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Interview, Startups

What do orders and maths have in common?

March 18, 2019

Not very much. At least not at first sight. But if you are digging deeper you will see that both fields are relying heavily on numbers and data. Taking this into account it is not surprising that the two startups DAGOPT and Orderlion work together on a project to innovate Spar Hervis’s ordering system.

I have met with the two award-winning startups – DAGOPT winner Startup Award and Oderlion winner public award Pitch Night – and talked with their CEOs Franz and Stefan about the weXelerate Accelerator program, their exciting project and their future plans.

weX: Franz, Stefan, thanks for meeting with me. How did the collaboration of the two of you start?

Franz: We met at the welcoming event for batch 3 at weXelerate. We started talking, it’s always interesting to find out in what field the other startups are working.

Stefan: But it was not before Spar Hervis came to us aksing if we could help them to optimise their ordering system that we soon understood that we needed DAGOPT’s expertise in maths and data to help them.

weX: Can you describe the project in more detail?

Stefan: Our solution will optimize the demands for products. The main message is that your favorite product never will be sold out again as the shops can plan and order better in using our solution. Let me explain that a little further. In sportswear there are certain peak times such as before a marathon everyone is buying new sport shoes or when winter is coming people tend to buy more winter wear and ski outfits. This new system assures that there are always enough products in stock.

Franz: We have designed the system to learn and to make suggestions by itself. In order that it can do that we have fed it data from the past 5 years. There are certain trends as well as connections between weather and what people buy. The system furthermore reminds the stores to order let’s say sport shoes for the marathon in a greater stock that when people start buying them there are enough in stock. We have also seen that there are slight regional differences in what is ordered.

weX: Wow, that sounds like quite a project. Do you think it can be redesigned for other business fields as well?

Stefan: The project with Spar Hervis is a pilot project. Out of this we want to create a basis model for other businesses as there are many other businesses that need optimisation of their ordering systems too. I furthermore think that it makes a lot of sense if smaller companies build a platform together and in doing so become much stronger.

weX: Any feedback on the Acclerator program?

Stefan: It was a truly positive experience for us. The networking was great, I also appreciated the mixture of national and international startups that took part in the program. The speed-dating concept on the Investor’s Day at the end of the program was a really great idea.

Franz: I really liked the setup of the program, especially the networking. Where else would we have met so many interesting new people.

weX: That is great to hear. Both of your startups have won awards while being part of the Accelerator program. In your experience, what does such an award mean?

Stefan: It’s always nice to be nominated. Of course everyone hopes to be the winner. For us this was true at the Pitch Night in January. We got a lot of media exposure and investor’s interest out of it. Winning an award also comes in quite handy for our active communication.

Franz: I agree with the media exposure and the active communication. We have a notion on the website saying “Winner of the Startup Award”. For us it meant that we had 15 times more visitors on our website. Our winning the award was furthermore featured in various magazines and newspapers, therefore you get known to more people as well as get more interest and feedback. We will apply to other accelerators as well, of course we want to use the drive right now.

weX: Well, congratulations again and all the best for your project.

Franz, Stefan: Thanks.