We’re competitive players in a world of poker – Part 2

Our guest blogger this week is Erik Paalsrud continuing the story of the first 100 days of CosyTech. You can read part 1 here.

We continue our story….

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Our next step was to apply for Inven2Start. A competition designed to evolve an idea into a product. The prize was 130 000 NOK in start capital. Application was done and sent only a sharp hour after our Web Summit confirmation. The “JFDI” spirit was born. Just Fucking Do It.
We got in touch with Dogetek, a startup in Trondheim who delivers web solutions. We asked if they were interested in coming along on our journey, to help us build a web platform which we needed to manage the NFC tags. Much cool.
Lucky for us, they were!

Only a few days later, we had a vague first physical prototype. It was the top cover of a small 2″ paper box powered by a NFC tag. There was an Ylvis theme on it. It’d bring forth their website, play Youtube videos, Spotify songs, automatically load their Facebook page so you could follow them if desired and so forth.

Days were spent effectively. Full-time. Many hours were drowned in the coffee shop where everything originated, Mesh. We talked to as many people as we could to validate our idea and our half-assed prototype. Interest was legit and before we knew it, we had 10 pilot businesses who wanted our product in their venues, and received recognition from Valyou and Microsoft.

After attending an event at 657 Oslo, we met Physical – a group of skilled industrial designers. They wanted to help us out with better physical prototypes.
Websites came up, Facebook and Twitter handles were created. New team members joined the ship from NTNU, Westerdals and BI. We started to share our enthusiasm, but we also became more distant with our newfound friends at school. We no longer had the chance to attend the classes either. Dedication comes with a price, we found. In return, SPARK NTNU rewarded us as well with cash for our research.

Interview with Inven2 took place – and before we knew it, we were on stage receiving the 130,000 capital we sorely needed. Things weren’t stopping. So many meetings. So many late night workshops. Taking extra jobs and winging exams to keep up with the cash flow we needed to survive. We also met with StartupLab, who decided to house us with office space for the time being. It’s a place easy to fall in love with and it resulted in even longer hours. They were open 24/7 after all.

The cash was merely a tool to build the ship that would become CosyTech, but the real value was in the disruptive enthusiasm we shared.

Eventually our nicely developed prototypes arrived and we chipped them up with our NFC tags which contained some interesting content, ready for Dublin.

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First week of November, we finally travelled to Dublin to attend Web Summit – among the world’s biggest tech conferences with 22 000 attendees and more than 1500 other startups. A month prior to the event, we got engaged in a competition which they held – “World’s Hardest Working Startup 2014″. It’s not like we expected to win or anything, but we went at it like we still had a pretty good chance. Perhaps I’m not entirely honest. We did expect to win and we gave it everything we had.

We landed in Dublin a monday morning. Got familiar with the place we stayed at before meeting up with some friends we met earlier at StartupLab for dinner and drinks Guinness. Guinness wow. It got late. Really late. Actually, it wasn’t late at all – we just started really early. Patrick Paddy Griffith had sent us an email while we were out consuming this immensely dark and brutal pride of Dublin.

It seems..

We had won the title of “World’s Hardest Working Startup 2014“.

Damn.

So many thoughts were going through our heads. Luck as a macro-factor has a much bigger influence on one’s success than anyone would really like to admit, we thought. But truth is that anyone can play a round of poker and win – but to keep climbing the ladder and keep winning, you need a lot more than luck. The contest wasn’t based purely on success – it was about grit and passion as well! We never lacked ambition nor vision. Not in our perception at least. In our eyes (and Bono’s eyes), we were Rockstars! I can’t speak of other people’s perception, though. I’m sure we’re nutcases in the eyes of most people.

At home, we were being recognized. The word about our efforts started to spread. Perhaps not significantly, but we appreciated it by far, and it most certainly fueled our motivation even more.

Our tenure at Web Summit was nothing but amazing. We spoke to many interesting people, witnessed so much cutting-edge technology and aspiring talents who have dedicated lifetimes of work into amazing things. We got seriously bit by the startup-fever. This is where we belong, we thought.

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Only a few days ago, we got invited to Collision 2015, a conference setup by the team behind Web Summit – in Las Vegas. People such as Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Tony Hawk, etc attend these events. It’s a huge arena for startups to share the floor with the big acts – and Collision is only looking for the most dedicated startups across the world to attend.

“A grand conclave of the tech industry’s high priests” – New York Times

We’re going. We’re fucking going

CosyTech consists of radically dedicated people whom are equally passionate about what we do. We even got our own R&D who create spectacular things we’re looking forward to show you. Things that bring new visions and new potential for both NFC and BLE technology.

This is our first chapter – our first 100 days – and our morale of this story is simple:

Never fold.