MusikDJ is the flourishing story about a previous participant of the Venture Cup Startup competition, which led to the beginning of a new life and company. MusikDJ is a DJ and event-company covering most parts of Denmark by conducting events for companies and privates. They focus on events ranging from kids-parties over large corporate events to private birthday parties. Common for all events is the focus surrounded, good sound quality, service and great music.
We talked with Mads Lehnert, who is the founder of MusikDJ, about the company, the relation with Venture Cup and how it is to fully fulfill the dream of being an entrepreneur.
What was your motivation for starting MusikDJ?
Actually my motivation came from being in touch with the Venture Cup organization. I hold a master’s degree from CBS and during my time at the University we had a course with students from DTU and CBS. The course goal was to commercialize a high-tech idea (DTU) and bring it to market (CBS). I met some extremely cool guys, Mathias and Rasmus, who were so geeky and dedicated within the field of photonics (or laser light as I always referred too). We took the course-project and brought it for the Venture Cup competition, where I really got motivated. During the case competition we met so many inspiring people who all had dreams within different fields. Here is where my motivation seriously got kick-started. I thought: why couldn’t I follow my dream and fulfill it? Since my passion has always been music I went on and started MusikDJ.
Was MusikDJ based on a “pure business idea”?
I believe, when you do a start-up, the initial steps will always be driven by passion, motivation, dreams and less on the actual business. Cash-flow and driving toward a profitable business is a difficult balance to obtain. On one side you need to expand and lure more customers into your company. On the others side you need to have a constant view on the bottom-line or else you will not be there next month. In other words you need to be head of economics, creative director, HR-department and a million other things when running a one-man army. This balance is hard to figure out and takes time.
What does being an entrepreneur give you personally?
Being an entrepreneur gives me the opportunity to ‘play’ and constantly be creative. I am a concept guy and a sucker for developing new concepts within a given framework. By having my own start-up and can constantly develop new ideas and test them very quickly. This flexibility gives me a lot of freedom in my work-life which contributes a lot to me as an entrepreneur.
On the flip-side, the worries and thoughts can also be hard. You are solely reliant on your own performance for creating revenue (unless you are funded), which can be difficult to tackle. When being an entrepreneur you are always thinking of how to do this and that. How can I improve this, is there a pain I can resolve. How can I increase the number of customers and so on. Questions like these are always tumbling around in my head – smiling!
You recently played at Social Iværksætterpris 2015. Do you have any ideas of how MusikDJ can benefit the world in a social way?
Yes, we had the great opportunity to help out with the award show in Copenhagen. Very good question, actually. No, I have not thought about the social aspect of my business. Or, actually we once joked about creating electricity for the equipment by running bikes next to the set-up. Then guests could bike to create electricity so they could hear music. The idea came from Roskilde Festival, where you can charge your phone from bikes standing around the festival area. However, I think some guests would be pretty disappointed if the music suddenly stopped because somebody got tired of biking. But the perspective is inspiring and something that could be thought more of in the future.
Are you planning to expand MusikDJ to the rest of Europe?
When you start as an entrepreneur you always want to conquer the world. A mobile disco would always be in continuous demand probably also in France or Germany. However, a friend of mine once said, grow big locally before internationally. So, I stick with this recipe for now and I think locally is more than enough for me at the moment.
Do you have any experiences you want to share with people thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?
When I puzzle with an idea, it can be within the music universe or an idea in general, I always seek to get the idea tested as quickly as possible. It can seem like a good idea or concept on paper, but how does it actually work when people you do not know will use it. Is it creating the same value for foreign users of the product or service as you imagined? Very often it does not. It is a very lean way of looking at things. My old and wise lecturer, Nicolaj Højer, introduced me to Eric Ries and his book, The Lean Startup, which talks about the process of proving your idea based on users and market insights. This is in my world something that has been good in many areas of the business.