After the rise in the EBS business ideas competition, the Rent & Go team has had to come to terms with the prosaic situation and the plateau that comes along with it. What thoughts, goals and concerns accompany the team? We’ll hear right away!
“We write, communicate, and surprise ourselves”
Loreta: “In the previous part of the blog, it was mentioned that we started working with different parties who could possibly be of help and who could be interested in our business. That’s exactly what we did. At a meeting, we divided the stakeholders between us and started working on getting them on board with our idea – each of us with our own strategy. Initially, I started talking with the Tallinn Urban Planning Department. There were a lot of questions we wanted to ask them, so it didn’t make much sense to line up a whole bunch of questions somewhere in an email. Instead, I asked for the possibility of a (virtual) meeting with a representative who would be competent to share information about parking arrangements and the general vision of Tallinn city planning in the upcoming years.
A little waiting period and nothing. Instead, all we got was a redirection. From the Tallinn Urban Planning Department, we were referred to the Tallinn City Transport Board. Okay, so we turned the wheel towards the Tallinn City Transport Board and started waiting for an affirmative response for the meeting, which we didn’t get. It made me sad for a little while. But eventually, we will have new doors opening for us and we will find a way to achieve our goals anyways.
You know, all this time that we’ve been working with Rent & Go, many doors have actually opened on their own and important information has come up at unexpected moments. At times, it’s pretty weird, but at the same time, it’s amazing. I have noticed that the same pattern has been repeating many times now. We establish a goal or take on a task with the team, and then life begins to feed us with various clues and signs.
I will bring an example from the latest door that opened. Although we got a refusal from two places, I still tried to move forward and communicate with other stakeholders. At the same time, my head was empty and I didn’t immediately know where and to whose door to knock on next.
The story goes as follows: I come home one night, I do various things unrelated to our business idea, and I happen to hear on TV exactly the part of the news where they were talking about car rental and parking. A quick glance at the TV and I see that the Deputy Mayor of Tallinn is talking about the future plans related to parking in the city of Tallinn. With particular amazement, I listened to the part where the Deputy Mayor talked about the goals of the city of Tallinn concerning parking. And wow! RENT & GO HAS THE EXACT SAME PURPOSE. We want to achieve the same goal with our own solution which is to direct parking from city streets to private parking lots and private yards!
It was good to hear that the goal we had set with Rent & Go is not just a goal or imagination born in our heads, but it is a goal of the whole society. That reassured us that we were doing the right thing. Key takeaway: ALWAYS keep your eyes and ears open because you never know when some clues will show up or new doors will open from somewhere. In the next part, we’ll already have new doors and clues appearing in front of us! ”
The world of technology
Gustav: “I haven’t been able to ramble here for a long time, but here I am again – still alive and active. In the meantime, time has passed very quickly and everyone has researched and dealt with things within their field. New plans set in place, we started looking at what we can now do ourselves. I made myself a plan to call the 15 most popular companies which sell modules that can be used to open gates and barriers.
More specifically, it is a module that connects with the brain of a barrier system. This research was important because this device could then be made easily compatible with a so-called smart house or we could develop it further ourselves. I set out to do it all in one day, so I immediately started calling people in the morning.
During the phone calls, I realized that a lot of producers only offer a system where a gate or barrier opens by calling, but we don’t want that. We specifically need the object to open just from our app and not by a call. Time kept on ticking and the vast majority of companies I had already contacted, but I hadn’t found the one yet. I started wondering if really no one in Estonia offers such a small and simple gadget. Fortunately, among the last few calls, a woman picked up, with whom I had a long conversation. It seemed like she had what we were looking for, at least initially. The price was right, WiFi compatibility was there and the module seemed to be compact.
While calling the last people, I got some really awful price quotations from some of them. I have no idea whether we talked past each other or how in the world could such prices turn out of these conversations, but for a small module 1,200 € seems a bit much. With the last call, I was redirected to a competitor, which seemed pretty funny to me, and also to the recipient when he asked me how I got his number. Estonians aren’t usually so kind to recommend their competitors, but this time it was different. I got in touch with a technician, with whom it was very interesting to talk to and who suggested different solutions. I also talked to him in more detail about my plans and business, and it seriously fascinated him. From him, I got the idea that it would be possible to produce these modules ourselves, which would save time, money and other costs. If we design a module just the way we want it, it gives us free hands and bigger opportunities. We also found a couple of foreign companies that produce modules and we contacted them as well. But on this topic, we’ll talk about in more detail another time perhaps… ”
Markus: “I’ll quickly jump here to the end like a commercial break or closing credits. But .. we are going to the hackathon very soon! Specifically – a smart city-themed hackathon. I am very excited myself and I can tell that it can give a nice boost to our activities. We even got additional members to our team thanks to the event. We will talk more about everything in the upcoming parts!
See you soon! ”