>>>>>>> LINK TO VIDEO PITCH <<<<<<<
Link to hardware prototypes below
The corona crisis changed life as we know it in a drastic manner and put our most valued human ability, namely, adaptivity, to the test. We are challenged to inflict major changes to ordinary acts of life that we have not previously had any second thoughts about.
We know that the most basic human needs are first physiological - we need food and water to survive, but right after this our needs largely revolve around safety and security (especially now)...let's not forget coffee. This is why our team has been inspired to combine and fulfil those three necessities in order to create a safe experience that satisfies the thirst and hunger of our fellow humans - remotely controlled vending machines.
Have you been, in which you are starving but
- you are at the workplace very short on time, as you have to run for the next meeting
- haven't had the chance to prepare any food, because you were helping your children with their homework
- been too busy to stop by the supermarket
- been outside at a late hour, when every convenient store is closed
- extremely low on energy and in a desperate need for a quick and accessible coffee machine/energy drink
And then you see in a silver lining - the good ol' vending machine, just a stretch of the arm away, full of all those delicious goods inside or this warm,warm coffee. You are starving and you know it will soon make you unbearably moody, so there it is - your life savior that's about to make your day! You are cheerfully heading towards, thinking about how your suffering will soon come to an end but then you suddenly STOP ... Why?
Because you remember, that now, after the COVID-19 outbreak, this vending machine holds the potential of turning into your undertaker, not making your day - but marking the beginning of the countdown to your last day instead.
Why is this an actual concern? Because you know COVID-19 is extremely dangerous, as the virus that causes it is mainly transmitted through droplets generated by us coughing or even speaking. These droplets, however, are too heavy to hang in the air and therefore quickly fall on floors or surfaces around the infected person, according to the World Health Organization. This means that even if there are no people around you, there's still a chance to pick it up if you touch aforementioned surfaces and then your mouth/eyes/face. It might be common sense not to touch one's face with dirty hands, however it is difficult to limit the risk in public, especially during consumption of goods. Human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces such as plastic or metal for up to 3 days in or under room temperature. This is why it makes vending machines, as necessary and easily accessible sources of refreshment, very dangerous and their users highly susceptible to contracting not only the coronavirus, but many others as well. Some companies have already thought about contactless cards payment, because we know how bacteria-ful money are. But this is not an optimal solution, because of the pads! What about the pads??? The pads with the numbers by which you select a product are touched by countless many hungry people and hands on a daily basis and if we limit this contact, then the experience will be times safer for everyone.
What we offer the people
Our solution is to fascilitate the user experience of purchasing goods from a vending machine and make it as safe as possible through limiting the possibility of contracting COVID-19 via remoteless selection and payment methods. In a nutshell, we want to protect protect the people and allow vending machine users to select the desired goods from the vending machine and purchase them safely on their phone, without touching anything or worrying about getting infected. This is going to happen by the user scanning a QR code (which we will generate and supply with) on the machine with their phone, which will redirect them to a page in which they can see the available goods, their prices and be able to purchase them via online payment platforms. Safe, sound and satisfied!
What we offer the business
As a vending machine competitor you will be able to purchase our service and package that is:
a hardware of two parts - the hardware is to be attached to the machine in order for it to be able to connect to the mobile device. It allows for the correspondence between the user's mobile phone and the machine itself, so the machine will know what your wish is and whether you have completed the purchase and will distribute it to you once it's complete; the second part of the hardware will be connected with an UV lamp on the inside of the machine where the products are, as well as on the drawer for distribution of the product In this way we can make sure that it is all sanitized and corona-free. The UV lamp will not work constantly, as this would require a lot of energy and inflict costs. This is why, the hardware will be programmed in a way to turn the lamp on for a couple of minutes, necessary for the desinfection, upon restocking the machine, as well as for a couple of seconds in the distribution drawer. The light will switch off when the customer reaches out to take their product in order to avoid any harm.This is going to be a plug-and-play service for your highest convenience.
a web platform - the web platform we provide will allow vending machine vendors to create their personalized vending machine online stores, which will also generate a QR code to be placed as a sticker on each machine and scanned by the user in order to be directed to and access the online store. This online store will be in form of a webpage.
Scan this QR-code to access our online vending machine platform!
What you have done during the weekend
During the weekend our team of developers have been working restlessly on building a several items from scratch: -Developing and continuously updating an online site / platform as a demo version representing an online vending machine platform; -Developing payment methods and options (can be seen in the updates below); -Developing 2 prototypes from scratch and limited availability of resources at hand - one that represents the machine being activated upon successful purchase, and the second one - an UV lamp being programmed to activate at and for a certain period of time (can be seen below); -Developing QR codes and Icons; -Updating and working on the written and video pitch.
