Case Solving Series: A challenge by Stockholm´s fast growing mobility start-up, VOI Scooters
Feb 27, 2019
“The Case Solving event is a recurring event, organised by InnoEnergy CommUnity Leaders and active members all over Europe, during which participants have a chance to brainstorm, debate and propose solutions to the defined case on energy-related topics.”
E-Scooters are the hottest e-mobility trend in the market and are becoming increasingly popular in Europe, especially in the Nordics, and one company is dominating the capital European markets – VOI.
VOI is a Stockholm based e-scooter company founded by Fredrik Hjelm (CEO) in March 2018 and has now reached more than 12 cities within Europe. However, micro e-mobility is a relatively new market and there are numeral challenges on the way for e-scooter companies to lead the path towards carbon free urban transport solutions, some of which are regulatory and others more societal.
While talking about the importance of stakeholder involvement to a British news agency, Fredrik Hjelm remarks
“We won’t rush into new markets where we are not welcome. When we launch in the Benelux countries, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and Portugal during 2019, we will hold firm to that pledge. If e-scooters are to work, they have to be a community resource and a natural extension of collective transport”
As for the technical, social and societal challenges a case study was organized by CommUnity Stockholm on January 24th 2019 to infuse the creativity of young minds with the experienced corporate ones. A total of 7 teams with 3 to 4 participants each, ranging from diverse backgrounds, participated in the challenges put forward by VOI.
Four judges, namely Carline Hjelm (CMO, VOI), Robert Kalas (Regional Manager, Nordics Market Operations, VOI), Adam Osterman (Deputy Innovation Lab Director, SEB) and Stefan Pohl (Vehicle Operations Manager, VOI) were invited to mentor and evaluate the teams and their innovative solutions.
The event kicked off with a presentation about CommUnity and InnoEnergy followed by an introduction to VOI and entrepreneurship in general by Caroline. “Second mover advantage is under-rated and should not be taken for granted”, she said, talking about the company’s growth as a major player in the European market. She also advised the budding entrepreneurs among the students to test their ideas as soon as possible. The event proceeded with the two challenges presented by Robert, the first challenge revolved around optimization of charging methods and placement within an urban setup while the second one was more related to safety on roads in snowy seasons and alternate use cases for scooters in such extreme weathers.
The teams came up with some amazing ideas and the judges seemed quite impressed by the professional concise pitches. The solutions ranged from exploring different indoor markets such as malls and airports to VOI scooter races. One group went as far as to crunch the numbers to claim yearly savings of €3 million with their solution to the company. The two teams that finally impressed the judges the most had an innovative approach of charging by using swappable batteries and the other proposed different gamification methods to enhance community experiences much like Pokemon Go.
Whether these scooters remain successful in ridding the roads of carbon-based modes of transport, it sure is exciting to see their prevalence in the continuously changing urban landscape.
By Hamza Abid In collaboration with the CommUnity Post