The annual startup course organized by STING and sponsored by EIT Digital is a successful concept and attracts driven entrepreneurs who want to test their business models. In only six weeks a dozen carefully selected teams take part in a series of workshops to understand how to build a business and test their pitches on the entire group and in the end to an expert jury.
New name, more teams, more women and great business ideas!
This year the course was renamed Test Drive Digital as a part of a series of business validation courses run by STING. Based on the Business Model Canvas the course combines theory with practical experiences and coaching from experts and advice from serial entrepreneurs. For the first time the course was almost gender balanced with a high increase of female entrepreneurs.
Fourteen teams made it all the way to the final pitch session
During the six weeks the participants become like a family of startups and are encouraged to stay in touch by STING business developer Raoul Stubbe who runs the Test Drive Digital. The course ends with a pitch session for an expert jury and awards ceremony over a networking dinner. A few years ago the winner of the 10 000 SEK check was Swedish startup Gleechi – since then awarded Swedish Startup of the Year and Idea Challenge winner 2015 in the category Cyber-Physical Systems.
The Winner of Test Drive Digital 2015 is Mobilize
WERK and Blue Call were the two runner-ups beaten by Mobilize who had both a strong presentation and business model. Mobilize is a social business that uses mobile tech to provide economies of scale to small business owners in Africa. The bulk-buying and delivery platform aggregates orders from independent traders to unlock bulk discount rates with local farmers, and then co-ordinates the delivery through local vehicle owners (Uber style). By leveraging the under-utilised resources within the community, Mobilize supports the growth of small businesses - stimulating local economies.
What are the business challenges and the next steps?
It is now time to validate the hypothesis! We are exploring three test countries; Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. The next steps are to run some small experiments, conduct research and build strategic relationships in the test markets. The Test Drive Digital encouraged us to interrogate our business model and succinctly articulate our offering, said the very happy winner Fiona Goldrick, founder of Mobilize.