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“State of the union” of the Swiss Sharing Economy

The association of the Swiss shareconomy startups met at BlueLion Incubator on November 24, 2015 to exchange on best practices for Go2Market strategies. Here is the digest of the evening’s presentations and discussions.

Key take aways:
  1. Getting customers to pay for sharing services is still difficult, but acceptance is rising
  2. Today’s projects know they are trail blazers
  3. Many pivot to B2B to find first revenues, intending to expand to B2C lateron
  4. Must know the needs of your target segment very very well & design solution precisely

And: The enthusiasm and ideas remain strong!

Opening remarks by Gert Christen, CEO BlueLion Incubator

Sharing economy business ideas will get more important, as they can solve problems, which are not solvable today. In addition, sharing fits with the lifestyle of the young generation.

There have been many and impressive ideas over the last several years. However, the success rate has been rather sobering…. We are still waiting for the “killer app” in the sharing economy. All entrepreneurs in this space must know that they are trail blazers and that their time will come!

Jacando presentation Sharecon event Nov 24, 2015

Dennis Teichmann, CEO of Jacando

The original business idea did not bring enough revenue. Jacando pivoted to become a B2B service in the shape of a job portal. The USP of Jacando is targeted matchmaking and search processes which are superior to the competition.


Catch A Car presentation Sharecon event Nov 24, 2015

Silena Medici, Head of Catch A Car

Switzerland’s first car sharing offering where cars can be picked up and dropped off anywhere. Launched as a mobile first project. Currently as a pilot project in the city of Basel to gather data about usage and balancing car locations. To explain such a new and unusual service in marketing messages is challenging. Before the launch, Catch A Car chose emotional content to appeal to the lifestyle of its target group. Today it is using user generated content to show actual experiences that the users are enjoying.


Sharely presentation Nov 24, 2015

Andreas Amstutz, CEO of Sharely

“No business plan survives first contact with customers!”. The secret is to continuously adapt the solution to exactly what customers want. Sharely allows anybody to rent items from each other. The chicken or egg problem (supply vs. demand) is immense and must be overcome by continuously adapting and by actively managing micro segments which appear (e.g. photographers seem to frequently rent lenses from each other).



Rent A Rentner billboards

Reto Dürrenberger, Co-Founder of “Rent-a-Rentner” (Rent a Retiree)

“Be different or die!” is Reto’s business credo. He is using provocative advertising and guerrilla marketing to get media attention, which gave him a large marketing reach which his startup could never have paid for. True to his own words he went on to announce the launch of their new dating portal for retired persons. He also advised to simply not do copy-cat business models except one is much a) better, b) cheaper, c) more digital, or d) more innovative than the competition.

All the presentations are available on Slideshare.

This post draws on the work by René Lisi of Sharecon who summarized the presentations. Thank you René!

See also this independent report on Omanet by Frank Kunena (in German).

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