Vor einigen Wochen haben wir Euch die Jungs von Travel to Live vorgestellt, dem Startup, das uns die Reiseplanung erleichtern will, heute möchten wir Euch Smart Mile Solutions, ein weiteres Startup des Accelerator Frankfurt Programms, vorstellen. Smart Mile Solutions ist ein Startup, das die urbane Warenlieferung nachhaltig revolutionieren möchte. Jedoch nicht nur Nachhaltigkeit, sondern auch Effizienz und Komfort gehören zum ganzheitlichen Ansatz des Startups.
Wir haben den Gründern, Steffen Luippold, Aku Happo und Frank van Os, im Rahmen unserer Accelerator Frankfurt Reihe, 7 Fragen gestellt, und zwar auf Englisch, since it’s an international world und Esperanto hat sich einfach nicht durchgesetzt.
Please describe your business model.
Smartmile is an open and shared urban delivery platform, making urban delivery of online goods more sustainable, efficient and convenient. Our business model is mainly B2B: we share the cost savings with couriers and retailers and charge them a competitive price per parcel. Besides that we enable online buyers to receive their parcels where and whenever they want. Our customers will never miss a delivery again. They can decide between a monthly flat rate or price per parcel.
What is your USP?
Our platform is open and shared, courier and retailer agnostic, as opposed to the current courier driven delivery models. For couriers and retailers we provide the most efficient and sustainable delivery of online goods in cities. It’s about consumer driven delivery (as opposed to the current courier driven delivery models):
we enable consumers to receive their online purchases where and whenever they want and never miss a delivery again.
For cities we reduce traffic, congestion and pollution coming from urban deliveries.
Please tell us about the day you pitched to Maria and Ram. What comes to mind when you think about that day?
We met Maria at Slush in Helsinki in November 2016, where we had a one-to-one meeting with her to tell her all about Smartmile, followed by a series of Skype calls with Ram and Maria. What comes to mind is that they were driven and enthusiastic about our concept and asked the right questions, not only about Smartmile, but also about us and the team. But it was not only about them evaluating our qualifications, we also wanted to take a well-judged decision on whether or not we wanted to participate in their program. We felt, that we clicked from the beginning. In the end their drive, genuine interest and enthusiasm, and their approach and wide network did the trick.
Tell us about the program, please: What does a typical day look like and what is the most valuable lesson you took away so far?
There is really no typical day and that is the beauty of it. As we are based in Germany, Finland and the Netherlands we are not always at the program office in Frankfurt. We try to be there when there are events, investors etc. We spent the first week in the city however, meeting with a lot of mentors and investors and receiving very valuable feedback, which we used to sharpen our concept.
When we are in Frankfurt we have meetings with mentors and investors and exchanging experiences with the other startups from Wave 2 and 1. There are great pitching and networking opportunities and we have met with some incredibly sharp and outstanding entrepreneurs from Ram and Maria’s network, who have given us the most valuable and great feedback and we have connected with potential investors for our next funding round. Besides all the hard and serious work, there is also time for laughs and beers.
And after some time we even learned to appreciate the typical Frankfurter Apfelwein.
With Demo Day so close which areas do you feel you need to still improve to convince the investors?
Our story is easily recognized by investors, the problems and the way we solve them are very obvious. The traction that we have generated from our operation in Germany is what we want to show the investors.
What is the most essential tool you’d recommend to every entrepreneur?
It is all about focus. Make sure you concentrate on the core of the concept and business case. But also test it in real life as soon as possible and share it with many, and be very quick to turn lessons learned into improving and adapting your model and services. To do all this, the most essential tool is yourself and your fellow team members.
Be open, receptive for genuine feedback and never, never give up!
Three words about Ram and Maria?
Passionate, open, energetic
Thank you very much!