Rakel Kristoffersen: “We are putting all our heart and soul into Sportsfluent”
published on 09.03.21
We spoke to Rakel Kristoffersen, co-founder of Sportsfluent, the project that will represent TBS in the semi-finals of the Babson Global Student Challenge.
Sportsfluent was the winning project among the five that were submitted to represent TBS in the Babson Global Student Challenge of the B3 Entrepreneurship Track. The students had the opportunity to give a professional final presentation on their initiatives. The most convincing project was Sportsfluent, a digital platform to connect athletes with sponsors.
How did the idea for Sportsfluent come about?
It was Jeanne Roy, a member of our team who first proposed the idea. Jeanne has a friend who surfs who found a sponsor through Instagram and was talking to him for a while via DM. Although at first, it looked like she had found someone, they never got around to signing a contract. So, despite having been in contact for a long time, they never got to a point where she could get the money and support she needed. Jeanne told us how difficult it is for athletes, who spend a lot of time looking for sponsors but don’t get contracts. The seven of us finally agreed on this idea and took it forward as a project for Entrepreneurship.
Has the initial idea you had changed over time?
Over time the idea evolved. At first, we thought of it as a platform to connect sponsors with athletes, but now that idea has been transformed a bit and there will also be the possibility to make donations. Anyone will be able to make contributions, starting from the small amount of 5 euros. It is also a platform where sponsors and companies can offer money or equipment and in return, athletes can offer visibility to the brands by wearing the equipment in competitions or social media posts.
How did you prepare for the final presentation?
The instructions we had were only to give a presentation as if we had investors in front of us. Those were the instructions. So we asked Joanna Pousset, a teacher at TBS in Barcelona, who is an expert in communication, to help us. She helped us a lot, even outside school hours.
It was great to start with the Messi story at the beginning.
Yes! Joanna advised us to start with a Wow message, something that would surprise the audience. We were thinking a lot and in the end, we came up with the story of Messi. We wanted to tell the story of a child who needed a sponsor, who needed donations to reach the highest level and cultivate his skills. Messi would never have become the best player in the world without the help of Futbol Club Barcelona during his childhood. So that’s why we started the presentation with the story because we thought it was the perfect example of what Sportsfluent can achieve in the future. It was all thanks to Joanna, who is an amazing teacher and taught us a lot about presenting and story-telling.
Besides, you have received a special award…
Normally the prize of this competition would be to be part of TBS Seeds, but we already won to be part of TBS Seeds in a previous competition, so our teacher Yancy Vaillant agreed on another prize especially for us with TBS in Barcelona. Finally, they offered us a start-up pack including 5 hours counseling on branding and communication strategy, as well as a communication campaign with up to 4 visual supports.
Now the next step will be the semi-finals?
Yes, all the contestants in the semi-finals will represent their respective universities. There is also a team from TBS in Toulouse, as well as teams from around the world. We are very happy and we will give our best.
Have you already faced other challenges related to the competition?
First of all, we had to send a video of about five minutes explaining the project’s social side and its relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Basically, we had to explain what is our company, why does it connect to the UN Sustainable Development Goals -which in our case is to reduce income inequalities-, and how can we demonstrate that it contributes to reducing these inequalities.
The second thing they asked us to do is to send a shorter video, about three minutes, more concise. We have been asked to describe the problem we are looking to solve, what is the need for this business, related to the UN Sustainable Development Goal(s) being addressed, and make a clear connection to the UN Sustainable Development Goal(s). But all this with even fewer minutes.
What is most characteristic or surprising about this challenge?
Besides the focus on social projects, I would say that the most unusual thing about this challenge is that we are not allowed to use our presentations in the next phases. We have to use the template provided, which is green and white, very basic.
The reason for having to use such austere presentations is so that the judges are not distracted by pretty presentations or beautifully edited videos… We can only show the presentation and our faces next to it, or just our voices.
It will be more difficult to achieve the Wow effect then.
Exactly. All this so that the judges can concentrate more on the content of the project and not on its aesthetics. 10 slides, three minutes and explain the problem statement, the business concept, understanding of the market, and the impact.
What is the final reward?
From what we understand, the prize is to go to Babson College in the United States and get more help with the project. We would love to, as we have been working very hard on it, putting all our heart and soul into Sportsfluent. Anyway, getting this far and going on to the semi-finals is already a big step, it’s already helping us a lot to move forward with the project and to get visibility.
How many people are there in total in your project and do you all devote all your time to Sportsfluent?
There are four of us doing internships in the creation of the start-up. In total there are seven of us, three team members working part-time while doing internships in other companies to gain experience from more established companies and be able to apply it later, and four of us working full time at Sportsfluent. We have also included an intern and an external professional for the creation of the platform.
When do you expect the application to be available?
With all this in mind, we hope to be able to launch the platform next autumn.
How do you feel about representing TBS in the challenge?
We are very proud to have been chosen. We have had a lot of help from our teachers and coaches… We wouldn’t have got this far if it wasn’t for TBS, that’s for sure. We are very grateful.