fbpx

Emil Hviid Juul Fogt Pedersen from Mile Sports

February 15, 2023

BY Ida Marie Wøhlk Vilbæk

Emil Hviid Juul Fogt Pedersen from Mile Sports

Meet Emil:

 

  • Founder of Mile Sports – a sports brand producing the ideal sportswear for running clubs

  • Studies Economics and Business Administration (BScB) at Aarhus BSS on the 4th semester

  • A passioned runner and athlete – once Emil won the Danish Youth Championship in triple jump

  • Founded Mile Sports in the summer 2021

How did the idea of becoming an entrepreneur arise?

The dream of becoming an entrepreneur has always been top of my agenda. Back in high school, my study program focused on innovation, and among other things, we participated in the Danish Entrepreneurship Championship for high school students. During these years, my passion for entrepreneurship started to grow. It really appealed to me to be able to create something from scratch and win people’s hearts by pitching your idea – but it is easier said than done to have that brilliant idea.

Besides my interest in innovation and entrepreneurship, I have always had a passion for sports. I have practiced athletics since 2016, mainly running. I have this theory that the better you look when you run, the faster you run. That’s why Mile Sports uses the slogan ‘Feel Better, Run Faster’. But I couldn’t seem to find the perfect sportswear for me. Another issue was that the team always came in 27 different shirts – the club didn’t have an agreement with a brand like you see in soccer for instance. Therefore, the idea for Mile Sports started to grow – it was the perfect combination of my passion for entrepreneurship and my passion for sports!

How did you get started with your entrepreneurial journey?

After high school, I began saving up money for starting the business. One of my high school teachers was involved in the startup hub Riggen in Esbjerg, and I became part of that. Here, the seeds for becoming part of The Kitchen were planted. I founded Mile Sports in the summer of 2021, right before I began my studies. I thought it would make a lot of sense to start the company while studying. At the university, it is possible for me to get an education and build up my startup at the same time.

What has been the biggest challenge in the process?

There have been many small bumps on the road. What I find the most challenging is the administrative part – I am the type of person who likes to turn thoughts into action, so all the administrative work can be a bit of a burden sometimes. It is also a big challenge to enter the sportswear market – there are so many big players, but I hope I have found the right niche.

What does a typical workweek look like in relation to combining your startup with your studies?

At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of priority. Entrepreneurship is my first priority! I prioritize my startup over my studies – this is what I want to make a living of. I don’t want to end up in a nine-to-five job, so even if this idea fails, it is not going to stop my entrepreneurial ambitions. But so far, it is possible for me to do it all. There is a lot of waiting time in the process, but when the business is up and running, I’m sure I will get a lot busier. Then it is nice to know that the university has a Dual Career service to help you balance study and startup.

How do you use your academic skills as an entrepreneur?

Overall, I find my studies both interesting and relevant for my company, so the choice is not totally random. Accounting is a great skill to have as an entrepreneur – and something I have learned a lot about during my studies. However, when it comes to the strategic work, I draw more on my general competences and look at what other businesses do and why they do so.

Where is your startup today, and what are your dreams for the future?

I have just launched! My business is up and running, and I am now going on a tour across Denmark to negotiate as many contracts with running clubs as possible.

My dream is to become the Danes’ preferred choice when it comes to running clothes – because they don’t want to compromise on comfort and design. My big goal for Mile Sports is to become a relevant brand on the Danish market, but I have a partial goal of becoming the supplier of sportswear for all Danish athletics clubs. I am a part of the club Aarhus 1900 myself, and in my opinion, athletics clubs in Denmark deserves to up their sportswear game. I would love to unite people through sport, hence making the shirts for Royal Run, for instance, would be something I would like to achieve.

The ultimate dream is however to become an inspiration for people and to be remembered for doing something inspirational and helpful but foremost put a smile on people’s face.

Your best advice for other students who are considering becoming entrepreneurs?

A great piece of advice I have gotten myself comes from my business developer in The Kitchen, Mikkel, who once told me that when you start a company, you need to ask yourself how the business is relevant and how it is different.

I also want other students to take note of signs that they’re overworked. And if you’re overworked, talk to a professional. I experienced a period of stress and imbalance last year, and it taught me to prioritize my mental health. Balancing your studies, your job, your hobbies and your business is tough as a student entrepreneur. For me, talking to a therapist gave me an outlet for everything that was building up in my head. It helped me regain my balance and take one step at a time – without it, me and my project probably would have crashed. The most important asset in your startup is you. If you’re not thriving, your business won’t make any progress.