Start-up stories by founders for founders and those who want to become founders: That is "Inside Startups". Two founders are interviewed in parallel about their development so far, and the participants can pester them with questions. Our editor Laura Steinau tells you what it was like last week with Carlos Klein from FactoryPuls and Heinz Luckardt from KONVOI.
Thefts from parked lorries (HGVs) cause damage of 2.2 billion euros every year in Germany, a serious problem for the logistics industry. The start-up KONVOI has developed a mobile security system for parked trucks. Based on radar sensors, an approach to the vehicle is already detected and theft of goods and damage to the vehicle are prevented.
Straight from university into their own start-up: The precursors for the idea for KONVOI were, among other things, research projects during their studies at the Technical University of Hamburg (M.Sc. Industrial Engineering and Management), the co-founders Heinz Luckardt and Alexander Jagielo also wrote their Master’s theses on the topic, and directly afterwards they founded their company with the EXIST start-up grant.
On the important topic of sales, Heinz spoke of how valuable it was that they had a mentor at their side at KONVOI who guided them through a kind of “sales school”: How do I make cold calls on the phone? How do I write emails to customers? How do I set up a CRM? “There is no one sales strategy, it’s the interaction that counts,” says Heinz.
After studying at HAW Hamburg (M.Sc. Production Technology and Management), Carlos Klein first worked as a QM engineer in medium-sized companies, among other things. As a consultant, he worked internationally for various consulting firms. Through this experience, he recognised the need of medium-sized companies: Support to advance their own digitalisation and become Industry 4.0-capable. And thus found his way into his own company. He and his team have developed a complete IoT (Internet of Things) toolkit for FactoryPuls (pronounced like “the pulse”) with an IoT gateway, IoT platform, algorithm and data visualisation. “This way, medium-sized companies that don’t have enough IT know-how themselves can remain competitive in the future,” Carlos explains to Inside Startups.
Founding a company has definitely been the best decision of his professional life so far, says Carlos. Nowhere else has he experienced such an extreme learning curve. When asked about team building, the founder emphasised a key learning: for him, a shared mindset and personal motivation are much more important than specialist knowledge.
Finally, when asked the classic question “Where will you be in five years?”, both founders agree: they would like to continue to act and work independently, with a larger, but just as highly motivated team at their side as they have now. That sounds like a grandiose plan and we wish both teams a ton of success!
If you want to ask founders questions and hear their learnings, keep an eye out for a new date of Inside Startups in 2022, info will be available via our social media channels and on this page.