Can you tell us about your start-up?
My start-up is called Co-Host and is a company that works as the middleman between the summer house owners and Airbnb. So, I help people to rent out their summer house through Airbnb.
How did you get the Idea for Co-Host?
I got the idea for co-host a couple of years ago, from an episode happening in my life. My beloved grandfather unfortunately passed away and he left my grandmother back alone with both a summer house and a house - and she could not afford to keep them both. This really broke her heart, so she asked for my help in terms of what she could do. I suggested her that she could try to rent out the summer house for a period of time, to see if that could pay for it. I searched down the whole rental agency market, but I fast figured out that people were not really there to help, they were only there to earn money. They would ask for a rental fee of 40%, and she could only use the house 3 weeks every summer – and she would need to make a contract of minimum 2 years. This was not acceptable terms for her, so I suggested that we could try to make an Airbnb post and see if that could work. The house got rented out immediately, and now, 3 years after, she is running it all herself and it pays for everything about the house. My goal for this company is that I want to help people who are in similar situations, to rent out their summer house through a service with good conditions.
How did you end up getting the idea to be an intern in your own start-up?
I actually started the start-up 3 years ago, but since I am studying, I did not have that much time to work on it. It was always something that I did not really want to do but at the same time really wanted to do but did not have the time. So when I saw the opportunity to take half a year where I would only spend my time on my company, using my studies while at the same time getting help through the Inkubator, I could not see why I should not do it.
Is there a specific course or module from your studies that you can use?
I have used a lot of models since, first of all, I had to. So, I just tried it out to see if any of them could work. And I fast figured out that some of the models were actually really good. As an example, I can say that I used an actor’s map. I did not really want to use it, but then I thought, okay, let me just try It out. During this I figured out that there were some missing parts of my company. Some connections and partnership that I had not though about at all, so it really helped me.
What have you learned most about in your internship period?
I have learned a lot about how to do things really fast. To skip ideas that I could not see the big potential in, and to manage my time and plan a lot. Also, I learned to prioritise – if something comes up that seems really good, I need to do it instead of just sticking to the plan.
What role do you think the Inkubator has played during your internship period?
I think the Inkubator have played a big role in terms of the workshops. The things we worked on in the workshops where things that I had to do anyways, so it was really helpful that I could go to these workshops to do the business model and do the value proposition, without having to prepare anything. I did not have to read a lot of books. That was the biggest help. And also, to have an office here is really nice. I can go here and work, I don’t have to stay at home and get crazy.
Would you recommend for anyone else to be an intern in their own start-up or in somebody else’s start-up?
I would definitely recommend anyone to do this. If they have an idea or have something that they want to see if works. I have learned so much and tried out all the things I wanted to try out, and I think that it would be so much better for anyone to do this, than to do a regular internship. I have been in internships where all I did was to make coffee, and other boring stuff. I did not learn anything. With this, I can manage everything myself, and I learn a lot. I would recommend it for anyone.
Have you had any considerations about being a female entrepreneur?
Yes I have. I thought a lot about how people see me. And I thought about how males are often connected more to businesses and are taken more seriously than women are. But I feel that by dressing properly and doing more, I can show the picture that I want to show, and be seen as a businessperson.
How do you think it is possible to get more women or girls to become part of a start-up?
If you just see someone else’s success, I think that it is a big help. I heard about a guy from my education that were also doing his internship in his own start-up, but never about any girls. So, if you just spread the word. It is often always guys – talking about how you can do this and this, and how they succeeded. If you see girl doing the same, I think it could inspire other people to do it aswell