When and how did you decide to start your own company?
When you have worked for many years in the same company in a particular industry, you see how things work and realize that sometimes you would like to do things differently. Then the question automatically arises regularly as to whether one should not dare to do it oneself.
However, a trigger point is usually needed. In our case, we saw considerable potential in the area of contactless biometrics. Unfortunately, our former company lacked the resources to focus on this research-intensive topic.
With IDloop, we can now concentrate fully on this single project and are making excellent progress as a result.
What exactly makes your startup stand out and what is special about your business idea?
We are fast, focused and a young, motivated team that wants to bring a breath of fresh air to the professional fingerprint market that is craving innovation. We want to bring the first contactless fingerprint system for identification to the market. In doing so, we will for the first time combine the security of fingerprints with the convenience and hygiene of a contactless solution.
What are currently your biggest challenges?
We see it mainly as a challenging spiral. We're developing a novel technology and we need to be fast to get into the market. To do that, we need to find good people to make it happen. To do that, of course, we need money. Investors bring money, but most of them already want to see customer loyalty through sales. But before they pay, customers naturally need the finished technology. And we can get it quickly, that's right, with more good developers.
So, the biggest challenge is probably to make progress in all trades at the same time and to turn on this spiral at all corners, because nothing works without the other.
What were your biggest fears and concerns when thinking about starting your business?
We never had any major fears or concerns. The cornerstone is our well-coordinated creative team. With this, we approach all challenges optimistically.
What were or are the biggest difficulties you had to overcome on your (founding) way?
Getting rid of the engineer's point of view and learning to develop a product for the customer and not for yourself. However, we have adapted our development plan so that we can gather customer feedback as quickly as possible and incorporate it into the development.
Where are you located and why did you choose this location?
We are located in TIP. The Technology and Innovation Park in Jena. There are also many other start-ups there and it's a great place to exchange ideas. We also work directly with some of them. In addition, there is a subsidy for the first three years, so we only must pay the ancillary rental costs.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
In 5 years, we will have moved out of the TIP because it became too cramped and we had to expand. Also, in 5 years, we would like our first product to already be successfully used worldwide and we will have already expanded our product range. We have ideas and great technology for that.
What tips would you give people thinking about starting a business right now?
Pitch your ideas to an audience. There are many events like this, and the weaknesses of your business model will quickly be revealed. Work on it, improve it, and pitch again. Find people who want to start with you and share your passion. A solid team is essential. Look for people who will take you by the hand a bit in the beginning. There are many good accelerator programs for startups. We participated in TRIP, and it was a great fit for us.
Regarding our upcoming trip to Japan to explore the market: Have you ever been there and if so, why?
It is the first trip to Japan for us.
What are your expectations for the Japan trip and which program points are particularly relevant for you and why?
We expect a good response for our contactless high-tech innovation in Japan, as the Japanese take hygiene very seriously, as the Corona pandemic has shown. We are especially looking forward to meeting NEC, one of the largest system integrators for biometric solutions in the world.
[IDLoops Feedback after the trip to Japan:]
What kind of support have you experienced (from the ISC) and what additional services would you like to have?
The ISC took us on this trip to explore the market in Japan and get to know the people there. We also had two organized video calls with Japanese companies beforehand, organized by the ISC.
The networking events on site in Japan will help us and we hope to get a much better impression of the country, the market and the people. We would like to participate again next year. We would also like to be able to meet the partners we are interested in more specifically in advance.