Inside BI Startup: Novada

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Foto: Aleksander Storsveen
Foto: Aleksander Storsveen

As Inside continues its journey among BI start-ups, this week we had the honour to speak to Novada SB. This newly established company is also a fully BI homemade product. The founders found their inspiration and idea during the realization of a term paper in the entrepreneurial class Oppstart av Bedrift.

Even though the company is of very modest dimension and experiences, it has already a firm and solid structure of what the positions within the company are:  the CEO, Ola Skar; head of sales, Daniel Carlsen; head of marketing, Silje Bostad; head of product, Ruben Didriksen; lastly Hans Brenni who oversees the finance of the company.

The idea
Hans, the Head of Finance, tells how it all started:

– We were assigned a case in which we had to lay down an innovative and realistic idea for a start-up.

Hans’ group work members are obviously the same founders today, and his everyday friends. The idea, or the product, was thought to be their solution to all those rather boring and dead “preparties”. As he says:

– During Fadderullan four of us were “buddies” in the same group and we struggled in breaking the ice with new students when we would be at a house party.

Let us say that in general at the very beginning of any social gathering, it can get rather “awkward” if people are just to sit in a circle starring at each other. Well, their product is designed to create some fun and sharing moments when needed. The product is called “Spin It!”. Best described as a drinking game, it has a very simple yet functioning structure. A round board in which tasks or challenged are written and an arrowed spinner on top. The person who has the turn spins the spinner and eventually drinks what and how much indicated.

From a paper work to real market
There is nothing of more encouraging for us students than to hear of other fellow students who were simply following some guidelines of a term paper and ended up owning a company. It really shows how extra effort and devotion by students will pay off some day. Hans’ group has encountered more difficulties than shortcuts in the external environment, as it is supposed to be after all at least at the beginning. Yet, the aspect of being with your friends all day and experiencing all sort of new challenges with them itmakes the all trauma an exciting journey. Also, as Hans says, BI is a very advantageous starting point: many employees at BI are specialists in some field or the other and they are all open for consulting. For example, Hans and his companions enjoy saying that Tor Haugnes, lecturer of Oppstart av Bedrift, has been their mentor through the entire process.  Furthermore, Novada SB idea has persuaded the administration in granting them an office in the BI infrastructure, which is undoubtedly a boost in the development of the idea and not to mention its real worth. On top of this, the start-up area itself is such an interactive environment that they have now established a good connection with Happy Norwegian, the most experienced BI start-up in terms of brand name and appearances or interviews in Norwegian newspapers and media. Novada SB admires what Happy Norwegian has achieved and especially their charisma: the first time they talked, Hans and his groups were strongly stimulated by the two founders of Happy Norwegian to open their eyes and sell in any occasion to anybody. On that same day 11 pieces of Spin It! were sold at a dinner.

Foto: Aleksander Storsveen
Foto: Aleksander Storsveen

Costs only incurred in the first order of production of the game, which was performed abroad. As it is now a mutual characteristic among start-ups, no money was used in marketing the idea. The founders first sold pieces to friends and family and then used word of mouth to sell the rest. Hans tells that each of them had to use their own budget for the production: 3.000kr. each so that it would add up to 15.000kr. to produce a total of 100 games. It was obviously considered as a risky investment by all at the beginning, although now they are well beyond breakeven point.

Future planning
The decision of having two distinguished names between product (Spin It!) and company (NovadaSB) was to enable the expansion of the company with new products in the future.

The game is now available on You guys drink responsibly and have fun…

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