Trade Nov-Dec Interactive - page 19

Potential privacy concerns are
addressed by not utilizing personal
data – no names, phone numbers,
addresses, or ages are used. Also
only data that's older, as in not real
time is analyzed; and most impor-
tantly the technology analyzes the
way groups of people move about a
city, it does not analyze a single
individual. This innovative techno-
logical approach makes StreetLight
safer than simple aggregation or
many other “location based services"
on the market.
Laura Schewel, the thirty-year-old
co-founder of StreetLight Data had
pitched to 40-50 VC’s before
T-Venture became involved, but she
was not discouraged: “I kept going
because I knew I wanted to build
this product, I wanted to make this
information exist in the world. Also,
once we had a few people on board,
it would have seemed like a betrayal
of their trust to give up.”
T-Venture takes an active role in the
product development of its startups,
or as Thorsten Claus puts it: "We
don't give dumb money, companies
need to be open for our input!"
Claus spends 80% of his time with
his ten portfolio companies – some-
times "just filling the fridge" but
also advising on international
market entry, personnel sourcing,
product presentation and image
building. In everything the startup
has to prove that they are serious
about their project, can execute and
have deep seated conviction about
their product.
Laura Schewel of StreetLight Data
has only been under T-Venture’s wing
since March 2013 and has already by
far exceeded expectations. Still in the
developmental phase the startup has
already attracted eight big clients,
three of them large retailers.
Schewel attributes this success
to lots of hard work and having an
ear on the ground to what the
market wants: "Listening to our
clients and potential clients showed
us how to explain our product in a
way that was instantly understand-
able and exciting. Really, it's about
framing. You can have a great
product but if you don't explain it
well, it doesn't matter."
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