Tuesday, 20 January, 2015
StockIT is an online auctions platform for timber and paper products. Sellers and buyers will always get the best price, no matter where the they are located over the world.
Founder Christian Ernstsson has a M.sc. in Forestry and Economics, as well as 15 years of work experience in worldwide trade and production of timber, paper and construction materials. When he entered Startup Camp he had been living with the business idea in his thoughts for about five years. The timing to realize it hadn’t been right until then, “for many reasons”, says Christian who’s motto is “You can’t bring heat, if you’re not on fire!” So what was his experience of Startup Camp?
“I loved it! Going from having my business idea in my mind to having an up and running business with my own staff felt truly refreshing and cool. Startup Camp enabled me to get a structure for how to set up my company and get it going with only ten weeks! It was incredibly satisfying to finish the camp off with completing the first order via our online system.”
After the camp, Christian and StockIT secured an investment and a place in the seed accelerator program. He was beginning to see that running your own startup means that you’re in charge of all the departments, such as admin, IT, sales, marketing, etc within your company. This proved to be a challenge at first, since he was used to being employed at a large company and having full support and know-how from colleagues from other departments.
“Setting up StockIT and doing it all by myself consumed a lot of my time. Chalmers Innovation has helped me sort out what to prioritize, and to focus to get my business up and running full scale in the most efficient way and in a set time. I have also received support in strategic business decisions, financial support and office space to mention a few things. The overall entrepreneurial and positive atmosphere at Chalmers Innovation has also brought its fair share to the table by keeping the momentum that this will be a success.”
One of the goals for the companies in the accelerators is to find investors, business partners to help them along the way. Christian believes that proving that your company can offer a product or service that is both cost efficient and innovative on the market indicates that you are likely to survive long-term and with consistency. And that are the characteristics he himself would look for if he was to invest.
StockIT has achieved quite a few milestones; when they contracted a few of the biggest sawmill companies in Sweden, their first order (worth USD 127 000), as well as recruiting the first employee and when they in November 2014 could offer the market a staggering 20 000 m3 via their platform Stockit.se. They have also teamed up with a company in the US, helping them to reach North American and South American producers, and established strong relations to the best lawyers, banks and shipping agencies. So what is their next goal?
“It’s to have a stable monthly turnover and to get producers in North America, South America, and Central Europe to use our services. We are also looking at adding one more business-area during 2015.”
StockIT is currently a part of Chalmers Innovations seed accelerator, coached by Per Sahlin.