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Rabu, 29 Maret 2017

Jacobs Startup Competition 2017: road to the Final Stage


This time I'd like to tell you about road Jacobs Startup Competition 2017 from the first application until the end of the finale. Since it'll be a long story, I decided to split it into two parts, and this part is more about the preparation and the application (and more of personal stories if you are interested).

In November 2016, someone posted about Jacobs Startup Competition on facebook group so I clicked it and read through the website. Jacobs Startup Competition is an annual business plan competition held by Jacobs University Bremen, Germany. I heard about the uni before since a friend of mine studied there back then in 2012. I found it interesting because eventhough it's a "startup" competition, you didn't have to have a "startup" to apply, you could submit your idea. So yeah, I tried to team up with some friends from Media Informatics and submit our idea.

Then a few days later (or let say 1 hour before the deadline), I also submitted application for Cakra, since it was an idea that already executed an running. So why not? I started "working" in Cakra back then in the beginning of September 2015 as public relation. If you haven't heard of it, Cakra is an affordable therapy application for children with autism. That's enough info about Cakra for now, for more info you can find on (a little advertisement :D)

The application wasn't complicated to begin with. As far as I remember, you just need to write the name of the team, the idea, and the team. After that I just continued my life.

Then I got an email that Cakra made it to the second round. I first thought that the other idea didn't made it to second round, but later on I also received an email that it also passed the first round. So much excitement in one day.

For the second round, each team has to submit an executive summary. This one was more complicated and need more time to work on. There were questions that each time had to fill, starting from the background, value proposition, marketing, customer segment until finance. Since it was a busy month and the time to fly back to Indonesia was coming nearer, I almost decided to give up. I mean, not submitting both of the executive summary. I talked with my friends from Media Informatics and they were also busy and said maybe we'll try next year.

But for Cakra, it was something different. Eventhough the rest of the team were in Indonesia, they helped me to fill the summary. To be honest I had a lot of stress back then because there were so much things to do in Indonesia (with the wedding preparation). But the Indonesian summary was finished one week before the deadline and you know when the deadline was? ON MY WEDDING DAY. So it was an adrenaline rush for me and I finished translating and submitting it, 6 hours before the wedding ceremony began. Actually, I almost forgot about this fact but a friend of mine who was on my small "bachelorette party" reminded me when I posted a few updates on Instastory. So yeah, some girls came into my room before my wedding day and what did I do? Sitting in front of the laptop and translating (well talking to them as well).

So life went on, I got married, I went back to Germany for exam prep, and on February I received an email that Cakra made it to the finale! I was sooooooooooo excited back then. I immediately contacted the team in Indonesia and they were excited as well and will support me. But due to the cost of the flight from Indonesia to Germany, they couldn't accompany me.

Another positive thing about JSC is if you got to the final stage, they will assign you mentors. For Cakra we got Nikolas and Max - founders of Tripcombi - to mentor us. They contacted me first and we had one skype session. It was great to hear another feedback.

To sum it up for now:

  1. The first round is to submit the idea and it's very simple.
  2. The second round is more complicated because now you have to do lots of research, but on the positive side you get to know more about your soon-to-be-startup (or your startup if you already have one)
  3. If you make it to the final round, they'll assign you mentor(s).

I encourage you to participate in this competition because basically you have nothing to lose.

So that was the story from the first phase to almost the final part. The next post will be about the final and why I was so impressed.

Thank you very much for reading my story!

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