Frederik Kjær studies Economics and Business Administration at AAU. He is the co-founder and CMO at DeskSpace, which was founded in September 2021.
He is not the only one putting time and energy into the startup. The team also consists of,
– Attila Lenart, who is the CFO/CCO. She studies International Business at AAU.
– Sebastian Voinea, who is the CEO. He studies software development at UCN.
– And Sebastian Holesz, the CTO. He also studies software development at UCN.
DeskSpace is an online platform that automates the booking process between the tenant and the manager of a coworking space when booking a work desk or a meeting room. First of all, this makes it easier for the tenant to find a suitable coworking space, but it also makes it easier to do the actual booking as the current process is overly complicated. From the manager’s perspective the automated booking management system allows for more time on the actual coworking space rather than administrative hurdles but being on DeskSpace also has the positive side effect of increased awareness.
I did not come up with the idea as I joined DeskSpace a bit later down the road. The idea of becoming an entrepreneur though has been a fascinating thought since I started in High School. With the realization that anyone with the right mindset can discover an opportunity and with sufficient determination and self-belief realize it, I saw no reason why I would not have a fair chance. I was fascinated by the thought of helping to push society towards modern solutions and make life easier through products by a business that I have helped grow.
Being an entrepreneur is about endurance. Whenever you realize that you have been doing something in an inefficient way or when you learn that you are focusing on the wrong things entirely, most people would see it as a failure. Not the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur sees success. Success in acquiring new knowledge and success in getting one step closer to realizing his vision.
The best part of being an entrepreneur is watching your “failures” become successes, and creating value where others see a waste of time.
Our biggest success was getting a cooperation agreement with Zoku Copenhagen, which is something that our customers will be able to benefit from through our website very soon. This was a great success for us as it is proof not only to potential investors/partners but also to ourselves that our business has the potential to help big companies improve their administrative activities.
Our biggest challenge has been getting a foothold in the market. In the beginning, there is a need for a lot of convincing to get your first partners and customers. Most businesses want proof that a cooperation agreement will help their own business. Once you get going and start to achieve credibility and awareness, more and more businesses will start to consider whether this new solution in the market would be worth investing in.
To the surprise of a lot of people: Not much. In my opinion, being an entrepreneur is 90% mindset and perseverance and 10% academic knowledge. Every single person starting a business has had the experience of lacking experience in one area or another, so it is a natural part of the process to learn as you go. With that said the 10% do matter to some extent, especially if you are in a very technical role in the startup where you must possess a very detailed knowledge of the technical processes. Regarding myself, I would say that I have been able to draw from my academic knowledge of classes such as Organizational Behavior, and I would think that some of the classes that I am currently studying and will be studying on later semesters will be relevant for me, such as accounting, marketing, business law and finance.
It is a matter of getting used to spending your free time on the startup. Sometimes you must enter a “sprint mode” where you spend most of your hours on studies, startup and work, but then it is also important to slow down after a while as you cannot expect yourself to stay in this mode for long period of time without building stress.
Right now, we are in the stage where we are registering the company as an ApS and are onboarding our first partners onto the platform. This means that we are in the stage right before entering the market. Looking forward over the next year I would hope that DeskSpace would have onboarded at least 5, maybe 10 coworking spaces onto the platform. On a longer term we have a vision of eventually getting DeskSpace to the top-of-mind position for coworking in Denmark, and on the very long term globally.
You need to be prepared to be met by skepticism and doubt from stubborn and unimaginative critics, but even more importantly, you need to be prepared to be met by false hope and empty promises by over-enthusiastic and unrealistic supporters. Remember: No one can be an expert about a product that doesn’t exist. But people can be experts about their needs, motivations, and solutions. This is what you should focus on, only then can you realize what the market actually needs and not what people think they need.