know any of the tricks. We were just students, right? We weren’t supposed to play in the big league. How could we ever hope to win without being able to match the bets on the table? At that point, there was another “fuck it” moment. We went all in. We put everything on the table. Semester cash, jobs, studies, social lives, everything – we threw it all on the table to match the bet. On that day, 16th of September 11:46AM – we decided to win. To make it.
Consequences had to be dealt with later.
To be continued…Part 2 will be published next week