In this blog I want to give a little bit behind the scenes look into founder life. Not in some photoshopped everything-is-perfect-all-the-time sort of way, but a genuine, real look. If a young founder is reading this blog, I want you to know that being flexible, adaptable, as well as a bit of an opportunist is ok, or better yet- its better.
Before sitting down to write this post I re-read my last blog article announcing ePilot. It was published just a little over a month ago. The team and I were riding the eMobility craze sending out partnership opportunities, focusing on user journeys and making contacts within the industry. Along the way we were learning a lot.
I myself am a big supporter in learning by doing and I encourage my team to respond the same way. Within our late night talks about business development and continuously proceeding with ever more in depth research and analysis soon the idea, product, and target began to shift. This, my friends, is a good thing. You need to be flexible to the needs of the market and adjust your product to do so too. Let me put this into the vernacular of our ‘start up’ generation, no new idea is perfect, everything can be optimized.
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For ePilot, when comprising possible package options we made sure to keep in mind our long term goal of making e-Mobility the easiest and most accessible transportation option for as many people as possible. The first problems were met with is that many service providers actually do not want an all in one eMbolity app. It became apparent that at least for now we must build our business model on existing infrastructure.
We began to think more creatively in terms of what problems we could solve and even more deeply into how can we reshape the way in which business works and benefits those around us. Then, one fall morning in Berlin, where there seemed to be delays for every s-bahn, u-bahn and bus alike many of the ePilot team members began calling in to say they would be running a little late. This sparked a series of sparring sessions that lead us to shift ePilot’s initial target segment.
In Germany, a country with very progressive employee rights, it is time to push ever forward and to think of who is responsible for an employee’s commute. In some cities, not only is the time the commute takes a cost for an employee to bear but also the actual ticket cost. In our contemporary work environment, many a modern startup is rolling out some eccentric employee benefit programs but what are the benefits an employee is actually searching for? We began to realize it isn’t just gym memberships, fresh fruits or trips to Disneyland but tangible needs like subsidizing or covering the cost of an employees commute.
For this reason, we have decided to tweak ePilot’s focus to employee commuter benefit packages. In this way, companies can follow through on their green mission by promoting electric mobility, perform internal marketing campaigns for employee health and eco friendly travel, and most importantly, provide their employees with compensation for getting to work while allowing them to make green choices in doing so.
If you are interested in taking part in this project with a vision for a greener and wholistically better work environment please reach out to our human resources department with an initiative application. Or if you are interested in more information on how to bring ePilot employee commuter benefits to your organization click here.
The Interns are Coming
My next big idea is in the works and I couldn’t be more excited about the fresh young energy in our Berlin office. It is my goal to bring forward another health focused project and for this, I have an interesting plan. I enjoy giving eager, young people a first chance with real responsibility. For this reason, I decided to partner with Minerva program and bring in students from all over the world to experience a 3 month internship program in Berlin with a Paranoid Internet incubator project. The minerva program is a rigorous college experience with a less than 2% acceptance rate giving top tier students international experiences while pursuing university degrees.
Last week, we unboarded 14 students to work on the incubator project. We have designed workshops and teaching sessions and over the course of their 3 month internships they are expected to build a roadmap for the project, develop a user journey, create plans for partnerships as well as PR and Marketing launch campaigns. It will be an intense 3 months but if any students are up to the challenge, after reviewing their impressive resumes I am sure these candidates will be.
More information on the future of their project to follow in upcoming blog articles.
Man on the Run
As usual, I am on the run the next few weeks. Be sure to schedule a meeting or quick chat at one of my next hotspots. I will be in Munich September 29th-October 1st attending Bits & Pretzels along with 5,000 other founders, investors and startup enthusiast. Next after that is Singapore where I have been invited by CoinMarketCap to attend The Capital, a global crypto and blockchain conference November 12th-13th.