The company enCourage has developed an emergency app that allows its users to act swiftly and call for help. It effectively helps them protect themselves and others. Emergencies can be reported through the app within seconds. A single press of a button causes enCourage to release an alarm that reaches every other nearby user of the app. We have interviewed the enCourage team on their idea, the foundation of their company and their future perspective.
What does your company stand for?
enCourage is an emergency app with extra functions. Alert your friends and family and people nearby. Fast, securely and from anywhere.
Where and how did you get this brilliant idea?
It all started when the girlfriend of one of our team members felt threatened and asked him for help. Unfortunately, he was much too far away to get there on time. We noticed that a solution was needed.
How did your founding team come together?
We are all studying at KIT and have been friends for several semesters. We have already worked on some smaller projects together. One day, we were wondering over dinner what we could do to make our society a safer environment, and we decided to build enCourage.
What would you say are the benefits of being your own boss?
The most important aspect is probably flexibility. It allows us to react to all new information quickly and appropriately and revise bad decisions. Of course, this also makes it considerably easier to reconcile our studies and our company.
What do you think are the properties that one should have to be a successful entrepreneur?
You always need to ask yourself: “do I still want to be doing this in one year?” It is a shame to see excellent projects whose developers eventually just give up or struggle to stay on track. This is why entrepreneurs always need to be motivated and focussed. There are always plenty of obstacles, but if you invest enough time and effort, you can overcome anything.
What would you term as the hurdles on the way to a successful business? Where did you get support?
For instance: it takes endurance to take a project through the stages of conceptualisation, prototyping, development and publication. It usually takes more time than expected from the start to the end, and it is easy to lose motivation. Luckily, there are four of us on the team and we motivate each other to stay on track.
How did you deal with the large workloads during start-up?
Since we launched our start-up, we have been working with a lot more structure and discipline. The more work piled up, the more important it became to optimise our processes. We needed to improve our internal communication fast, assign areas of responsibility and trust each other more. Consulting every single opinion for every decision is impossible. We act with a great deal of experience now, have a precise plan of when things need to get done, but stay highly flexible and dynamic at the same time.
Do you have any advice for other young entrepreneurs?
For us, the most important two pieces of advice would be: Firstly, everything will always take more work than you expect. Do not plan your schedules too tight. Also, you always create more work for yourself than is necessary, so set your priorities early on.