By looking at the start-up HappyPo, one would only have to correct it in one little detail: The spirit of invention is also fueled by travel. Oliver Elsoud and Frank Schmischke, the founders of HappyPo, are the best examples for this.
The idea for their “bottom shower” (also: easy-bidet) came to Oliver on travels through Japan and France. In these countries, bidets are given in every washing room. After business, you clean yourself with water. This is more hygienic, environmentally friendly and cheaper than conventional toilet paper. When he returned to Germany, Oliver missed this comfort he started to enjoy abroad. He started thinking: He couldn’t consider installing a bidet in his rented apartment. The costs were too high and the flexibility with view on the rent and job market too low. So he began to look for more flexible, mobile alternatives–and did not find what he was looking for.
The logical consequence for him: Together with his business partner Frank, he designed a suitable product himself. This was followed by a test phase that lasted over a year: "We're sitting here in Berlin, you always find someone who listens to you," says Oliver with a wink today. Support by the Social Impact Lab in Kreuzberg, crowdfunding through StartNext and the participation in the founder show "The Lion’s Cave", prepared HappyPo to enter the market: "It was like a gradual process–first people listen to you, then they like your idea, then it depends on whether they are willing to spend money for it. And suddenly you're in the race," Frank sums up.
Amazon was able to help HappyPo in two ways in its development
In a race, for which the duo quickly searched for new sales channels and found the ideal partner in Amazon – for two reasons: "As a start-up, we are still quite narrowly positioned in terms of logistics. But Amazon gave us an enormous reach in one fell swoop. With the help of "Shipping through Amazon", even larger growth spurts can be handled logistically well. This allowed us to play at a level during the build-up phase that we would never have reached so quickly on our own," says Frank. This technological and organizational aspect, however, is only one side of the coin that helped HappyPo to build an ever better running business.
One content aspect was at least as important: "People start their product search today at Amazon. As a young start-up, it's smart to say: "We want to be present with our products at Amazon, too." This step proved to be absolutely the right one. Because in addition to the increasing awareness, which was already largely given by the participation in the "Lions' Cave", Amazon delivered an unbeatable added value: "We quickly gained a large basis of trust through the Amazon rating system," explains Oliver. "It's like a testimonial, the honest opinion of your customers."
HappyPo at Amazon Launchpad and the Female Entrepreneurs of the Future
But anyone who believes that the founders of the easy bidet have already reached their goal is wrong. "We keep our feet on the ground. There are still many people we want to convince of HappyPo," says Frank. Here, too, Amazon will help. HappyPo is part of the Amazon Launchpad program, the company's own springboard for innovation. Launchpad promotes products from the hottest start-ups and prepares them for scaling. "We have our own contact there who supports us in placing the product in England, France, Italy and Spain. And in the long term, of course, we also want to enter the market in North America, together with Amazon,” Oliver says, looking ahead.
As if that weren't enough, the two founders have defined another goal: in view of their unique success story, it is important for them to pass on their experience to other entrepreneurs. That's why Frank and Oliver will be joining the Female Entrepreneurs of the Future program as coaches in 2019. "We are curious. We want to find people who are convinced of their product. And who have a really great product. These are the two most important aspects. Everything else we'll try out, develop and design together," Oliver says with a hopeful outlook on the forthcoming trip–which may end with the next big thing.
With the joint initiative Female Entrepreneurs of the Future, the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs, Global Digital Women, BRIGITTE Academy and Amazon are for the second time supporting the owners and managing directors of companies who want to expand their stationary business with the start of online trading or expand their existing online presence. The core of the program is the individual support of all participants by expert coaches–all of them experienced company founders, e-commerce experts, Amazon retailers or bloggers.