I am one of three co-founders of Flag. Flag's mission was to transform retail by opening a new offline channel. Flag received the German founder scholarship and was selected startup of the month. Flag's technology supported an art event at famous Berlin club Berghain and was presented to investors in Tel Aviv.
Flag's app enabled users to identify and buy design items in places like cafes, hotels, restaurants and events. As such, it created a new offline channel, in which natural spaces became showrooms for beautiful products.
How we started
We created the idea for Flag during a research project at the TU Berlin. We asked ourselves how mobile technology might change the retail world. Main result was that mobile devices will break up the strict division of online and offline retail.
A colleague and I wanted to see how this future might look like. Some design sessions later our first prototype was up running and we were excited how well it worked. A quick look at the market made clear that the possible applications of our idea were endless.
We did not believe that the strict division of online and offline retail will persist in the future
Convince others of our idea
We received an EXIST grant at the StarTUp Incubator of the TU Berlin, one of the most renowned academic incubators in Germany. We set up the team and started working full-time for our vision. Flag was born.
In the following year, I was startup founder: business model creation & hiring and product designer at the same time.
As part of our team were Design Thinkers, we used many of its methods during our daily work - feedback session, frequent prototyping and tendency to visualize.
Successful pilot events
For testing out our idea, we organised pilot events. In July Flag tagged more than 40 products in the School of Design Thinking during an open house event. In September, Flag supported an art event in Berlin's famous club Berghain, with more than 800 visitors. Peaches was one of the exhibitors. In November, we "flagged" the popular design hotel MANI in Berlin Mitte for a month. Visitors were able to identify all items on the ground floor using the app.
Soon people noticed our activities. In February, we took part at EIT ICT Labs Smart Retail Kick-Off event in Helsinki to pitch our idea and connect with other retail startups in Europe. In June, we visited Israel to be the only German startup to pitch on the Made in Germany conference. As "ambassadors" of EXIST Germany Israeli magazine "The Marker" wrote an article about us. In August, the BMWi selected Flag as Startup of the Month featured on Gründerszene.de.