10 weeks 10 start-ups: In this week’s interview we sat down with Wim Buzzi of let it fleet and Stephan Kochen of Leih dir mein Auto to understand how through the accelerator they are better understanding and becoming more involved in the everchanging world of mobility.
«Mobility is so individual. Everybody has their own preferences - there's not going to be a one size fits all solution.»
let it fleet: Wim Buzzi and Alain Duez, with their deep automotive and fleet expertise started thinking about how they could best support the Fleet and Automotive industry in the post Covid-19 world. This includes new types of support and ways to think out of the box. From here let if fleet was born. Recently, the company joined forces with Modal-Mobility a technology startup that provides software solutions within the corporate mobility domain. Now, with technical and automotive expertise let it fleet is serving customers via automated analysis and adequate tooling.
Leih dir mein Auto: Leih dir mein Auto provides peer-to-peer carsharing with a twist. Traditional P2P platforms operate from the assumption that car owners are willing to share their car for money. We figured out that it is quite common for car owners to offer their cars to friends and neighbours for free. This was also the case for my friend until she found out that this is technically not allowed under her insurance. I think it’s ridiculous that it’s not possible to share a car with trusted people. This is one of the reasons our city streets are congested with underused cars parking on valuable public ground that could otherwise be used for playgrounds, public parks, and gastronomy for citizens to enjoy. With Leih dir mein Auto, we set out to give cities this space back.
let it fleet: I think the answer there is twofold. On one hand, there's the educational part of this accelerator where they are challenging us to think about strategy and market research for example. Then the second element is collaboration. We have ten startups working together and as we're all working on different angles of the industry so we're not really direct competitors. I think this significantly helps in the collaboration part, as well as interlinking with each other and the broader ecosystem. Partnerships are in the making, because we are all discovering that for example startup X can help me with Y or we can build this together. Overall, Baloise and the team are helping us rethink what we are doing, our objectives and accordingly how best to tailor that to the market. Additionally, we are speaking to marketing experts on the programme who are providing insight through a marketing lens as well as a visual lens from the design team. For example, if you talk to somebody from design they offer suggestions on how to improve your pitch presentation. Ultimately, they're not really telling you how to change your product, they're telling you how to put it forward, how to best communicate it.
Leih dir mein Auto: I think mobility is so individual. Everybody has their own preferences - there's not going to be a one size fits all solution. Some people cherish driving a car and being alone by themselves while others love to ride the train because they can relax. This means that there are a lot of different needs and preferences that need to be catered to and that's why there's so many ideas out there that cater to all these different trends. Then, on the other side for example my company Leih mir dein Auto needs other companies to help with mobility insurance. That's why ultimately being a part of the mobility ecosystem is so important. Baloise is really doing it both - they are a leader in insurance but are also looking to the future and recognise mobility is a thriving industry, which they are ready to execute in the right direction.
let it fleet: I really like the coaching sessions and especially the flexibility around it. It's not like a set agenda where you need to do A, B and C, but really flexible. We are focusing more on the content and finishing things off, and the use case has been fantastic help in connecting us either with people from Baloise or Spark Works or in between the startups themselves. It sounds funny, but in most accelerators or programmes it's often too structured, sort of like a one size fits all. But, on this accelerator it’s really tailored to you.
Leih dir mein Auto: The coaching sessions have definitely been hugely beneficial. Already in my first week of the accelerator programme I had a call with Patrick Wirth. As such a senior figure within Baloise and the mobility team I assumed he would not know anything about my company so I came prepared with my pitch. I was pleasantly surprised - he had really done his homework. Not only was he knowledgeable on my company and our business model, but he came to the meeting with suggestions and ideas for how to take it to the next level, from the perspective of an insurance company. It was really gratifying that he was so informed about my startup, and took the time to discuss it in depth. It gave me the feeling that Baloise really wants all of the startups to truly succeed.