When two entrepreneurs from Poznań, Jakub Luboński and Marcin Łotysz, announced to the world for the first time that they want to create a smart waste bin, which would recognize, categorize and sort your rubbish, few people believed they would succeed, and much less were ready to invest money in the idea. After almost a year of seeking support from different investors, they faced a difficult question: is it better to take a chance and implement the idea putting all the capital collected so far or to give up and go back to the daily routine – but without passion.
Fortunately, they have decided to follow their hearts and fulfill their dreams of the perfect waste bin, which not only would solve the problem of segregation, but also contribute to the protection of our planet. Today, after less than a year of hard work, a serious investor – Polish branch of InnoEnergy, with the registered office in Kraków – enters the board. InnoEnergy supports and invests in innovative solutions for the energy sector in Europe at every stage of their duration, from an idea to the final customer. The partner network allows to establish contacts across Europe, connecting inventors with industry, university graduates with employers, researchers and entrepreneurs, companies and markets. Currently, there are many projects from Poland under the wings of InnoEnergy, that are joined by Bin-e, which is appreciated for its business and ecological potential.
When we were distinguished in the final of the contest for start-ups – that is KICkoff Competition 2016 – we knew that this meeting would evolve into something better for two reasons: first, InnoEnergy prioritizes projects helping in the development of a sustainable energy future; secondly, our goals are exactly the same – we want to provide the market with a product that not only has a real impact on improving the quality of our lives, but also brings financial benefits, arising from the waste segragation and compression- -says Jakub Luboński, CEO of Bin-e.
“The road to the place where we are now, was not easy. We have devoted a lot to prove to everyone, but above all to ourselves and to our team, that’s what we’re doing makes sense. Today, when InnoEnergy experts enter our board, we know that our solution is what each of us needs to affect the world around us”, says Marcin Łotysz, the CTO and co-founder of Bin-e.
“The honorable mention for Bin-e, granted by the jury and the audience during the final of last year’s contest for start-ups from the Middle East Europe, confirmed that it is worthwhile to take a closer look at this project”, says Łukasz Świercz, the Business Creation Officer in InnoEnergy. – Those were the authors of the smart waste bin, who were invited to participate in the InnoEnergy Highway® programme, within the frame of which the project can count on the financial support of up to € 150.000 and the support at all stages of the process until commercializing.
Luboński and Łotysz have travelled over 40.000 kilometres across Europe and took part in the biggest start-up’s and IoT’s events in order to confirm the innovation and development plans for Bin-e. It took place not without criticism, making changes to the shape of the product and the deployment plan, as well as the target group and business model.
However, the rapidly growing interest on the part of the organizers of the biggest technology conferences in the country and abroad as well as of the best accelerators, showed that, although there is still much to be done, Bin-e is exactly what they are looking for in a customer. This was reflected in the establishment of a number of relationships with capital partners, the leading hardware manufacturers and potential customers. The proposed solution was also appreciated by several international organizations, among others: ACE Creative, Live Science Open Space, or Hardware.co.
“Thanks to the support of the best accelerators in Europe and thanks to the hard, but also extremely thought provoking net work, we were able to work out the ultimate business model and precisely designate the next development objectives and the plan of action. What’s more, the opportunity to learn from the world-class businessmen, like for instance Jonathan MacDonald,Paul Papadimitriou or Gerard van der Hoeven, was an extraordinary experience for us and gave us a lot of energy to further work, both on the prototype and the team-building”, says Jakub Luboński, the CEO of Bin-e.
The real need for a smart waste bin was confirmed by the customers not only in Poland, but also in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. The justification for this solution are the financial benefits resulting from the waste segragation and their compression. The analysis of the European markets has showed that, depending on the regulations in a given country, companies can save specific amounts thanks to the disposal waste. Innovation and the well-prepared business plan attracted also the attention of potential partners, without whom the construction of the device would not have been possible in such a short period of time.
The acquisition of partners, with whom we plan to develop the product and build new distribution channels, was not less important than obtaining the investor himslef. “For many years we know that only a good team, relying on growth and success, can make Bin-e appear in the modern offices of the largest European cities and subsequently also in the United States”, adds Łotysz.
There is a very difficult year behind our entrepreneurs, it was the period of many sacrifices consisting of hundreds of kilometers, dozens of appearances on the start-up’s stages and many publications in the media – both foreign and Polish ones. The purpose of all of this is to be able to go to the next phase and begin further work related to the commercialization of the product.
“We have great partners for further work, the great investor who supports us and has serious plans for the further development of the product and its implementation on foreign markets. We realize that we would have never achieved so much in such a short period of time, if there was not such a very large group of people, that supports Bin-e from the very beginning. “And those are precisely these people and their faith, what we need”, adds Jakub Luboński smiling.