Meet the Entrepreneur: SPIN remote
As the number of electronic devices in our homes grows, so does that ugly pile of remote controls in the corner. SPIN remote offers a simple and stylish alternative that controls anything from your lights to a non-smart TV with just a flick of your wrist.
Founders Arjan, Ruud and Mathijs are revolutionising the concept of a remote control. After a successful Kickstarter campaign as a "staff pick" and with 1,100 customers already signed up, they're looking to the crowd once again to take their business to the next level.
We spoke to the SPIN remote team about how they intend to build this game-changing concept into a household name with at least 640,000 sales in 5 years.
SPIN remote are crowdfunding now on Symbid, view their full pitch and invest here.
- How did you three meet, and what made you start a business together?
Our co-founder Ruud de Vaal invented the world’s first remote control without buttons a few years ago, but at that time the technology wasn't there to turn this concept into a commercially viable product. As new hardware became available, it was just a matter of time before Ruud set off on his quest for simplicity. His close friend and former business partner, Arjan van Bremen, fell in love with Ruud's concept and jumped on board.
Together Ruud and Arjan form a very strong product development team, Arjan specialising in software and Ruud in hardware. They were lacking some business development expertise, which is where Mathijs Vaessen came in. We knew we all shared a passion for entrepreneurship and product innovation from our time working together, and when we introduced Mathijs to SPIN remote he immediately saw the business potential.
When the time came to quit our jobs and focus on SPIN remote it was a no-brainer. We don't do half measures, and we're all 100% behind the vision of creating the simplest, most stylish remote ever. As a team we believe we have the right combination of skills and knowledge to accomplish absolutely anything.
- What kind of entrepreneurs are you?
After working so closely together, we definitely have a good appreciation of each other's skills and personalities. According to Ruud and Arjan, Mathijs is a skilled business developer with broad knowledge and experience in the field of innovation management - a true disciple of the Lean Startup methodology.
As for Ruud, he's a genuinely gifted inventor able to translate complex problems into simple solutions. With his many years of hardware experience he has developed a great network of reliable suppliers. Meanwhile Arjan is a very talented all-round software architect with a strong track record in embedded software development, user interfaces, websites, mobile applications and marketing activities.
By bringing together these complementary skills under a common purpose - bringing back simplicity - and a passion for innovative entrepreneurship, we see that we're able to deal anything the business world throws at us.
- In a few sentences, introduce your company
We believe that many of today's applications have become too complex for no apparent reason. That's why we've made it our mission to reduce this complexity and advocate for simple, yet stylish technology. Starting with a completely new concept of the remote control, SPIN remote.
SPIN remote is for anyone who wants to be in control of their devices, but is frustrated by the ever growing number of buttons, remote controls and apps this requires. By challenging conventional thinking we have revolutionised the remote control, what it looks like and how it should work. We have created one remote for all your devices, free of all those buttons you never use.
- Describe the past, present and future of your company
We've come a long way in a relatively short period of time, which shows both the potential of our business and our drive to make it happen.
Our business was founded in November 2014 and in December our first product, SPIN remote, was officially launched on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter as a "staff pick". We were overwhelmed with the response from the Kickstarter community and exceeded our funding goal (114%) with over 1,100 units sold. In the meantime we have been finalising the product design and are about to start our first production run for our beta test group. In October 2015 we plan to introduce SPIN remote to the market in order to further grow our business. We are already in advanced talks with various retail channels and our first B2B partnership for an OEM product is progressing well.
Our main goal is to grow sales exponentially, with at least 640,000 units sold in 5 years. This translates to a very realistic market share of at least 5% with SPIN remote alone. Based on our progress so far this is definitely achievable.
- What is the unique value of the products/services you offer?
The average household has 4 or more devices that require a remote control, with an average of 40 buttons on each control. Do we really need all these buttons when all we want to do is watch TV, play a movie or listen to the radio? The remote control has become unnecessarily complex.
SPIN remote is packed with sensors to detect motion, rotation, orientation and touch. Our groundbreaking technology seamlessly transforms this information into commands that electronic equipment can understand. What's more, SPIN remote controls smart devices just as easily as the not-so-smart infrared equipment that still make up the majority of electronic devices in our homes. No other product fades the boundaries between smart and not-so-smart devices like SPIN remote does. Not even an iPhone or iPad can control infrared devices by themselves.
SPIN remote is truly a unique device, unlike anything you have ever seen or experienced before.
- What is the main goal of your equity crowdfunding campaign?
Thanks to our successful Kickstarter campaign we were able to identify the market opportunity, gain access to a large group of end users and finance final product development and production. This means we have a strong platform to build on.
In September this year we plan to ship the first 1,100 units to our Kickstarter community while introducing SPIN remote to a larger audience. Our equity crowdfunding campaign on Symbid will raise the funds required for a big market launch: a detailed marketing plan, employee additions, development of new features and creation of a minimum stock.
- What have you learnt from your equity crowdfunding campaign so far?
Just like our Kickstarter campaign, running an equity crowdfunding campaign is a full time job that involves the entire team and requires extensive strategic planning. Every entrepreneur must first define a strong business proposition, prepare legal and financial documents, mobilise their personal network and make a detailed communication schedule before the campaign launch.
- Why Symbid?
During our Kickstarter campaign we received a number of requests from people that wanted to invest in our company in return for a share. While at that time we were not able to provide such an option, the high level of interest from our backers convinced us to further explore this option. In fact, we learnt that more than 60% of our backers were willing to invest. This convinced us that we could grow our business more effectively using equity crowdfunding.
We believe that investing should be simple and accessible for everyone. Our brand values overlap with those of Symbid, which is why we're a perfect match.
- Give 3 key reasons to invest in your company
- Join the revolution: SPIN remote is a true innovation in the remote control industry. The concept of the remote control has not really evolved since the introduction of infrared in the 1980s, except for the addition of new features - meaning more buttons. Meanwhile, the number of smart devices in our homes will only increase further and so the need for a simple and tangible user interface will grow. We are committed to bringing back simplicity - SPIN remote is just the beginning.
- Exponential growth: Our goal is to grow sales exponentially. The product is almost ready, we are in advanced talks with several retail channels and we are now defining a custom remote for our first B2B partnership. In other words, the time to join our growing team of investors and thus profit from future growth is now.
- Team: With a common purpose and complementary skills we are the right team to turn SPIN remote into a global success.
SPIN remote are crowdfunding now on Symbid, view their full pitch and invest here.