Tuesday, 17 February, 2015
Parakey makes it possible to replace all your tags and keycards in favor of your smartphone! Parakey allows facility owners to turn users smartphones into access keys to their premises. The keys are easily manageable via our cloud service and allows for instant mobile access. The four founders has a background from Chalmers University of Technology and a M.Sc. “Systems, Control and Mechatronics” as well as previous work experience from self-driving cars and active safety in the next generation of Volvo’s cars. The team has always fiddled with projects from scratch in their spare time and has made remote controlled mini-Segways, home automation systems and drones as early as 2009, before the “drone-hype”.
When the team applied for Startup Camp they originally pitched another idea they had been working on for a while, but just days after the pitch they changed it completely, withdrew the first idea and pitched again.
“So we stod with nothing but a idea on a Powerpoint at the beginning of Startup Camp” says CEO Jonas Arvidsson. He continues, “The network and coaching from Chalmers Innovation is irreplaceable for a first time entrepreneur. They [the staff] are are always willing to help no matter what the size of the problems are. Also you’ll get recognition when you mention you are a part of Chalmers Innovation!”
Startup Camp gave them all the knowledge of how to build the right product to the right customer. Going from engineering expertise to manage a startup business was a big step for all the team members. But it was not only work, they met a lot of new friends and had a lot of fun while doing it. When they won the camp they also won a trip to Silicon Valley, growing their understanding of how to build a startup. And the core insight is clear; you need to have a scaleable product which customers are willing to pay for and also show that the market potential is huge for your product.
And finding that that there was a market fit for the product has been one of Parakeys milestones. Now they are in the works of releasing a beta product to a couple of pilot customers where the first installment has begun. the plan is to take the customer feedback from the pilot customers and implement that to “an awesome product that just outshines the classic access-control vendor’s products”.
Will this make the four founders rich?
“We are doing this startup because we wanted an adventure in our everyday life and also build a product that we truly believe in. The money it generates is a bonus and potentially a big bonus because the access control-market is estimated to reach $16.3 billion by 2017.”
Parakey is currently in Chalmers Innovations seed accelerator, coached by Andrzej Brud.