Baloise Mobility Accelerator: Interview with Streetwaves and PARK-Cy

Roshani Anna Amin
October 8, 2021
10 weeks 10 start-ups: In this week’s interview we sat down with Axel Verstrael of Streetwaves and Jeet Banerjee of PARK-Cy reflect on the end of the accelerator and the long term impact they see the programme having on their start-ups

The name of this programme matches perfectly. It certainly is an accelerator - it’s given us a good amount of momentum so that we can further ourselves….

Streetwaves

#ownspot #ebikeparking #comfort

PARK - Cy

#secure #bicycle #parking

How did your company come about?

Streetwaves: E-bikes are now a significant part of the mobility industry. But, e-bikes improving over the past years, we noticed that parking solutions have remained the same. Parking has not significantly improved and there aren't enough secure solutions for users. When you go to leave your bike or e-bike there is always this slightly uncomfortable moment of not knowing where to leave it and wondering if it will be safe once unattended. With this in mind we realised it was time to create a new parking spot to also include e-bike users and provide them with daily life parking solutions. At Streetwaves, our solution is an all in one locker – as well as your e-bike you can drop your helmet, shopping whatever it may be.

PARK-Cy: Our product is an innovative solution combining Locking technology and Mobile App based User Interface to provide secured parking service for bikes in city parking lots. What we are trying to do is to make existing infrastructure smart and more usable, while identifying demand and installing new smarter parking racks across the city. Additionally, we’ve always stressed on creating an ecosystem around this theme. It's not just the bicycle parking arrangements, but it's also having awareness of where there is secure parking, where there are available parking spots, and how riders can park their bikes securely, keeping in mind cyclists' needs and behaviours.

Why did you decide to participate in this accelerator?

Streetwaves: Just like you insure a car, you also insure e-bikes so, it's interesting to have an insurance company involved. What we want to achieve is to deliver additional services to the e-bike users – one of these services includes insurance. So, applying for an accelerator programme founded by one of the largest insurance provider’s was a no brainer! Another interesting point is that Baloise Mobility has a focus on Europe - which is a focus we also want. Therefore, we knew it would be beneficial to gain insights from a larger organisation already in these regions. It’s hard to enter a new market on your own so guidance and advice is very useful - to reach the level you want, it can’t be done alone.  

PARK-Cy: In a nutshell, our motive of working alongside Baloise was to strengthen and signify the PARK-Cy user experience, gaining insights from an insurance and mobility expert. For our customers, if something happens to their bike, we want the insurance company to be notified immediately. This way, the customer doesn’t have to go through the hassle of informing the insurance company, getting in touch with the customer support then trying to get the insurance to reimburse them. Therefore, we saw the programme as a great opportunity to improve user experience.

In addition to user experience we also recognised that in order to run a mobility company, insurance needs to be factored in. Therefore, finding the Baloise Accelerator Programme was a game changer. From our market research and study we understood that currently, bikes are somewhere where insurance companies are not functional at all. Interestingly, although Germany has 79 million bikes, around only 10% have a separate Bike-insurance. So, there is a gap in the market for this service which we set out to fulfill.

Have your expectations been fulfilled over the last 10 weeks?

Streetwaves: This programme has lived up to its name - it really is an accelerator. Not only is there the support of Spark Works and Sparkademy but there is the entire Baloise Mobility Team who carry huge amounts of knowledge. So, you have expert support for several subjects so to speak. This mix is great - they also have a similar focus - to accelerate now, immediately!  The mobility ecosystem is still niche and it can be hard to get people around the table with a similar focus, but on this programme that certainly is the case. 

PARK-Cy: What I really appreciate is the structure of the programme - how these 10 weeks have been designed and the modules that have been shared with us. The knowledge platform within Sparkademy has been great. The type of insights they share are very helpful - as an early stage start-up we are still mastering our structure. Therefore, it’s very important to have key milestones in a very organised fashion which we lacked before joining. The programme has helped us reconfigure our thoughts and our efforts in a much better manner. The only downside is how fast these 10 weeks flew by! It only hit me whilst I was in the final meeting with our coach that the programme was drawing to a close. I wish we could have had even longer! But, the name of this programme matches perfectly. It certainly is an accelerator - it’s given us a good amount of momentum so that we can further ourselves towards the launch.

What are you looking forward to?

Streetwaves: I'm looking forward to meeting everyone next week at the Portfolio Days in Basel.It will be great to have face to face contact talks and discover the whole Baloise ecosystem in the flesh. I’ve actually been in the mobility sector for over a decade and have really noticed a shift in mindset. Now people within the ecosystem are working more towards solving problems for common people, rather than the specific highlight products which could be sold in the market. Now, mobility is moving towards solving problems, with solutions that everybody can use on a daily basis.

PARK-Cy: We’re looking forward to imbibe the learnings from this program and build a complete solution for our users. We’ve found the right partner and mentors at Baloise and will eventually be able to successfully implement our solution on the streets, for every cyclist to use.

Mobility@Baloise

Learn more about the accelerator and the Mobility@Baloise journey!