With great ideas comes great competitions. One of them is Creative Business Cup, which has great significance for the sustainable startup company RAIKU.
By Albert Meldgaard Blum
RAIKU was founded by Karl Pärtel and his business partner Rain Randsberg in Talinn, Estonia, and the company aims to change the way we are using plastic wrap and packaging to be more sustainable. With a great solution and a little help from Creative Business Network and other mentors, RAIKU won the Creative Business Cup. A competition made for entrepreneurs and startups, which for RAIKU ended up being much more than just a competition.
Rain Randsberg, an inventor and engineer, came up with this brilliant idea that instead of using plastic bubble wrap, we should use wood for protective industrial packaging. Actually, we should use small springs made of wood.
“Rain has experience with wood-wool, a wooden material you also use for protective packaging, and he saw that it wasn’t very efficient and protective at all,” says Karl Pärtel, co-founder of RAIKU with a background in sustainable development and other startups such as the company Cleantech.
The idea was born when Rain Randsberg saw a massive shift in the packaging industry that needed to be stopped.
“We need to move away from the plastic industry and all the waste it creates. Rain then had this idea, that packaging could be done in a much better and sustainable way,” explains Karl Pärtel.
After the idea was created, RAIKU was now ready to change the world for the better by transforming the packaging industry in a sustainable way.
Before they could do that, the two entrepreneurs wanted to make a global impact by participate in a competition to attract investors, clients and meet other entrepreneurs. The best way to do this, was by participating in a global competition like Creative Business Cup for startups and entrepreneurs.
Winners of Creative Business Cup 2020
Before applying for Creative Business Cup 2020, RAIKU wasn’t aware about Creative Business Network and what the organisation is standing for.
“Creative Business Network was recommended to us by a local partner after he saw an ad for the organisation. After we applied and got selected for the Creative Business Cup 2020, we didn’t think about the possibility of winning. We just wanted to connect with a few useful connections,” says Karl Pärtel.
Sometimes things don’t turn out as expected, and this certainly applies to RAIKU as they ended up taking first place in Creative Business Cup 2020.
A victory that comes in handy, and a victory the young company wouldn’t be without.
“Since we won, the price has helped us protect our idea, intellectual property and the nomination itself gave us a bonus when talking to investors,” says Karl Pärtel.
This happened because somebody had already verified RAIKU, by nominating them to the Creative Business Cup. In this case it was Creative Business Network who had done that.
Creative Business Network also helped RAIKU in a lot of other ways. This includes connecting them with mentors and giving them marketing consulting.
“Director and Founder of Creative Business Network, Rasmus Tscherning, was very helpful with connecting us with people. The nomination itself helped us attract investors in a direct or indirect way,” explains Karl Pärtel.
Since participating in Creative Business Cup back in 2020, RAIKU has kept communication with Creative Business Network, as they have proposed clients to the company.
Behind the victory
Behind every victory there is a story. In RAIKU’s case, it was the story about changing the world for the better with the power of sustainability.
A very hot topic these days, and Karl Pärtel think it is a benefit if you can propose that you are beneficial sustainability to a jury. But that’s not all.
“As a founder, you should really work hard on your presentations and pitches. You usually only have three minutes to tell your story, so it must be very clean,” tells Karl Pärtel.
He highlights the importance of the quality of the product or service your startup is offering.
“People shall understand why your product or service is needed. The bigger the problem, the better the story. But keep it simple, with simple solutions,” says Karl Pärtel.
Participating in Creative Business Cup can be very rewarding for new entrepreneurs and startups in many ways. It is the perfect opportunity to get feedback on an idea and for many, Creative Business Cup is not just a competition. It’s a great boost to idea-development and relieves the feeling of standing on your own in the industry.
“It’s also an accelerator. You’ll get to do a lot of different workshops and you’ll get to meet people. You’ll get feedback from other entrepreneurs who are in a similar stage as you. If you’re in doubt, you should go for it”, says Karl Pärtel.
RAIKU now has 50 pilot costumers waiting for their products, including international resellers and proportions. They have just received an investment and they will start production of their protective wooden springs for packaging in approximately six months.
Would you like to learn more about Creative Business Cup Denmark and what you can accomplish by participating, then you can read all about it here.