Daniel Bartel (2nd from left) is one of the co-creators, along with Sebastian Ballweg and Marcus Goesser, of Autonetzer, an online platform that allows private owners to rent their car to others, following the idea of collaborative consumption. The cars are fully covered by Autonetzer’s insurance, owners can fix the price and decide if they rent by the hour, by the day or by the week and prices for the user are more convenient than an average car rental. The system is community-based and allows both owners and users to rate the experience.
How did you come up with this idea?
Well, we met at Startup Weekend Stuttgart. Sebastian and Markus have experience in business and they already had the idea. I have a sales and service management perspective, so we thought it would be a good fit. The idea is not to put more cars in place but give a better use to the ones that already exist. We believe that collaborative consumption is the future, even in Germany where people love their cars!
So far, what have being the greatest obstacles that you have encountered along the way?
The hardest thing has been to find an insurance to make it safe and attractive. That took a long time! The way we have set it up, our insurance complements the owner’s insurance and covers the drivers and all potential damage to the vehicle so the owner’s insurance doesn’t suffer for it.
What made you get in contact with betahaus?
We started our business at the coworking space in Stuttgart. We love the idea of coworking and we believe coworking spaces are very adequate for our concept. We want to build a community, not just a platform. It’s nice to know the other users, the people you lend your car to and in coworking spaces people know each other, so it’s easier for them to lend their cars to others. Since betahaus is the pacemaking coworking space in Germany, it was obvious for us that we had to approach the managers to introduce our innovative mobility concept. Now we have a specific URL where betahaus users can rent out and borrow cars nearby at http://betahaus-berlin.autonetzer.de.
Is there anything you would improve?
I love the idea of betahaus: I believe it’s the future because it represents collaborative working, the fact that you can go to other cities and feel at home, meet different people everywhere. You don’t need to work in one office anymore and betahaus is your office worldwide. The only thing is that even though I understand it includes a lot of services besides coworking, the prices are ambitious for young entrepreneurs. Maybe it would be nice to have special discounted prices...
You’re a young startup, but do you have any advice for people creating their own startup?
I would suggest that they try to early prototype to show the product or service and let people experience it, give their feedback. A prototype opens a lot of doors, even if it’s not perfect. Failures and mistakes actually improve the learning process and give you a better chance of success.
So, what are your plans for the future?
For Autonetzer, grow the platform and make it more popular. I'm exited to use methods like Design Thinking in order to impove our plattform even further, so people can loan their cars even more convinient and earn money while doing something good for the nature. Bethaus-Users should definatley check out http://betahaus-berlin.autonetzer.de.
Eva Roig led the interview. She is part of the betahaus | Barcelona Team.
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Republikken // Copenhagen, Denmark // Vesterbrogade 26, 1620 København V, Denmark
Le Laptop // Paris, France // 6 Rue Arthur Rozier, 75019 Paris, France
utopic_US // Madrid, Spain // Calle de la Colegiata, 9, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Nest 71 // Saravejo, Bosnia & Herzegovina // Milana Preloga 12, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Toolbox // Milan, Italy // Via Agostino da Montefeltro, 2, 10134 Torino, Italy
Edspace // London, England // Block D, Hackney Community College, Falkirk St, London, UK
Bios // Athens, Greece // Pireos 84, Athina 104 35, Greece
CoWorx // Kristiansand, Norway // Markens Gate 8, 4611 Kristiansand, Norway
CRU – Loja / Cowork // Porto, Portugal // Rua do Rosário 211, 4050-524 Porto, Portugal
SPARK // Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina // Bleiburških žrtava, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina
StartUp Armenia Foundation // Yerevan, Armenia // 0019, 1 Marshal Baghramyan Ave, Yerevan 0019, Armenia
Tøyen Startup Village // Oslo, Norway // Hagegata 23, 0653 Oslo, Norway
Smart Coworking // Prague, Czech Republic // Václavské nám. 806/62, 110 00 Nové Město, Czechia
Lighthouse // Tel Aviv, Israel // HaHaroshet 14-16 Ra'anana, Tel Aviv, Isreal
Fueled // New York City, USA // 11, 568 Broadway, FL 11, New York, NY 10012, United States **Maximum 3 Days
Capital Factory // Austin, USA // 701 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, United States
Público // Mexico City, Mexico // Puebla 403, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Area Tres // Buenos Aires, Argentina // El Salvador: El Salvador 5218, C1414BPV CABA, Buenos Aires, Argentina // Soho: Malabia 1720, C1414DMJ CABA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
HubBOG // Bogota, Colombia // Cl. 98 #18-71, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
CIT // Taipei, Taiwan // 10452, Taiwan, Taipei City, Zhongshan District, 玉門街1號
Of10 // Mumbai, India // Prudential, Ground Floor, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400076, India
Kibar // Jakarta, Indonesia // Jl. Prof. Moh. Yamin No.1, RT.7/RW.5, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10310, Indonesia
Midori.so // Tokyo, Japan // Midori.so Nakameguro: 3 Chome-3-11 Aobadai, Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 153-0042, Japan // Midori.so Nagatacho: 2 Chome-5 Hirakawachō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 102-0093 // Midori.so2: 3 Chome-13 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0062, Japan
Launchgarage Innovation Hub // Manila, Philippines // Level 2, Industria Mall, Circulo Verde, Calle Industria, Bagumbayan, Quezon City, 1110 Metro Manila, Philippines
Independent Studios // Melbourne, Australia // 39/40 Porter St, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia
Urban Station EGYPT // Cairo, Egypt // 2 Wadi El Nil Mohandeseen, Cairo, Egypt
Nairobi Garage // Nairobi, Kenya // Nairobi Garage, The Mirage, Chiromo Rd, Nairobi, Kenya
BONUS: Cowork & Relax at the Coliving Space, Coconat // Brandenburg, Germany // Klein Glien 25 14806 Bad Belzig, Germany // Get €10 off your stay
Toni: Currently, we’ve somehow ended up in this niche of building a lot of internal tools for startups and teams. But this is not the only thing we want to do. What I like about it is that we’re starting projects from scratch and we have full control over them.
Martin: The first project we worked on was a tool for a large scale real estate development company. What they needed was a tool for their Sales people - to be able to mark their different spots and locations at different stages of the sales funnel. So we created a tool that helps them in this process.
Toni: And this one actually served as a starting point for the tool we’ve developed for betahaus, which aims to allow the Sales and Management team to see which team rooms are occupied right now, which ones are free or will be occupied in a few weeks or months, so no double bookings appear.
Alex: These two projects were more focused on real estate, let’s say, but we’ve also done more design-heavy projects like the one we did for Artique which is an online artists agency. For them, we built a whole website and an online system to present their artists starting only from their logo. It had to be very flexible, because the artists needed to be able to edit their own profiles, putting their resume, changing colours.
Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different.
Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally.
Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.
Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.
Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte
Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.
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