Don’t fear mistakes and setbacks

Goldfink Solar Planner tablet case with solar-charged powerbank

Please introduce yourself and your startup Goldfink to our readers.
Our Berlin-based startup Goldfink was founded in 2016 by me, Gabriele Hemmersbach. We are a small team of product-obsessed, quirky innovators who create smart accessories, tools, bags and wearables. Sourcing the latest materials and production methods and collaborating with small, local manufacturers we combine smart technology, intelligent design and eco-conscious mindfulness.

We are about to launch the Goldfink Solar Planner. The Solar Planner is a portable hybrid binder for digital and analog work, eco-friendly and new tech. As a mobile office it offers a sturdy solar-powered tablet case with a powerful integrated battery to charge your tablet, smartphone or other electronic devices on the go. We also integrated a charging cord and USB and Micro USB ports so you are never without power when you need it. There is room for a slim keyboard and stylus. At the same time it is an organizer with a ring mechanic to hold paper inserts such as calendar, notes and papers. It contains slots for business cards and writing utensils. Everything you need in one place. Digital and analog side by side.

How did you get the idea to the Goldfink Solar Planner?
For years I struggled to synthesize my analog and digital work habits in a meaningful and practical manner. You know the situation: You watch a video and want to take some notes. Or quickly sketch your ideas and google some relevant information. I researched productivity apps, learning processes and the functioning of our brain. Hybrid working mirrors how our brain works for the right and the left brain sides contribute to it, structured and deep, associative and creative. No existing tools offer a satisfying, user-friendly solution in one device. So I developed the Goldfink Solar Planner.

It supports digital and analog work habits, across media and multi-sensory.

What is your vision for Goldfink?
We live in a world of consumerism and abundance. Yet we realize that our quest for ever new, more and better goods may touch on the finiteness of our resources. That’s why we are committed to create products that help you make an eco-friendly choice whether it is in conserving resources, using renewable energy, learning about mindful habits or empowering you to create your own purpose.

When we created the Solar Planner we focused on generating your own power for your electronic device. This may not solve any global consequences of using fossile fuels, but it motivates a personal evaluation of one’s own use of energy and possibly change one’s habits. These may be small, individual steps. But we are a community taking many small steps in the right direction.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome and how did you finance?
The hybrid planner was greeted with enthusiasm and support in our community of testers and fans. Finding a manufacturer, however, was a real challenge. The project seemed too complicated, too untested, too niche. Traditional leather manufacturers would not touch the technical aspects of solar panels, PCB or battery integration. Electronic manufacturers were at a loss when confronted with our standards of durability and material craftsmanship. We developed countless prototypes, tested, improved, changed and tweaked, and being German, went back and tested some more. Now we have a beautiful, well-designed product ready to be launched.

We manufacture in Germany because here we can supervise every detail of the manufacturing process and quickly implement any changes and improvements.

We self-financed the development of the Solar Planner by stringent bootstrapping in all possible areas. We learned what we didn’t know, expanded our expertise in unknown areas, committed every possible mistake and studied some more. Now we are experts in solar technology, electronics, design, material choices, photography, editing, community cooking and keeping up good cheer. It has been an exciting journey.

How did you decide on crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is an opportunity for us to build a community and to bring our project to life. We look forward to connecting with supporters worldwide.

Our campaign on Kickstarter starts Friday, 27 July. We are super stoked and ready to roll.

What advantages do you see in crowdfunding?
We hope to receive feedback and ideas to improve our product to meet our supporters’ needs as far as possible. Crowdfunding is a long-term commitment for us. We are dedicated to forge a brand that combines sustainability and design and in years to come intend to launch other projects from our abundant pipeline of product ideas. The crowdfunding community with its innovation enthusiasts is the perfect arena for this venture.

Contributions will go to financing the manufacturing of our first product line. We would also like to reach out to users outside the crowdfunding community.

That’s why we intend to build our marketing, sales and retail distribution to reach more customers and spread our love for the Solar Planner.

Who is your target audience?
Creatives, visionaries, travelers, urban nomads, tablet users, paper lovers, and geeks
Everyone who works digitally but dreams in an analog way

What is the USP of your startup and how is it different to your competition?
When you can’t find google keywords to pinpoint your product you know you have entered uncharted territory. But seriously, the Solar Planner is the first hybrid solar-powered tablet case and planner. The combination of exquisite workmanship and leather craft with a solar charger and battery is unique. It synthesizes digital and analog work habits in a multi-sensory, creative and sustainable manner.

Existing solar chargers cater to an outdoor experience whether mounted on backpacks, tents or boats. In contrast, the Solar Planner is an stylish urban companion, by your side at work, college or at a café whereever you need it.

The Goldfink Solar Planner is protected by international patent laws.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Goldfink in five years?
We have several exciting projects in various stages of development which we intend to roll out in the near future. It is our goal to establish Goldfink as a branded home of quality design and green technology that offers products that make a real, valuable difference in its users‘ lives.

What 3 tips would you give other start-up founders on the way?
Ditch your business plan, roll up your sleeves and make your dream a reality. Don’t waste time with coachings, consulting and dubious workshops for founders that draw on your rescources and motivation. If you have no financing, buckle down and bootstrap. And most importantly, don’t fear mistakes and setbacks. Failure is a precursor for your next successful project.

Link Crowdfunding

More information you will find here

Thank you Gabriele Hemmersbach 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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