Students win with best idea for a future concept

Wednesday, 19 April, was the big day for the Grand Final in the prestigious competition JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge 2023 at Jönköping University. An annual competition where students get the challenge of solving a real business case in 24 hours. This year Husqvarna provided the challenge - to craft a future concept of Husqvarna AutoMower to meet the demands and expectations of Gen Z. The prize pool was SEK 130,000, donated by the Aktiestinsen Foundation.

The winners of JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge 2023, from the left: Musaab Mohamed Abdi, Aadil Binsaj, Olivia Lagerlöf, och Meltem Eray Musa. ”We wanted to go a bit crazy”.

As always, the interest was great when the annual JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge was settled. 14 teams participated, and Husqvarna, the world's leading producer of forest and garden products and services, was behind the competition this year. The challenge was to present a concept of how Husqvarna need to change or adapt to meet the demands and expectations of Gen Z on their AutoMowers.

"Husqvarna has always been at the forefront of innovation. One of the fundamental prerequisites for succeeding in this is to always have a deep understanding of our consumer's needs and, perhaps more importantly, consumers' future needs. We hope to learn a lot and be challenged in our thinking. Hopefully, we can draw valuable conclusions on how we must change to be relevant and leading in our category also in the future," said Eric Norling, Director of Product Management at Husqvarna Group, when the competition started.

The race began on Tuesday with a 24-hour time limit, and on Wednesday afternoon, the jury selected six participating teams to continue to the Grand Final. Every finalist presented their concept in front of the jury and the audience at JIBS.

A novel, exciting and realistic solution

After a long consideration by the jury, which held representatives from JIBS, Science Park and Husqvarna, a winning team was chosen. The winning solution was summed up as combining useful functionality with interactive gaming, connectivity and GenZ-style social interaction.

"It's been a tough decision. What people can create in just 24 hours is quite impressive, and the students came up with many relevant ideas. However, the winning team presented a novel and exciting solution while also being realistic," said Eric Norling.

The first prize of SEK 60,000 went to students Olivia Lagerlöf, Musaab Mohamed Abdi, Aadil Binsaj and Meltem Eray Musa.

Their solution builds on GenZ:s interest in video games and that AI will significantly impact everyone's life in the upcoming years. Therefore, they presented the idea of HusqYard. A new interactive feature using AI technology. HusqYard would be a virtual garden sized like the real garden but designed as the games HayDay or FarmVille, allowing users to interact with each other and the robotic mower.

"We actually got the idea for our solution from watching some classmates always playing the game Haydays during the breaks. So when they told us to dare to "go crazy," we thought – why not try to do a simulation based on that," said Olivia Lagerlöf.

Combining theoretical knowledge and practical application

Jerker Moodysson, Dean and Managing Director of JIBS, was also impressed by the team's solutions:

"This is my seventh time being on the jury for Entrepreneurship Challenge. It is always exciting to see the creative solutions the students come up with in such a short time. The competition holds a perfect combination of theoretical knowledge and practical application with a real company case to work on. This has been a fantastic afternoon," he said.

The JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge is organized by the student association Entrepreneurship Academy at JIBS and is based on a donation from Aktiestinsen Foundation.

The Jury's motivation

"By leveraging the idea of gamification and AI, the Husqyard solution combines useful functionality with interactive gaming, connectivity and GenZ-style social interaction. The team provided a focused presentation that was both clear and specific, novel and exciting, while also being realistic."

Anna David and Emma Friedberg were the project managers for the JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge and the final hosts.