Stefan Mrozek writes about the founding of his start-up “match it!”:
“2013 was a year of fate for me. At that time I was still with a large e-commerce service provider from Gütersloh and we were experiencing another restructuring there. In the dissatisfaction with the situation, my ever-existing desire to dare something new and my own interfered. Together with my then colleague, Alexander Leonard Ronge, we therefore developed a series of concepts and evaluated them using a matrix depicted with crepe tape on my living room floor.
We realized then that our shared passion for travel, together with the challenge of traveling friends, would be an exciting field that we wanted to explore. And so we developed the first concept of our start-up, which we called “Inditravel – Inspire, desire, discover”.
Since we, as “typical” East Westphalians, did not simply want to quit our secure jobs, we presented the concept to as many people as we could. At that time we also succumbed to the “Yes-Sager” phenomenon, after which friends and acquaintances naturally always gave us positive feedback, even if no one would have gone into business for himself. Only when, as the highlight of our preparations, we flew to the Pioneers Festival in Vienna and approached investors there simply from the side, at dinner and after their lectures, did we realize that it would probably not be easy after all: The first feedback was devastating and very sobering. We should think about a pivot of the business model, we were advised. We just thought: “What the f*** is a pivot?”
And so after the second evening we sat in our AirBnB apartment in Vienna and discussed dejectedly how we should continue. Words like “Pivot”, “MVP” or “Lean Startup” were only vaguely known to us at that time and we almost thought that this was the end of our start-up commitment.
Rather by chance we came to the conclusion during our discussion that usually the individual traveller did not need so much organizational support, but even more the group of friends who plan to travel together! match it was discovered! And so in the following weeks we further developed the concept of match it, as a combination of Tinder, Expedia and Doodle, and specified our calculations. After a fabulous Excel analysis of our upcoming sales (which turned out to be complete nonsense in retrospect, of course) we were sure: We quit our jobs in order to dedicate ourselves full time to the new startup!
No sooner said than done, jobs were quit, an agency for the implementation of the first MVP was found and a GmbH was founded! “match it!” was born!
– to be continued! –
The second part is about the beginnings as a young tech startup in Bielefeld, the search for suitable offices, building the team and insurance brokers with champagne party background 🙂