Lena Germscheid - FlyBetter
Blog post #1
Describe the idea!
While the majority of online travel search engines compare prices, durations and services, they most often neglect CO2 emissions. To keep the prices low, search engines recommend flight routes with many (CO2 -intensive) stopovers and detours. The idea is to change this and develop a flight search engine ranking the results by environmental friendliness.
Who are you?
I am a 23-year old student of Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (LUMES). I am constantly engaged in diverse projects related to sustainable behavior changes. Before starting LUMES, I studied International Business in Germany, and gathered working experiences in project management and corporate sustainability working for an international corporation and non-governmental organizations.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
During the next three months, I want to reach my three major goals: a) conducting a detailed and reasoned market research (collecting data about consumer needs/preferences, potential partners, willingness to pay), b) elaborating a business plan based on the research and c) creating a network with partners, find people who can complete the team/external service providers (especially IT/programming).
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
I expect to achieve all the main goals mentioned above over this summer. Hopefully, by the end of August a first beta version of the search engine will be online. However, I also expect to be facing plenty of challenges, especially regarding all the data that is required to calculate and assess the environmental friendliness.
Blog post #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
During the last weeks, I further elaborated a questionnaire/survey to gather information from potential customers. After conducting the interviews and analysing them I tried to better understand what people are looking for. In smaller focus groups, I gained an even better understanding of the issue. Also, I talked to people who are working on similar concepts to exchange some ideas on the topic. I also built a “fake website” to see whether people I interviewed/talked to would actually be willing to try it out.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
On one side, things rarely worked out exactly the way I planned them, but I believe that this is just the way it is when you start a project from scratch. It is however important to analyse and hence learn from every little “failure”. Sometimes I found it hard to motivate myself since during summer everything seems to slow down. On the other side, during my research I came across other similar concepts that were recently launched. This nourished my motivation again proving how relevant and important the topic is.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
In the last month of Leapfrogs I am aiming to work on the business plan and test ways to make the project profitable. I also want to get more insights into the required programming that I will need to design the online platform people would like to use. I plan to meet up with experts and potential partners in the field who can tell me more about the next steps that I need to take.
Blog post #3
How did you experience the three months?
I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to dedicate my time during the three months to the project. It was intense to only focus on project but equally satisfying to see the steady progress (including detours, of course). I would like to take the chance to say ‘thank you’ to the LU innovation team for making Leapfrogs happen!
What has been most difficult and what has been most enjoyable?
To me, the most difficult part was time management. I especially underestimated the time it takes to build up partnerships and get other people on board. However, I tried to not be disappointed but rather slowed down my expectations. The most enjoyable was to share (even little) success with my team and to receive positive feedback about the idea and its impact from external people. This was always great to get new motivation.
Will you continue working on your project in the future? If so, what is your next step?
I will continue working on this project, as the overall experience with Leapfrogs was great and encouraged me to keep going. However, due to my studies, I will not be able to fully focus on it any longer.
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
The most important lesson learnt while working on the project was that (little) failures can be turned into a blessing. It helps to rethink assumptions and widens the horizon.
Do you have any tips to other new entrepreneurs?
Stay inspired and motivated, although you will experience how much of a rollercoaster such a project can be. It is important that you yourself believe in what you’re doing. Still you will sometimes have to re-think your ideas. It is much more of an iterative than a straight-forward process. You might have to ‘kill your darlings’ and ask for help.