Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

Can odd socks become a start-up? Yes, they can

Alex Morabbi Wulsch putting up his feet while working the Kickstarter campaign (Photo: David Fulop)

Alexander Morabbi Wulsch, CBS student and founder of URU Design, grew up in a household where the laundry machine was always buzzing and pairing socks became a daunting task. That's why the family came up with the idea of SOLOSOCKS. Since then, the idea has turned into a business with several employees, a successful crowdfunding campaign, and a new office in Germany. The CBS student shares his thoughts on what he learns in school and how it is woven into the sock start-up.

News |   16. Nov 2017

David Fulop

Student Writer

Growing up in a household of three siblings and two parents meant that there were always a bunch of single socks that simply could not be paired. It really bothered the family that they had to constantly throw out bags of those “lonely socks”. That’s why Alexander Morabbi came up with the idea for SOLOSOCKS, a package consisting of seven thematically designed single socks. With these socks, there is no such thing as pairs.

The idea seems to be a working concept as URU Design has had a successful crowdfunding campaign raising DKK 280,000, opened an office in Denmark and Germany, joined CSE, and is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign which will end soon.

But the success of the company has more than meets the eye. Alexander Morabbi Wulsch is challenging the notion that you are not able to learn entrepreneurship in school by applying what he learns at CBS into the everyday workings of his company, URU Design.

University doesn’t prepare you for the ruthlessness of business

Alexander Morabbi Wulsch, CBS student, URU Design

Connect the dots

DF: A lot of start-up founders say that you cannot learn entrepreneurship in school. But you seem to be challenging that status quo and have been actively implementing what you learn into your business. How have your studies been relevant?

AMW: For me, it’s been very relevant and beneficial to study while I’m running a business because I’ve been smart about it. You have to take advantage of what you’re given and avoid thinking that it’s a big waste of time. Take the time to actually look through and selectively choose what you can use in your business.

That being said, there are some things that you can never learn in school and are much better to learn by being an entrepreneur and by actually doing hands-on business.

DF: So, let’s get straight into it, how do you disseminate the good from the bad, the useful from the useless?

AMW: Whenever you’re studying a course while running a company, it is easy to distinguish the things that are useful to you from the ones that are not. Then you can focus on those, and that’s what I’ve done.

It’s all about sitting down at the beginning of the course and going through the course plan, highlighting what’s relevant to you, and then really focusing on those areas. Just as if you were doing an exam, and finding out what you’re going to be writing about.

University is about discovering what specifically you are interested in and then focusing on that. Not just trying to learn whatever is thrown at you, because most of that is useless if you’re in a specific industry or business.

There are things that I’ve regretted spending time on learning, but there will always be things like that.

For example, when I was studying corporate finance, I immediately went to financial planning, because that was relevant to me.

Alexander Morabbi Mulsch rocking his SOLOSOCKS to work. (Photo: David Fulop)

getting the right fit

DF: You mentioned that you used corporate finance in your business, how have you used?

AMW: Corporate finance has definitely been the most important course for me. I was taking the course at the time when URU was looking for external investors so that we could get some equity investment.

The course helped me with creating a business plan and preparing the budget because the investors needed financial plans. All of the knowledge I needed was in the course. Although, I did have to draw a lot of knowledge from higher levels of corporate finance as well

Doing a discounted cash flow analysis, and some other financial calculations are something that you actually do need in the business world. It’s not some theory or idea that someone put in a book.

We did a very thorough, precise, extensive business plan with capital budgeting and an investment financial plan for the investors we were talking to, and they were very impressed with it. Basically, everything I used in those, I took from that class and I talked a lot to my lecturer who helped me a lot in creating it.

Finance is really one of those areas where you can impress people if you’re still in school because you’re bringing the newest of the knowledge to the table when you’re talking to investors.

DF: Have you used any other topics in your business?

AMW: Not far back I had a course in Organization and Corporate Communication. At URU Design we had to go through changes in the ownership structure and restructure the organization because we established another company in Germany and we had to figure out how to structure that.

Which company should own which. How to create a holding company and transfer funds between the two companies in the most efficient way.

