Niklas Eklund - Trampolinen Junior Consultancy
Niklas Eklund - Trampolinen Junior Consultancy #1
Describe yourself and your project. How did you get the idea?
I’m a Swedish-Finnish guy from Stockholm who just graduated from a Master program in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability. During this program we had a course where we worked closely with a company to create a strategic plan towards sustainability. This was a great experience and it showed both the need for sustainability support from a company perspective and the potential value that students and recent graduates could bring when they applied their knowledge in practice.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
I am a curious and creative doer who likes to explore different paths in life. Previously I have volunteered/worked in NGO’s in various ranging from project manager, facilitator to being part of leadership teams responsible 100+ volunteers. I also worked abroad in Prague in a corporate setting in finance and procurement before coming to Karlskrona.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
We will primarily focus on developing a business model and administrative structure around our organisation, establish strategic guidelines for internal operations as well as define the vision and strategic goals for the next 2 years. Also we will conduct local market research and start iterative prototyping of the service that we want to offer. Besides we will build the network in the region & reach out for potential collaborators to exchange knowledge and establish relationships.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
We expect to have a pilot product to offer to potential clients and 1-2 organizations who would be interested in buying and testing it. We want to achieve clarity around organizational structure & business model and have an advisors and supporters, especially for the administrative issues as well as clarify the roles of Trampolinen team members. We expect to be clear about the next steps for the project. Finally, we expect to enjoy the process!
Niklas Eklund - Trampolinen Junior Consultancy #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
First, we held a teambuilding session to know more about each other’s workstyles and the reasons why we are part of the project. Second, we ran a multiday strategic planning process to: create the vision, determine values, principles, stretch goals; make an initial market, stakeholder and SWOT analysis; brainstorm actions, prioritize them and create a strategic action plan for the next two months. Furthermore, we identified key people to reach out for market research and support as well as started to work on business model, product development and administrative tasks.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
We have accomplished or started working with everything that we planned to address, however underestimated the amount of workload in June from previous commitments as well as logistical issues (lack of housing) which took away time from our project, which means that we have to work more now. Having free access to university classroom and office in July made it a lot easier to work. Our teamwork went also pleasantly easy. For Niklas it was also a bit harder then expected to re-charge after graduation. Otherwise, everything feels fine.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
During the remaining time we will focus on developing a business model, product prototypes, reaching out to key stakeholders & potential clients, doing market research, continuing to set-up organisation’s administration structure & do another strategic planning iteration in the end of August based on the findings from the outreach and market research. Overall, we will follow our original plan as we have done so far as it was flexible and focused on iterations and prototyping which has worked well so far.
Niklas Eklund - Trampolinen Junior Consultancy #3
How did you experience the three months?
It was good experience as it allowed us time to focus on our idea and work on in without having to worry about paying rent or having extra jobs on the side.
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
Hardest – to recharge after graduation and other projects and immediately start working straight away after really long challenging thesis process. It took a bit of time to get back normal effectiveness.
Most enjoyable – to have basically an empty university all to ourselves. We could set our own work schedule and there were few other commitments so you had time to think and test things and do research. This is something you normally don’t have either the space or time for during other periods of the year.
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
Time went faster than expected, the summer disappeared way to fast, and certain processes like business modelling took more time and energy than expected. Yes we will continue working on the project.
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
Business model is harder to do then it looks. Strategy thinking process take a lot of time, and its still only hypothesis until you test it in real life, and sometimes you are right and sometimes you are off target. That often your feelings about your ideas change over time and through meeting and talking with other people and the challenge is to on the one hand stay true to your ideals and on the other hand be open to listen to what the rest of the world is saying.
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
Spend lagom time strategizing and product developing and spend the rest talking to people and try to listen in to what they need and what the challenges in your community are. Take the time to build the team, what are the motivations, work preferences, things that annoy each other etc, its helpful even if you might know each other from before. Decide which advices you will follow and which you will ignore (with risk of being told “I told you so” later).
HAVE FUN AND ENJOY & TRUST THE PROCESS