The European industry has recorded an increase in the number of players in the startup world. These startups not only create opportunities for the founders but they also develop the industries in which they operate, thus leading to an overall increase in employment opportunities and a growth in the economy. What startups have made it in Europe?
Health and wellness are aspects of life that have become more important over time, as people try to avoid the challenges that come with lifestyle diseases. Urska Srsen, having seen a gap in the fitness industry, came up with a company which creates wearable technology. These devices work by monitoring a woman’s monthly cycle, stress levels, sleep patterns and all other factors that could affect one’s health. This company ranks high among the top fifty startups in Europe, having taken over the market by a storm.
The company started in 2014. It has since undergone a rapid increase in growth and profits. They started off with offices in China, California, and Zagreb and by the end of 2015 their products were present across Canada and America in hundreds of stores. One of their vital forces lies in finding their target market and looking into what would appeal to them. This approach led to the phenomenal sales that they witnessed with their Leaf product. They also diversify their products to ensure that they can meet the needs of their upcoming market. The key to their success is active research and marketing to their intended audience.
Roland Grenke, Jonas Druppel, and Daniel Taschik came up with a mobile app which allows users to record videos of themselves synced to a sound clip, such as one from a film. These founders were unsure of whether their project would take off as they had tried two apps before and faced challenges in reception by the market. They were thus quite happy to learn that their app was ranking first in Germany, a week after their official launch in November 2014. Their success did not end there, and the app went ahead to rank high in twenty-nine other European nations.
Roland went on to state that they had at first tested their prototype on their target audience and the feedback that they had received had encouraged them to push through with the launch. Once the product was out there, its success in Germany and other European nations was an indication that their app could rank high in the international scene, something at which they worked.
It all began in 2013 at the hackathon conference in Berlin where the founders first met. On realizing that they shared a common interest, they set out to work on an app that could change the market. Dubsmash is their third attempt at the creation of an app. Before this hit came onto the market, they had developed Starlize, which was an app in which users could create personal music videos. Though the concept was quite good, the feedback they got from the market was not encouraging, and they had to go back to ground zero to find what would appeal to their audience. However, they borrowed some ideas from Starlize such as external sounds and user-generated videos, and they came up with a simple concept to which many of their users could relate.
They also learned from their mistakes and in turn created an app with more privacy in sharing and shorter videos. They also expanded their sound options from music to sounds and quotes to make the app much more flexible.
Their success lies in learning from their mistakes, undergoing several testing stages and looking at what their market desires in an app.
Caroline Walerud came up with this company back in 2012 in a bid to revolutionalize the shoe shopping experience. Through the use of artificial intelligence and computer vision, Volumental helps users gauge the right fit for their feet.
Caroline undertook a Ph.D. research in robotics and computer vision, and she put this information to good use by finding ways in which technology could aid users in finding a shoe size that worked for them. Caroline attests that most people wear shoes that are not the ideal size for their feet, and together with her cofounders who are computer vision experts, they use 3D scanning to come up with the right fit. Her technology comes with hardware on which users stand to get their feet measured, and this includes measurements that a retailer cannot assess such as the ball width and the arch length. Major brands have been quick to get hold of this opportunity such as Scarosso and Falchenberg, which are both using this technology in making leather shoes.
In her business model, Walerud received some backing from the Swedish government as well as some venture capital firms. Her success lies in finding a gap in the market and working to bridge it.
All these startups have been successful owing to the founders’ willingness to research their target markets and start off slow such that they could grow sustainably.