Back in April, it was the team of Speakeasy to prevail against five competitors, and to win the MBS LaunchIT Pitching Competition 2018. Now, team Speakeasy travelled to Copenhagen to represent Munich Business School at the University Startup World Cup 2018 (USWC) event.
Below, Harrison Langenfeld, Nicolas Reineke, Luca Müller and Timothy Reischl share their experiences from their trip to Denmark.
Sunday, October 6 – 5 am
While Munich is still asleep (or on its way to the last Oktoberfest day), the Speakeasy team is about to fly to Copenhagen in order to take part in the University Startup World Cup 2018.
Speakeasy will spend one week in Denmark and compete against more than 70 startups from over 40 nations at the renowned startup event – and hopefully bring home the USD 30,000 prize money alongside gaining important experience, and making new contacts.
Monday/Tuesday, October 7/8
The first days of the USWC are clearly dedicated to networking. There are some lectures and workshops by and with sponsors, plenty of time to exchange ideas with the other teams, and of course to get in touch with sponsors. Each startup team is assigned a mentor to help them discuss their presentation, and to get some valuable tips from an external expert.
Wednesday, October 9 2018 – CRUNCH TIME!
After a long night of presentation rehearsals, discussions, and last minute changes, the presentation is finally ready to be presented to the international jury.
Despite of some difficulties at the beginning, the team can breathe a sigh of relief after a very successful presentation and following Q&A session. From now on, it is up to the jurors to evaluate the team’s idea and compare it with the other startups.
Back in the “Speakeasy Startup House”, a glass of gin is toasted before the final preparations for the next-day fair have to be made.
Thursday, October 10 – Startup Fair
For the visitors of the “Startup Fair”, which is part of the USWC event, and the “High-Tech Summit” taking place in the hall next door, the Speakeasy team is preparing a very special surprise. While the guests can gather some information about the latest technology at the other stands, Speakeasy offers its visitors a live gin tasting with gins from Munich, London, and Japan.
Throughout the day, the Speakeasy stand develops into a popular gathering place. Various gin creations are tried out, gin expertise is exchanged, and people philosophize about the various offers planned by Speakeasy.
There is one sentence you hear over and over again, “You really should come to Denmark with this!”
In short, the fair is a tremendous success for Speakeasy.
Friday, October 11 – Award Show
The day of decision takes place at the headquarters of MAERSK, the world’s largest container ship and supply vessel operator and one of the sponsors of USWC 2018. We are looking for six category winners, and one overall winner. After the successful fair the day before and the strong presentation, the Speakeasy team has justified hopes for a good placement, yet nobody dares to utter the word victory.
After some interesting presentations from other entrepreneurs, it is about time to choose the winner of the “Products & Design” category, in which Speakeasy is running for victory. The jury selects two “best teams” from all the startups participating in this category, which are Laava Tech and… Speakeasy!
Speakeasy is able to prevail over the competition from all over the world, only Laava Tech is one step ahead. The Estonian startup, based in the Silicon Valley and specialized in the reduction of electricity consumption and CO2 emissions in the agricultural sector, is voted the winner in the “Products & Design” category. Congratulations once again to Laava Tech, who not only win this category, but go on to also become the overall winner of the USWC 2018.
However, Speakeasy is not supposed to travel back to Munich empty-handed. Due to the great popularity amongst competitors, but also sponsors, organizers, and fair visitors, the organizers feel compelled to introduce a new award category. Thus, the award for the “most engaging stand” is presented to Speakeasy as a surprise during the Award Show. With it, the huge efforts of the team in the preparation for the event as well as during the whole week are appropriately appreciated.
Speakeasy can be very proud to have made it this far and, together with a UN sponsored startup, to take 1st and 2nd place respectively in the “Products & Design” category.
The entire Speakeasy team would like to take this opportunity to thank Munich Business School for their support. In particular, the team would like to emphasize Prof. Dr. Barbara Scheck and Prof. Dr. Todd Davey, who both provided great support for the team from the very beginning and also supported the team outside the university with advice, action, and a lot of commitment – thank you very much!
Also, a big thank you to all other supporters (Irene’s Garden Bar, Duke, Fever Tree, 71circles, Hendrick’s, etc.), who were a great help in many situations and always encouraged the team to keep working!
And don’t forget to BETTER SPEAKEASY…