But the communication part was also important because we are a company that works a lot with design.

You have to take advantage of what you're given and avoid thinking that it’s a big waste of time.

Alexander Morabbi Wulsch, CBS Student, URU Design

Holes in the socks

DF: What about for growth, have you managed to use anything from what you learned in school to help the business expand or grow?

AMW: It’s really difficult to learn certain subject matter that helps your business grow or expand, but you learn a lot of practical stuff in terms of administration and the accounting.

When people talk about growth, it is generally based on sales, and that is a topic that is not easily taught in school and that is one of the reasons that entrepreneurs say that there are things that you cannot learn in school. A lot of social skills and hands-on marketing experience is not something you get in school.

But for me, learning marketing at CBS has helped URU Design to strategize better, reposition our brand, and think about branding in a way that has helped us create some growth. Taking the basic theories that we would have never normally thought about and applying it to the brand.

The team behind the Kickstarter campaign. (Photo: Adam Kuskner)

Pulling up your business socks

DF: You mentioned strategy, would you say that studying at a business school has taught you to be more strategic in your business endeavors?

AMW: Getting an education in itself requires a lot of strategy because you are planning for the future and that is what strategy is all about. Also, in terms of choosing what you need to learn and what you’re going to apply is also strategy, planning out a strategy for your own education.

Running a business and being a CEO is basically strategy. It’s all about planning and positioning and always being ahead. It’s basically a game of chess.

DF: Earlier you mentioned that URU Design used corporate finance to pitch to investors, did you manage to find any?

AMW: We pitched to several investors and once we went all the way to the point where we had the lawyers ready to sign the documents and everything. But then they pulled the plug in the last minute. We spent hundreds and hundreds of hours negotiating with them.

It’s something you’ll never learn in school. It’s often the social problems that arise in business, the human to human connection that you don’t learn about in school. It becomes very black and white, it becomes a lot of theory in the end. And it doesn’t prepare you for the ruthlessness of business.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Can odd socks become a start-up? Yes, they canby

  • Opinion

    OPINION Cand.merc. reform: Not a “sound process” – no time for student involvement

    OPINION: By Tomas Vemola, Student at BSc Digital Management, CBS Academic Council Member, Vice President, CBS Students

  • News

    Biggest MSc EBA (cand.merc.) revision in 30 years: Fewer options in the future. Four of the current 14 concentrations to disappear

    In a bid to align CBS’s flagship MSc EBA (cand.merc.) programme with ministerial requirements, the MSc EBA (cand.merc.) study board’s recommendation to senior management is to cut away five of the current 14 concentrations. Senior Management approves, but will save Applied Economics and Finance (AEF). Both the Academic Council and a reference group are raising concerns, not least over a “rushed process” and the reduction of core areas such as economics, organisation and marketing. Senior Management will host an open online Teams meeting on Wednesday 9 November at 11:15 and a meeting for students and others interested on Thursday 10 November at 8:45.

  • News

    How to survive and prosper: Matrix gets new businesses through the Death Valley Curve

    Making the right decisions for a new venture to prosper centres on recognising which stage the business has reached. Researchers at CBS created a matrix that helps ventures define where they are on their path to success – or failure.

  • News

    Hot election topics for CBS students

    With major international crises and several political parties proposing to reduce the length of master’s programmes and turn grants into loans, there is plenty to consider when voting in the Danish parliamentary election. But which topics do CBS students give top priority?

  • Blog

    Make a bestie out of that bike!

  • News

    Student jobs: sometimes small is beautiful

    Working in a student job increases the chances of employment right after graduating. But sometimes, CBS students are too eager to start early and may focus on prestigious companies rather than relevant tasks in their search. SMEs can offer different opportunities and more responsibility.

  • News

    Study groups – how to make them work

    Study groups are an important part of being a student at CBS. They give students a sense of belonging and help more students to finish their degrees. But study groups are also time-consuming and, at times, a battleground for difficult group dynamics. Read on to learn how to find the right members for your group, how to deal with conflicts and resolve them when they occur.

  • Gif of the week

CBS WIRE collaborates with

Stay connected