Making it in the Collaborative Economy
The article was written by the event’s organising team.
Over 120 Collaborative Economy enthusiasts got together on 11 April in Budapest to listen to talks from professionals, and pitches from promising startups.
It is for the first time that an event dedicated to the topic of Collaborative Economy is happening in the CEE region bringing together participants from Romania, Austria, Turkey, Finland, Lithuania and even from Belgium. OuiShare, the global community of the collaborative economy, founded in France and well-established in Western Europe, is now just getting started in the Central European region, and this event was a great step forward in building the community and spreading the word.
The first part of the event was dedicated to short-format talks from experienced professionals sharing their vision about different aspects of the Collaborative Economy and summing up key learning around the theme: How to build a startup in the Collaborative Economy? Trust, communities, collaboration were among the keywords repeated frequently by the speakers.
Juho Makkonen (CEO of Sharetribe) explained that peer-to-peer marketplace startups fail mainly due to three reasons: 1) They are not solving a real tangible problem for their users, 2) They have a too broad focus, or 3) Their business model doesn’t scale. Makkonen gave an inspiring talk with lots of real-life examples of P2P marketplaces that struggle to grow for the above-mentioned reasons.
Robertas Visinkas (CEO of Trustribe) was focusing on key aspects of building trust in an online environment. He highlighted that “if a marketpalce can get the trust right, then its growth is a sure thing. Trust is key in building a strong community and each community is like a unique entity. So you first have to learn its values and only then build trust elements according to a desired value hierarchy.” Robertas explained the complete review and verification solution built specifically for P2P marketplace, designed by Trustribe and built on a research that his team carried out during the past few years.
Serkan Kurtulus, the founder of Sharemyfare and also the leader of the Collaborative Economy movement in Turkey, shared his vision about starting up with a collaborative service in white spaces. He underlined the importance of “Collaborate versus Compete”. He explained that “you need to collaborate first to build the market. We now have collaborating ride-sharing partners, and are open for more. We are also offering our APIs for free to anyone who wants to build their own ride-sharing app – with a single objective: How can we make more and more people aware of ride-sharing, and make ride-sharing their preferred choice of travel to go from A to B.”
Zsombor Vasvári (CEO of Boatforrent) who shared his experience with his “Airbnb for boats” platform, pointed out that proper insurance solutions are key for P2P platforms since “if a 16-year-old guy can rent a boat on your platform without any papers and drive out his girlfriend to the ocean to show off, he will.” While talking about validating an idea, he reminded the audience that “a guy, who says at an interview that he would love to be your customer is not true feedback. A guy, who gives you his credit card number for a service is true feedback”.
The second part of the event was dedicated to emerging projects from the Collaborative Economy ecosystem. Eight entrepreneurs had the chance to pitch their project and get real-time feedback from the jury consisting of recognised professionals with diverse areas ranging from startup incubator, media, crowdfunding and public speaking.
After the four-minute pitches delivered by the startuppers, the jury took their decision and gave Ruxandra, the founder of Babele, the opportunity to take part of the OuiShare Fest in Paris, which will be an opportunity for her to take her project to the next level.
Good luck to her and to all of the other participants!
See you in Paris at the OuiShare Fest from 5-7 May!
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