Always keep your customers in mind

crewbands is seen as an integral part of a sailing trip, just like a life vest

Please introduce yourself and your startup crewbands to our readers!
To make boating safer is the mission of Vienna-based startup crewbands. With its Android-app, the team presents the first part of their concept to alarm the crew in case a person has gone overboard (person overboard, POB). The app is unique in the market as most popular fitness trackers and smartwatches can be connected and used as signal transmitters. The specifically designed hardware will be available in summer 2018. The company was founded by Thomas Nenning, who holds a Doctorate in Automation Technology and is responsible for all technical aspects, and Werner Scheibenpflug, who started his own company after finishing both studies of Law and Business Administration.

How did you get the idea to crewbands?
One of our founders was on a sailing holiday with his wife and friends. When asked what will happen, if someone went overboard, he explained the procedure and the threats of loosing sight of the person fallen overboard. The next question was “why is there no automatic alarm, with a wristband or something like that?”
Hence, crewbands was born.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
The first challenge was to focus on the very core of the product. There are a number of ideas as to which functions would be useful; it was tough to select only a few of them and create a minimal viable product. As both founders are working full time, free resources have been and still are a challenge.

Who is your target audience?
Sailors, charter companies, boating enthusiasts and travellers, e.g. families and friends of skippers also coming aboard.

What is the USP of your startup?
We create an easy to use, simple and safe system, which enhances security on board. It is designed for sailors of all age groups with an emphasis on usability. Our preferred feedback is “about a minute after I put it on, I totally forgot I wore it” – this would mean we have reached our goal of not interfering with daily board routine.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
My workday usually starts around 8.30 a.m., quickly scanning emails and answering them. Often I have meetings and calls scheduled before lunch, which I use as break from the office to get fresh air. In the afternoon, I try to perfect concepts, talk to my employees and partners and finish all the usual back office stuff. Depending on my efficiency during the day, I leave the office at around 7/7.30 p.m.

Where do you see yourself and your startup crewbands in five years?
Providing the global sailing community with more solutions for boating.
crewbands is seen as an integral part of a sailing trip, just like a life vest.
Cooperations with boat manufacturers and charter companies throughout the sailing world.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1. Don’t overthink – act!
2. But only after you have thoroughly checked your business model.
3. Always keep your customers in mind; no one has been waiting for you and your product, so make sure to create something useful.

More information you will find here

Thank you Werner Scheibenflug for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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