I was browsing some old pictures just now and came across a memory from the day we opened a letter from Innovation Norway where it said: Congratulations! KAOS has been granted funding to develop KAOS Endeløs. Our application had successfully reached funding and we realised we were about to start making our wall bars for real. What a joyful day!
It also reminded me of the great amount of work we put down in order to make the applications. My goodness. Back then it felt impossible. But now it's so fun to look back at. Somewhat unbelievable, seems like a whole other life. We have successfully submitted and reached funding with our two applications. A year earlier, we applied Innovation Norway for funding in order to developing our high chair, KAOS Klapp. That one was also successfully funded! Whaaat, two strikes? Never thought so in our wildest dreams.
Two happy chicks! From the day we received funding from Innovation Norway.
The almost tragic part is that we almost did not apply at all. We didn't think KAOS was what Innovation Norway was looking for. We never thought KAOS had what it takes and that we were not good enough. Although we thought that both Endeløs and Klapp had a fairly high degree og innovation and international potential. Why is it that we are so afraid to believe in ourselves? I hate it when that happens. And it happens all the time. We have to stop that, peeps! Believe in yourself. You are just as good as anyone else.
Anyways, we wrote the application for KAOS Klapp 4-5 times before we had the guts to send it in. We had no idea how we could win their attention in the pile of applications that they receive. How could we convince Innovation Norway to donate a small chunk of their budget to two mamas in KAOS?
We were afraid of rejection, I remember being nauseous as we awaited the feedback and judgement. Waiting time is the worst there is. Then we were invited to an interview and got to tell more about KAOS and our project. Then we waited more. As you wait for a diagnosis report from the doctor we were waiting for the phone from Innovation Norway. I'll never forget when I sat at the kitchen table at home and Silje, the one who handled our application, called. I heard Silje had a light and happy the voice. "I have good news," she said. Then she said something about distribution of the funds and premises regarding our own contribution to the project, which I did not understand, I just managed to make it clear that we would receive NOK 450 000 from Innovation Norway to develop KAOS Klapp. I burst into tears. I have a slight memory of thanking Silje like you thank someone who has saved your child out of the ruins. Mette cried too. I actually think my fathershed a tear when I called him and cried the happy news as well. Haha! Our old folks are so proud of the youth, you know :-)
Late night working. It was crucial the application was good. You only have one shot!
When we applied for funding for KAOS Endeløs, we didn'tt know if it was possible to get funding for two projects that ran parallel. We were in the middle of the KAOS Klapp project when the idea for KAOS Endeløs came and strictly speaking I believe one must be able to showcase a successful project before seeking support for a new project. Our counselor had not been handling two parallel projects before either. But I think we managed to deliver a solid application number two, we had done a good pre-project so the application itself was nice and clear. And we dared to believe in ourself this time.
We received another NOK 150,000 to develop KAOS Endeløs. (Then we managed to collect NOK 240,000 through crowd funding at Kickstarter as we needed to start the production itself, but that's a whole different matter).
By the end of the day we have been able to realise both projects; Endeløs came in stock in August, KAOS's Klapp comes in stock before Christmas.
Dear Innovation Norway, dear Silje; Thank you so much for believing in KAOS and giving us the chance to deliver. It's so important that girls are given the chance to shine. It is SO important that moms get a place in your pot. That life with toddlers don't put a lid on our opportunities as working moms. That Norwegian design gets a spot on the map.
When we submitted the application we "checked" that our projects had an innovation degree. Well, KAOS Endeløs has received patent and KAOS Klapp is without doubt the new kid in town, disrupting the category "highchair for children". We also "checked" both our projects had "International potential". KAOS Endeløs came in stock in August and has given us two handful of new retailers in the Benelux region. KAOS Klapp has just reached certification as a highchair and is ready for the European market. The first 500 chairs have been ordered, 100 of them will be in stock before Christmas.
Future looks bright. We have just started and we couldn't be more excited. We are forever grateful. It had not been possible without Innovation Norway.
<3 Gineline & Mette
P.S. If our bank reads this: No, it certainly would not have gone without you either :-P Or without our dads, for sure :-D)