Meet the Smartups

The second Peloton Smart Retro Innovation Camp brought together 13 new innovative startups in Stockholm. Here are five of them.

This group of daring and inspiring entrepreneurs is doing more with less. We call the firms “smartups”: startups that make more efficient use of existing resources, particularly in housing, food and transportation. It is these individuals who are helping to transform our cities into more liveable communities with smarter services.

 

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HOFFICE

Hoffice, or the ‘Airbnb of offices,’ makes it possible for you to open up your apartment for others to use it as their office for the day.

How does your service improve urban life?
“Our society is moving more and more into an individual way of working; people want to work on their own terms. The costs of that can be that you feel a bit lonely and isolated. Hoffice is the best of both worlds: you can do what you want but also be part of a community. No strings attached. And all it’s free.”

Where do you see the firm in two years?
“There is an energy in Hoffice that is beyond the concrete benefits of it. It’s something that deepens trust and openness. It’s breaking new grounds into what is public and what is private. It can open up and unite people.”

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt at the camp?
“Pick your battles. Decide when to focus on what. If you have too short a time to present something complicated, it’s probably better not to even mention it.”

Hoffice made great progress at our camp, announcing that they would turn the movement into a registered firm. Check out their presentation here and visit the Hoffice site for more.

 

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Kvalitid provides apartment buildings with domestic help from unemployed youth.

How does your service improve urban life?
“Our service reduces the youth unemployment rate, which is the main reason we’re doing it. It makes it easier for urban residents to find domestic help; it’s so complicated and annoying and expensive to use other services. You’ve got to go on a website, sign up…. There are trust issues. Kvalitid simplifies the process and improves youth unemployment.”

Where do you see the firm in two years?
“We hope to create at least a thousand new jobs. Become a brand known by the vast majority. Have a positive vibe.”

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt at the camp?
“To do light testing.”

Kvalitid was our pitch contest winner at the Stockholm camp. Read more about their plans for testing here and visit their website.

 

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City Car Club is a car-sharing service that offers carefree driving for those who could use a car but don’t own one.

How does the service improve urban life?
“It makes the cityscape a lot nicer, reducing the amount of public space needed for parking. A lot of our cities are full of cars that just sit there; our streets are basically used for storage. We want to create greener, nicer cities.”

Where do you see the firm in two years?
“Connecting travel chains: walking to bus to train to car. We want to provide a comprehensive solution that fulfils any specific travel needs you might have. We hope to be successfully up and running in other cities, too.”

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt at the camp?
“To test and to fail, and to learn from it.”

You can see City Car Club’s plans for Smart Retro here and visit their website at this link.

 

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Yhteismaa’s Nifty Neighbour is a map-based social media platform for neighbourhoods. The site brings together people who live close to one another, making it easier for them to socialise and exchange favours.

How does your service improve urban life?
“Simply by increasing the interaction between human beings, by creating an opportunity for encounters and by leading people into random acts of good.”

Where do you see the firm in two years?
“For Yhteismaa: everyone enjoys a full salary, there’s steady financing for projects (which also enables us to improve them), and perhaps we could even begin to support external projects. Scaling it up. When it comes to Nifty Neighbour: everyone in Finland uses it the same way they use Facebook!”

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt at the camp?
“That we can launch simultaneously in two countries, Finland and Sweden. Our local users are interested in piloting it here in Sweden, which means that we’ll now hire someone here to do the piloting. We’ve realised Nifty Neighbour could just as easily service the whole of Sweden too.”

Nifty Neighbour received an honourable mention from our judges in the Peloton Smart Retro pitching competition. See their pitch here. Yhteismaa has already raised 30,000 euros of funding for the platform.

 

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Represent is an entirely new way of having your voice heard on things that are important to you. Anyone can ask a question and everyone can see the answers. Discuss, explore, share, take action: what happens next is up to all of us.

How does your service improve urban life?
“Urban lives are busy and surprisingly lonesome. We identify people with common values and objectives, and help them take the next step, whatever it may be.”

Where do you see the firm in two years?
“I’d like to see what a more democratic city looks like. I’d like to see what would happen if a city used Represent to ask its citizens what they really want. Every day. Would it result in societal change?”

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt at the camp?
“That taking time to think about ideas and exploring seemingly irrelevant options is really, really useful. Being forced to think creatively about challenging situations, such as ‘What would you do, if you…’ is really useful. You can get all sorts of things and ideas from that.”

As part of the Peloton Smart Retro testing phase, Represent is now open to beta testers. You can sign up here.

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