A network and lessons for a lifetime
All started early in 2017, when Lukas applied with LAWIF for a competition, which was offered from the University of Applied Science Upper Austria. The goal was, to write a short introduction of the idea, you want to join with for EIA and your motivation to go there. A couple of weeks later we got the message:
Congratulation your idea is accepted!
Within the next month some organizational things were done for EIA, mostly by the FH and Akostart. The closer EIA came, the more things we had to prepare for it. Lukas finished the different types of Canvas and already tried to find some team members on the EIA platform. This sounds basically easy, but before the event started there were more than 150 startUps, who have been looking for members. Lukas already found 3 other people, who were very interested in LAWIF. If they finally joined the team we will tell you later.
Lukas was not the only person from the University of Applied Science Upper Austria. Also, Mathias Maier and Nishi Vartak got a ticket for it. We have been going to Turin by car. And it took us almost 14 hours to go there, because we also picked up two people from Chile on the Milanese airport. After arriving at our hotels, we decided to grab some food together in the center of Turin. After pizza and pasta, for sure we decided to find a nice Italian bar to get to know each other better. The night was short, but we knew that we have to wake up early to check all the stuff we needed for the first days at EIA. Basically, almost everything was about meet and greet and talk about the different ideas. For Lukas it was the first chance to see all the people who applied for LAWIF online.
Not all people who applied at the platform also joined the team, but this was more because we couldn't find each other. It was way too crowded and everybody tried to bring people in the team. Two busy hours later, Munashe from Zimbabwe, Kyle from Florida and Pary from Germany entered the team. There was just one person missing. From this point on it started to get really hard to find a fifth person, because we were really focusing on someone, who is same energetic and motivated. The day passed and when the next day started we still had no one in the team who really fitted. But then, all of the sudden Lukas saw Ishan, a guy who applied on the EIA platform for the team, but wasn't here on the first day. After a short talk to him, we knew this is exactly who we were looking for. Ishan the software developer from Michigan.
After the teambuilding process, we went together for some food and talked about LAWIF and what we can work on. That was day two. The third day started with two speeches about “Creating your own company” and “How can Google help you with validating your ideas”. By the way, both talks were amazing. But after this Lukas recognized that the EIA is actually made for new ideas which you develop in groups of five in three weeks. So, we actually tried to change something, because LAWIF was way too far developed for the EIA and it made no sense to go there and talk just three weeks about what we made over the last months. “The goal of EIA is to bring people from different cultures and regions together. To bring skills and experience to other people and get them back. To build a network, which last maybe forever.” Lukas thought. That’s why we decided in the team to change the whole topic and work on something completely new. Because feedback from other people and mentors for LAWIF we will get anyway. And that’s the important point.
A new idea was born
The problem is simple. Small auto repair shops do not really use new technologies to communicate with their customer. Furthermore, they usually just use Microsoft Excel to do their inventory. So, we went out to talk to people, from the customer side and to people from the business side to ask them, what is your biggest problem? A point which always came up was the non-transparency. Customers never know what happen to their car exactly und how long it takes for this. Furthermore, the communication between the customers and the auto repair shops is totally offline and past in the 20th century. The central message of us is to bring auto repair shops into the 21st century.
This was the idea and now we are going to tell you what we made in the first week to improve it. First of all, we started with a problem and how to solve it. Every morning starts with two speeches from international speakers, mostly from the Silicon Valley. Followed by a lunch break and another speech. After this there is time for a three hours mentor and a two hours team session. Basically, we used our theoretical knowledge from the talks later to work on our idea. The first week was totally focused on the idea, solutions, market research, customers persona and business model. A special day we had on Thursday in Milano. There we made a customer’s validation and of course we also found some time for shopping in the city of fashion. ;)
All in all, the first five days were amazing with a high quality of speeches and a lot of input we used for our new idea. For LAWIF Lukas was working on beside for a content strategy and used every time he could get from mentors to speech on LAWIF. And it was worth it.