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New app idea: Filtering grant applications

Idea by University of Copenhagen student appeals to panel of business cup judges

A new web-service for foundations to sort grant applications by a University of Copenhagen student has done well at the business competition Venture Cup. It got second place in the mobile and web category, from 1200 total participants.

The idea has been developed by Andreas Vallentin-Hansen a 25-year old law student.

With Andreas’ new application idea, application submissions are digitised, allowing for an easy comparison and filtering.

Snail mail requests

If, say, a particular grant is only available for students who will study abroad for a period greater than six months, but under two years, then a single click can filter out everyone not eligible. Remaining candidates are then sorted, for example, by their grade point average.

Andreas got the innovative idea after he himself suffered through the gruelling process of applying for grants for his study abroad.

The current application sorting process often involves applicants sending snail-mail, and foundations sorting it.

Talked to investors

While students need to trust the postal service with their applications, on the other side of the equation, foundations’ trustees need to read through hundreds of letters, and sort them based on whatever criteria the applicants need to fulfil, often being forced to immediately trash an application after spending time reading it.

The Danish Venture Cup is a non-profit organisation, which provides annual prizes totalling DKK 600,000, for the best business ideas pitches. Andreas did not see a share of it, but is satisfied with his second place.

He says that he gained exposure to investors, and early feedback.

Validation with the wallet

Building a successful business plan hinges on more than a bright idea, he explains. Prior to submitting a plan to an entrepreneurial competition or investors, a budding business founder needs to go out and do the leg-work gathering evidence that the problem being solved is real, and clients would be willing to accept the proposed solution.

To that extent, that is exactly what Andreas did, he says — after countless unsolicited phone calls to various foundations, and interviews with students who have applied for grants, he had hard data to support the idea that he was onto a real problem.
Beyond a panelist of judges at an entrepreneurial competition, the best validation of an idea is whether someone would trust it enough to reach into their own pocket and support it financially.

Needs developer

Andreas says he has managed to attract investor attention, but prefers not to go into detail.

The next step is finding a software developer who would be willing to see the project through.

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