It seemed almost impossible, yet it happened! In 8 months from the birth of the Tboxchain start-up, to the Creative Business Cup (CBC) world finals #cbcup2018, held in Copenhagen, after winning the national selection. An adventure made up of many emotions and many life lessons that make true Walt Disney's affirmation "if you can dream it you can do it".
Our group was formed by Michele Cignarale, Filippo Santarcangelo, Giuseppe Pace and Giovanni Scaramuzzo, and me of course. The Italian delegation in Copenhagen was reinforced thanks to the presence of Paolo Montemurro and Carlo Magni, representing MateraHub, national partner of CBC.
On the evening of November 25th, as soon as we disembarked, I turned on my mobile, and the first surprise arrived all of a sudden, an email telling us that we were drawn to make the first "pitch" of the following day. Would it be an advantage? Would it be a disadvantage? What is sure is that this news didn’t help us pass a quiet night.
On the morning of the 26th, we woke up almost at night to arrive early at the venue of the event. During the short walk we remained impressed by the “river” of bicycles that run through the streets, resulting in clean air, perfectly paved roads (impossible to find a hole), beautiful buildings perfectly kept and the cold, which was bitter even for mountaineers like us.
We arrived at the KEA Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, where CBC took place, a beautiful modern and functional architecture well set in the middle of buildings at least a century old. With our hearts in our throats we waited for the arrival of all participants and, soon, the bright and comfortable spaces reserved for the event, became a swarm of many colors, only one language spoken (English of course) and all faces with the same expression as those ones who try to understand what to do and what will happen.
9.30 am, Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning, CBC Director, takes the stage and describes the program of the day. The stress level shown on the attendees’ faces was directly linked to the timeslot of their pitch, the sooner the more stressed, and we were the first ones.
10.00 am, we start. Giovanni, in his wonderful English, kept the pitch perfectly in the 3 minutes available, then 6 minutes of tight questions interrupted only when the time expired. How did the jurors’ expressions look like? Intrigued, interested, skeptical, smiling.
From that moment, after the tension had been discharged, we began going from one arena to the next (there were four ones in total) to watch the other pitches, absorbe ideas, suggestions or simply to listen to stories, exchange smiles. So many meetings and many interlocutions: from the energetic and very nice girls of Botswana from Just-Ginger who distributed ginger-based cocktails for everyone, to make a "turn" with the augmented reality viewer of the Polish artists of ArtApp, admiring the Gamechanger Audio plasma electric guitar pedal, to the plantar with sensors created by the representatives of Miomove of the Czech Republic; to find out that the Brazilian representative of Gigoia Studios is in contact with entrepreneurs from Basilicata for the creation of 3D art galleries and then the many others that we can not all mention here.
When you go abroad, what never lacks is to meet other compatriots. There was Valeria on the recording deck; later we met Gioia Arieti, both participating as volunteers in the organization. The most surprising meeting was certainly the one with Alessandra, an Italian from Rome who lives in China and represented the Chinese delegation.
Day 27, 9.00, we arrive at the KEA with the anxiety of knowing if we had moved to the next stage and with the tranquility given by getting to a known place and meeting faces that we already knew, it seemed almost attending that place and those people for ages .
10.00 am, Tboxchain is not in the list of those who passed the first phase, a normal moment of disappointment followed by a river of questions we made, until one of the many friends who contacted us from Italy tells us: you shouldn’t think “we did not get to the final” but you should think “we've come so far”. This sentence made us think and we started again our path of wonderful contamination. We met the Councilor of Embassy Stefano Salmaso; we applauded the first three classified: 6degrees from Israel, with a motion sensor that allows disabled people to use computers and smartphones; Gamechanger Audio, from Latvia, with a plasma pedal to convert an audio signal into an electric shock and third ThinkOutside, from Norway with a sensor to be applied on skis able to measure snow parameters in antivalanga function.
Later,when everyone had completely unloaded the stress, the party started, with rivers of beer offered by Carlsberg and the Estonian Embassy. Relaxed and smiling faces, concentrated on a present time that is already future, dealing with questions such as: what are the next steps? Will I find some investors? And then the apotheosis of the exchange of contacts, a few business cards, a few email addresses and many Instagram, WhatsApp, Linkedin and Facebook.
We went to celebrate the winners of Israel, along with the girls from Botswana, the representative of Kenya, Alessandra, Maria and Gioia of the organization and others, hoping that the day never ended. And, guess what they recommended do strongly? "Pizza Calabrese", obviously managed by two Calabrians from Reggio Calabria, who emigrated 35 years ago. We had the pleasure of having at our table also Rasmsussen, the Director of CBC, who joined the brigade for a while.
Since time can not be stopped but only lived, this day is over and it’s time to go home.
History teaches us, where there are people and nations that close themselves in the name of protecting a nonexistent purity of race or cultural superiority, it follows a rapid impoverishment and degradation of that people and its nation. Innovation (and the culture of respect for others), on the other hand, was born when different people and cultures met. Such initiatives should be more favored and financed.
In Denmark, a three-year residence visa is granted to non-European citizens who have an innovative business idea. No financing, no contribution. I believe this is the right path, to foster conditions for development by creating a favorable regulatory environment; facilitate mobility and attraction of brains; create efficient networks of incubators, research centers and investors.
With our Tboxchain we are trying to build a community of trust, made by temporary citizens, that are aware of the social value of sharing reliable information.
We have practically "breathed" this concept of trust and community during the days spent in Copenhagen, both inside CBC event and walking through the streets, where thousands of bicycles are parked without a lock and where when the traffic light is green for pedestrians, you can cross without even turning around to look.
Goodbye Copenhagen, it was nice feeling part of a world without frontiers and be contaminated.
#Tboxchain #stopfakereviews #cbcup2018
P.S.: don’t accept dreams by strangers