Students show creativity when shedding light in the darkness of Covid-19

The last month has drastically changed the conditions of living for billions of people around the globe. For many, it has fundamentally changed the conditions for being human. The pandemic has cast its shadow over our lives as death tolls are reported minute by minute. Still, we press on to make things work. People work from home, online teaching has been put into place and grandparents chat on Skype. The concept of “social distancing” has become a new word in our vocabulary – for better and for worse.

When JIBS for the ninth time were to kick of the yearly entrepreneurial challenge among students, they were faced with the fact that social distancing and online teaching, opened up a new opportunity – to go digital. At the same time, they wanted to give the students a real life and business challenge, in the new landscape of working. So, asked to build upon the current but still incomplete knowledge around Covid-19 the students were asked to present a business idea based on the emerging entrepreneurial opportunities that can bring light in shadow of Covid-19.

This year’s competition has been fully in line with the spirit and intentions of Aktiestinsen. The students have shown both creativity and innovativeness in providing solutions to the huge challenge that we all face together. Another important criterion is that the students have been able to present their solutions with sustainable business models.“ says Sven Rydell, Board member of the foundation of Aktiestinsen.

The teams, consisting of at least one student from JTH and JIBS each, as the challenge has been developed to foster cross disciplinary thinking and teamwork among the schools, had 48 hours to work on a solution to the challenge and prepare a 7-minute filmed presentation. As the challenge is about entrepreneurship the students were to pursue new and innovative business ideas, involving concrete value propositions, obtaining resources and making things happen. This means coming up with developed business ideas for new services or products.

Winners awarded 120 000 SEK in total

The teams were to send in a film to the jury, where they pitch their solution in a creative way adapting the new medium. The pitch was presented to a jury with representatives from JIBS, Science Park, and the board of Aktiestinsen, who also is the donator of this competition to create creativity and entrepreneurship among young students. During their creative process and work, the students were coached by Science Park in order to develop a business plan and pitch that solves a real customer need, a clear approach, shows benefits and addresses competition. The winning team is awarded 60 000 SEK, the first runner up 40 000 SEK and the second runner up 20 000 SEK. On top of that, Science Park awarded the best Pitch with 10 000 SEK.

This year fifteen teams competed to win the honour of spreading light over Covid-19. Many creative, innovative, solidary, fun and technical solutions were presented. The competition was tough, but with the following motivation, team “Unifi” won the first price:

“An immediate and simple solution to bring relief by combining community building with the power of solidarity and the gig economy.”

Their app brings the people in need of help together with the people that want to help in an easy way. The team consisted of Julia Blomberg and John Synnes from JIBS and Vivien Ge and Raghunandan Bangalore Rajanna from JTH.

The second price went to team “Smart Hero” who built an app for making people staying at home to a fun competition. The jury said:

“An idea that takes aim at making the current situation brighter by introducing an element of fun to isolation through gamification – all while supporting your local businesses.”

The team consisted of two students from JIBS Rein te Winkel and Arne Ibo Stein and Jasper van der Ster from JTH.

The third price went to team ”Shop local” that presented an easy online way of supporting local business.

”This shows an effort to mitigate the crisis of local shopping through a coordinated effort to bring a whole business community online says the jury”.

This team was also created by two students from JIBS Katharina Müller and Anton Karlsson, and Charles Aubert from JTH.

Team “Smart Hero” also won the price for best pitch. The jury’s motivation was

 ”Smart Hero’s pitch covered the majority of the important aspects in a pitch, which made their idea easy to understand and embrace. The pitch was also delivered in a fun and engaging way, where the video-format was used to its full advantage. The customer experience of the product was hands-one demonstrated in a way that made the viewer curious and motivated to try their product. The jury was impressed by the quality of the video-pitch being produced in such a short time by team members working remotely from multiple locations.”

– The students have shown amazing entrepreneurial spirit and dedication. This year’s challenge was very different both in form and in the focus of the challenge. Both the organizers from JIBS and JSA Entrepreneurship Academy as well as the participating teams have been able to adapt to the rapidly changing situation. This has truly been a challenge in line with the JIBS guiding principle of being ‘responsible in action, says Jerker Moodysson.