Riding a motorbike is very dangerous: every year there are about 30,000 accidents with 700 fatal injuries. RideLink, the winner of the 2019 Galileo Masters Hesse Prize, develops artificial intelligence (AI) based driving assistance for motorbikes to reduce the number of accidents by 10,000. Basically, RideLink analyses driving behaviour, street and weather conditions to help the driver adapt their speed to the current situation.
Monika Mayr Project officer at AZO, interviews Stephan Kaufmann, Founder of RideLink.
MM: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
SK: RideLink offers the customer four features:
- Breakdown Service
- Routing & Tracking.
RideLink consists of the RideLink Adapter and the RideLink App. The team consists of seven people from Spain, India, Japan and Germany working in Frankfurt, Cologne and Barcelona. Not all of us ride a motorbike, but we are all passionate about the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and AI.
MM: What has been your company’s biggest challenge so far?
SK: In my view, funding is the biggest challenge for any startups like us using hardware. You need money before you are able to proof market success. Most investors are not too keen on hardware startups because of the longer selling cycle, working capital and higher upfront investment.
MM: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
SK: To be perfectly honest, we are still looking for the ingredients for success but we keep motivated and passionate about what we are doing. I believe our strong will and our endurance are currently extremely important, especially as long as the product is in development and the financial situation is not so easy.
MM: What do you expect from winning a Crowdfunding Prize in the EGNSS Accelerator and how do you think the initiative and its network will help you to kick-start your business case?
SK: Actually, we hope to get in touch with more potential customers and receive additional funding for our company in order to move on with the development of our product.
MM: How and when did the idea for RideLink emerge?
SK: Basically, many innovations are happening: You work on something and think there is something missing. We worked on our telematic platform and thought about new use cases for the platform when we saw motorcycles passing the street in front of our office window. Then one idea followed the other until we decided to see how potential customers would react to it. This was when we started to bootstrap a little bit to see if customers would like it.
MM: What were the main reasons to participate in the Galileo Masters?
SK: We thought our innovation is a perfect fit. Using satellite data to save lives should be a good solution – and an international platform would support our further success. The most important thing for a startup is feedback on the product. You need to go out and get as much feedback as possible – and that’s what we did.
MM: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in RideLink’s future?
SK: Going international and offering RideLink in Europe is our dream. Having a thriving community that loves the product and helping us to build the best-in-class solution for connected motorcycle.
Did you enjoy this interview with the outstanding startup? Anyone interested can get into contact with Stephan Kaufmann (RideLink U) www.ridelink.com via firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for upcoming interviews with Galileo Masters startups on our AZO Blog.