Extreme Startup at Startup Extreme
Hi guys, there is a chance you might not know me. I’m Åsmund, the founder and CEO of the Norwegian startup Meshcrafts, working in the IoT sector. Normally I just do Electrical Vehicle kind of Internet of Things stuff, or smart city if you like. But for Startup Extreme I figured I could deliver a different kind of demo. I said I could revolutionise the event space by introducing real time monitoring, contact transfer and engagement with social media without the need for a traditional device at the individual level. I would say that in itself, this is a is a pretty extreme and bold (many might say stupid) statement. But in January I thought I could deliver; just needed to gather the funds to build it, as we all know that shouldn’t be a problem.
So we started mapping out all the stuff we needed to do to get this done in the 6 months leading up to the event.
First month was easy, trying to get all the different things you would like to do and figuring out what type of equipment we needed. Check! Then came the next months, trying to figure out where to buy the components, Check! Then find the company who could design the hardware, Check! Design the cover and print some mock-ups, Check!
And the whole time, trying to find someone willing to pay for it. Not checked. When I finally manage to find someone who are willing to pay for it, it is May 26th , and 22 days until Startup Extreme.
Nothing is impossible with unlimited amount of cash; the problem is often that we don’t possess this. At least I don’t, so the price tag of making a rush order for the band is much higher than a normal 3-5 weeks delivery time. Actually over 4 times as high, so now I’m sitting here 02:00 am on the 29th of May, knowing I have promised 2-400 units and at this time I have not enough time to deliver. Many of us have already been there in the startup world, not being able to maintain the schedule. But this time it inflicts more people.
Friday the 28th I must finally admit I can’t deliver. I have promised more than I can, and even though something was a bit out of my hands, it is still my fault. I must do some very painful and demotivating calls, telling people I can’t deliver.
I get a proper flogging on Monday, and I get one very clear message: ”that it can’t be deliver is not acceptable, FIX IT”.
I’m sitting at the desk trying to figure out how to do it, when I get a MMS from my dad telling me about this bracelet; a “kill switch “ to stop the engine in the boat if you fall over. The bracelet uses the same hardware base that I planned to use! Even better I have met the guys that makes it, Fell AS, before. I get on my phone calling them and telling them about what have happened and what I want to do. Then they let me use there design and hardware to make a prototype. The only problem was that it’s almost the same, but not precisely what we need. But at least we have a fighting chance.
So now the extreme startup begins; How can I deliver something that will be good enough to keep my promises, and that will show of my tech and the coming product, within the budget and time limits I have?
We might not be able to do everything we promised, but it looks like we can measure the connection made on the event, helping people connect with each other. With the help of Microsoft we will visualize it, Fell AS is helping us to get the hardware people can use (and it looks great), Tiny Mesh is building a new firmware so we can communicate with it, we are connecting the dots in the backend and creating the user interface. Now time is the limit since the hardware is landing in Norway the 15th (event starts 17th)and we still haven’t been able to test it.
So when you see me at Startup Extreme I am either the happiest dude there or I have just had my first experience failing as an entrepreneur.
Meshband, what can it do:
By connecting each node in a mesh network we can pair the different nodes together in our backend. We don’t use traditional communication protocols so the limitations of GPR-s, wifi or satellite is not an issue.
By using big data analytics we can decipher who meet who, in what area at a given time. In theory we can then connect the data to interact with any social media platform.