Kuchi, entrepreneurship in Denmark
After finishing my Bachelor and launching Stik Design in Eindhoven I decided to take a master in Sonderborg, Denmark. My partner in the Netherlands (Dick van de Ven) however decided to stay in Eindhoven. He continued under our name (Stik Design) in Eindhoven where I used the opportunity to open a new Stik Design in Denmark. We decided to keep the same name to use the value of the brand we already created to both of our advantages. I started to work together with Robert Huitema a fellow master student at IT Product Design.
Our first concept was based on the Fruit Ninja project we did together at the SDU. That project caught our interest, not only the playful quality of the game we developed but especially because of the potential for a business model around the sharing of game results. We continued to pursue that goal by making a new game with social sharing features which we presented at the Sonderborg Ivaerksaetter Award Show (Entrepreneurship Award). This concept got us all the way to the semi-finals of the competition which awarded us with a free office place in the center of Sonderborg as well as some coaching of experts and eventually we even managed to get ourselves a mentor and a first client through this presentation.
The first customer
An entertainment park in Denmark got interested during our presentations, we decided to work together with them to make a test implementation in their park. We also shifted the concept quite a bit. No longer were we building a large physical game, we decided to take the sharing element and focus mostly on that. In the end we had a fully working application which automatically takes pictures of people driving the Segway Track in the park. After the drive they could select their pictures from a touchscreen and upload the desired picture to their Facebook account.
Digital Word of Mouth
The brilliant side of this concept is not the sharing itself, but the way we used the actual customers of the entertainment park to make commercial for the park itself. This is very different from placing adds or gathering likes on Facebook as a company. It is now the children themselves who enthusiastically say they were having fun at the Segway track which was hugely successful. We had over a thousand uploads and a lot of positive response. Unfortunately the park did not have the resources to keep the product installed there (at some point we started to demand payments for our service of course).
We also had an installation in a Dutch outdoor sports park. They used it for a climbing track and a bow/arrow shooting range. This resulted in very nice pictures. Our goal was to use these two test implementations to convince some large size parks. We have been in some meetings with one of the biggest theme parks in the Netherlands. They did not decide to implement this solution in the end. It would still be interesting to try and see if we could get this implemented somewhere, but obviously our situation changed slightly since we both moved out of Denmark, Robert to the Netherlands and I moved to Singapore. The learning experience and contact with all parties has been very interesting though which is a huge value for a start up run by students. It hugely accelerated our growth and development!