To be honest, I thought I had an idea of what it would be like, but once it kicked off, all my expectations where changed. So I suppose the next question you would ask is, were your expectations changed for the better or worse? …. Well, I would have to say AppCampus exceeded expectations, from world-class offices, helpful and friendly AppCademy team, to the top draw lecturers brought in to share their experiences and spread their knowledge.
AppCampus is a mobile application accelerator program managed by the Aalto University in Espoo, Finland. This is a joint investment initiative by Microsoft and Nokia of 18 million euro to fast track mobile app development on the Windows Phone and Nokia Platform. AppCampus awards funding to successful applications, and in addition, provides training in mobile technology, design and usability, coaching and marketing support.
Methys Consulting were lucky enough to be selected as one of the 5% successful applications. Our successful innovation KWAMI, is the first community driven energy management mobile application enabling users to share and learn together how to better manage ones energy costs. The Kwami solution includes an inexpensive energy monitor allowing users to monitor the energy consumption of their home, whenever and wherever they are, share it and benchmark it with friends, neighbours and colleagues.
The first day definitely set the pace for the AppCademy 2nd Summer Batch, with everyone arriving in the AppSpace, an office space in the middle of lush trees and tranquil surroundings for the morning’s free coffee and breakfast (Always a good way to get techies/entrepreneurs together on time). Entering the office I got the feeling of a fat kid in a candy store. Now, remember in South Africa, we are always presented with images of amazing office spaces, namely Google, where life seems to be a fun ride in an office. Enter AppSpace, the Google office of Finland, with allocated areas for meetings, quiet workspaces, teamwork areas, big screens everywhere and an Angry Birds room (what office in Finland wouldn’t be complete without some Angry Bird paraphernalia). The office space just screams creativity and this was definitely the result of the space in the end.
With introductions from Mikä Okkola (Microsoft), Timo Mustonen (Nokia) and Will Cardwell (Aalto) in the morning, you knew we were going to meet some great high profile people. Timo from Nokia offered the best news of the morning when he informed us that we would all be getting a new NOKIA LUMIA 920, one way to win the hearts of the group, I would have to say. Later in the program he was to offer an even greater event, which saw us at the Nokia’s training facility in Båtvik. Here we were able to experience the beauty of Finland and then its favourite past time, the traditional smoke sauna.
The next few weeks covered topics on pitching, positioning and branding, technical, networking, legal, PR and design, all providing incredible value that could not be obtained anywhere else in such a short time span. Getting access to world class coaches like Pauliina Airaksinen-Aminoff, Michiel Maandag, Arturo Toledo, Jussi Wacklin and Christian Lindholm. With all the coaching input, you really question your product to the point of rebranding, reworking and positioning it as something different every single day… literally. Ultimately, you achieve in 4 weeks what would have taken you months.
And with understanding your product pitch, AppCampus introduced Booth day to be held in tandem with the AppCampus 1st year Anniversary in week 3. This meant long hours of planning your pitch; booth design and making sure you had something to demo.
Sebastien Lacour, presented KWAMI at our booth by putting in an incredible 5hr stint with no food, which is an achievement for this eating machine.
The AppCampus experience was truly one to remember, and the value from the program unquestionable. I would like to say a BIG thank-you to Paolo Borella and Mike Bradshaw for all the support, effort and just being great ambassadors of the program. Your dedication to the program and supporting team were world class. I’m sure all the team apps will make you proud and worthy of the investment.
The Methys team will definitely be working to produce a remarkable app for the Windows platform, so stay up-to-date with the latest on the KWAMI project – kwami.launchrock.com