Anja Made her Business Idea Happen

Winner of LSBU Make it Happen Competition
Earlier last week we sponsored the ‘Idea’ category for London South Bank University’s Make it Happen competition. Out of all the great pitches, Anja Fischenich won for her ’The Great Carbon Footprint Game’. An exchange student from Germany studying Environmental Engineering, she scooped up £1,000, a free membership to the IoD and free office space for six months to develop her idea.
We caught up with her to find out a little bit more about her journey of taking a business idea and pitching it to secure some funding…

My business idea…

’The Great Carbon Footprint Game’ is a low carbon idea that helps to raise awareness of the issue of carbon emissions and the carbon footprint every human being has. The game is based on comparing everyday life products or everyday actions and considering which one has the higher or lower carbon footprint. This gets people thinking about why and where the carbon emissions took place and how they could lower their own carbon footprint.

 

The game is based on the book ‘How bad are bananas? The carbon footprint of everything’ by Dr Mike Berners-Lee who gave me permission to use his data in the game. I presented my idea to the LSBU Sustainability Team and they were so confident in my idea that the prototype got professionally designed and created for Go Green Week at LSBU in February.

 

Then, having seen the success of the game, it motivated me to get the sustainable message of it out to more people. So now the game is sold as either a service package or as a product via an agent (Dr Emma Fieldhouse, Director of Future We Want).

 

Also, I am working on a board game version right now.

"I am highly interested and enthusiastic about environmental topics and awareness, so therefore this whole project is an affair of the heart for me."

Ideas for my business pitch…

I thought about the most important things that needed to be said about my idea and put them together in a logical order so that they would build upon each other. Then I knew that I wanted to give a little example of the game and let the judges play one round so that they knew what it all was about.
I started with the example of the game directly at the beginning because the start of a pitch or talk is always important, especially to grab the attention of the audience.

The challenging part of pitching…

…was the video pitch. I’m very confident about giving speeches but with the video I had to edit the footage together and seeing yourself on screen and hearing your own voice, you always think ‘Oh I could have done this and that better.’
Also, I knew the main audience would be students, so I had to make the video a bit funny to keep them watching. Therefore I started with a silly picture at the beginning to grab their attention. And it worked! In total, I got 549 likes on my video by the deadline.

The easy part of pitching…

Pitching in front of the judges was easier for me because I am used to giving speeches. Nevertheless, I was still a little bit nervous because it doesn’t happen every day that £1000 is at stake in how you present yourself.

How I promoted my pitch…

The video pitch had to be circulated on social media and the one with the most likes would win. The day the video went online, I shared the link to all of my friends, wrote to my university and school to share the video and called people to vote, as well as sending it to pages that had a sustainable or environmental background (e.g. Student Switch Off).

The £1,000 will…

…really help me implement my idea of the board game. This includes the designing and prototype production.
Check out Anja’s award winning pitch here.
Congrats to all the winners and finalists of the competition.
Get to know how London South Bank University celebrates enterprise here.
Make it Happen Finalists - LSBU Enterprise

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