Category Archives: GenieBelt

Platform for real time project management in construction

Year 1 and the journey ahead

It’s a bit more than one year ago I left JUST EAT, so it’s time to reflect on how things have panned out in the next phase of my startup life. I don’t want to share everything here (a bit of privacy, thanks), but a few relevant things are worth noting – a rundown in numbers:

These numbers are only some of the data points, and don’t paint the whole picture of my new journey, but it does say something about the route towards building great, tech based companies in another capacity than CEO. It’s still early days, and no one knows how much of this that will work (other than for sure some of it will not), but I’m confident there is lots of substance in these companies. Lots of great personalities for sure -;)

It is very different being a chairman/partner than a CEO, e.g. it is no doubt much tougher being the CEO than being in my current shoes. But it’s not all fun and creative thinking to fulfill the role I have now, it also has it’s share of frustration, doubt and risk. But the point is, that without proper involvement it gets too fluffy, and not at all satisfactory for me personally. If you want the fun and joy, you need to take a bit of pain as well.

And what have I learned – a lot of interesting details of how very specific industries and products work, but most importantly I have seen again-and-again that talent & energy is what makes all the difference when building companies.

Thanks to all those, that helped make the last 12 months exciting!

(nice picture from Norway to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit)

GenieBelt – the Genie to help Construction, now with funding

We, the construction genies from GenieBelt, just raised an angel round of $½ Million, yehaa! That’s not a lot of money compared to some bigger funding rounds I have done in the past, but it’s exactly what we need and the feeling is as good as when I did £40 Million rounds. And what will the money be spend on?

screensaver_1920x1200 GenieBeltLovesConstruction

Together with a few other guys I founded a new company about half a year ago. A company which has high ambitions of helping the small- and medium sized businesses in the construction industry to improve the way they handle construction projects. Digital tools has been used in many years in construction, and also among the SME’s, but what we are building will be different than anything else the industry has seen. Here’s a bit of background.

Back in February I met up with my old mate, Peter Bang. Peter and I studied economics together many (many-many, too many-many) years ago and also had a stint abroad as well, where we broadened our horizon in business, British ale beer, and snooker. Peter left Uni and has stayed loyal to the same company ever since, which is a very rare thing these days, but that is probably also because it’s a very successful company, Velux. They make building materials and is especially renowned as a world leader in roof windows, i.e. Peter knows a bit about the construction industry.

We ended up talking about how his recent experience from refurbishing his house had been less than good, and since I was planning to refurbish my farm, we came to the conclusion that someone should build a work-flow management system that could help construction managers to better run small and medium sized projects. Mobile, cloud, super slick UI and all that – done deal, easy peasy, next!

I started doing research in the area, which – despite my fascination with big construction machines and power tools – is not that familiar to me, but then (the usual story) I started meeting a couple of people that had a much more personal angle on the Construction industry, and also supported the idea, i.e. Nikolaj/CTO and Joachim/everything-commercial.But the big event that took this forward was meeting Gari who just happens to have a construction engineering background and was putting together the pieces of his own start-up with two other guys (Francisco & Kacper). Their project was as a starting point more narrow than what I was considering (they still won Venture Cup twice though), but Gari and his team did have a longer term plan. And so it began …

2013-09-05 08.56.50

It’s been half a year now, and our 10-12 man team is now running full speed ahead. We just recently partnered up with a guy who knows more about our space than most: Bob, who is the co-founder and CEO of a company that some years ago tried to do partly what we are doing now, but the technology was not quite ready, and he never had the kind of resources we are deploying now. Bob has taken our UX capabilities to new highs, stellar person.

Some of our team members are in London and Poland, but the main part is sitting in Copenhagen, where I’m spending a couple of days a week at our office, and it’s nice again to be involved at the very early stages of company building. That is always a very humbling experience.

“So again; what exactly is the product”? you might think – we will get back on that. Right now the entire team is chasing our product vision, by doing use case research, UX’ing and developing so we are moving quickly ahead. Some time in by summer 2014 we can show version 1, and we plan to amaze you. Building companies based on new stuff is not easy, but the team, the idea and the market is there.

NB: thanks to the angels which have supported us so far, e.g. Ditlev, Claus, Troels, Mat & Giorgio – we will do our utmost to make you look good!