Our business development team has been engaging in the following activities in the meanwhile -Brainstorming questions for the mentors; -Looking for and contacting business and sales mentors / Communication activities; -Working out a business plan in a written form and translating the business plan to a Canva form; -Doing research on facts about the threats of COVID and facts about how our solution can be proven to be a suitable solution for prevention; Researching competitors and investors; Researching costs; -Updating and working on the written and video pitch. -Posting updates of the product and solution. -Created a video pitch -Created a demo
The solution’s impact to the crisis
Our solution serves mostly as a disease-spreading prevention service. We are also trying to keep it as cost-effective as possible.
The benefits of our solutions are: less touching, less contamination; increased public health; satisfied and worry-free consumers;
Vending machines are widely used in Europe and are many people's go-to option for a quick snack. We see these machines in train stations, where many people pass by every day, work places such as offices, but also factories, in which people can rarely avoid getting their hands dirty, also in schools for little children, universities and of course - malls. Vending machines are everywhere, where people are and will remain there even after the corona crisis. This is why our solution is optimal not only for these difficult times, but also will find application after it.
Furthermore, our team has not found any competitors that are using UV-light for disinfection in vending machines. The main problem that the owners of vending machines are facing now is that according to the EVA, vending operators are already reporting business losses of up to 90%, since a vast majority of employees are now working from home. However once the employees are back to their working spaces and life continues as usual, people will think that the vending machines are not safe for use anymore and will prefer to avoid them.
Our solution helps the merchants to mark their vending machine as safe and protect their customers while helping them regain the confidence to use those kinds of machines.
The necessities in order to continue the project
What we consider necessary for the further continuation of the project after this hackaton would be: more hardwares; a vending machine to try our solution out; UV lights; advertising; investors/partners
The value of your solution(s) after the crisis
We consider our solution to remain valuable even after the crisis, because humanity has been struck by pandemics in the past before COVID-19 and we doubt that it is going to be the last one in the future. In reality, the less items a person touches per day, the more the risk of contracting a disease decreases. Contactless selection of products via one's personal phone is an optimal solution, because it's safe. Can you imagine how many people touch those pads? Now, how many people touch your phone? E. coli, Salmonella species and viruses, including human influenza virus, Norovirus, Rhinovirus, hepatitis A virus, and Rotavirus, can be transmitted through hand contact, which the selection pads on vending machines, passively but largely allow for. We cannot ensure that everyone is sensible enough not to caugh directly in their palm before touching objects. Some people cough on objects on purpose, just because they want to see the world burn. And while this is a problem of ethics and morality, which is exhaustingly difficult to work on and change in people, what we can at least quickly ensure is to limit the number of objects people are required to touch, in return for a service. Online banking and purchasing has becoming increasingly popular and most people have this option on their phones. Furthermore, paper currency and coins put the public health at risk when associated with the simultaneous handling of food and could lead to all kinds of infections.
Click here for PROTOTYPE 1 - Hardware machine control simulation
Due to the lockdown we were unable to build or get our hands on a more realistic vending machine to fully demonstrate the hardware's capabilities. This is why our developers build this representation of a purchase from a vending machine from scratch and materials available at first-hand, due to the scarcity of resources in the crisis. This prototype, however, aims to prove and show our main point - practicality. It exemplifies the functionality of our hardware as it is connected to the motor and triggers it to work. The motor represents the vending machine itself that receives signals (via its connection with the user's mobile device) and gets activated upon a successful selection and processed payment via the online platform.
Click here for PROTOTYPE 2- Hardware controlled UV light activation
Although it might not be a spitting image of an UV lamp, this prototype represents the (UV) lamp being triggered to activate upon a command by the hardware.This process depends on how the hardware is programmed. This hardware-controlled UV light is done for the purpose of efficiency as to work only when it is programmed to do so in order not to waste energy. As you can notice, the same resources are used for both prototypes, which represents how one hardware could be connected to two items and in this way practically multitask in a real situation.
Lean Canvas - Safe vending Detailed information below
Problem - The vending experience will not be the same after the crisis. People will still be afraid to use the vending machines due to the COVID-19 thread that will remain even after the quarantine period. It is mandatory for a merchant to sanitize those machines regularly, but how can the customer be sure?
Existing alternatives - No existing alternatives on the market, was not needed before the COVID-19 crisis. Opportunity to be the first one on the market.
Solution - Two modular components that are compatible with existing vending machines, plug-and-play style, easy to install and set up: UV lights, to be installed in the vending machine - regular sanitization of the products inside; QR-code base choose product & pay system - while standing in front of the vending machine with your phone you scan the QR-code and you will be redirected to a website where you chose your product & you pay (several payment methods), then the machine drops your chosen product and you pick it up. Physical contact with the machine is minimized.
4.Key metrics - average time for a transaction (fast website & payment system), % of growth in the number of customers, regaining confidence in using vending machines after the COVID crisis.
5.Unique value proposition - The first on the market to provide such a product, no competitors yet. Plug-and-play style product - easy to integrate & set up.
6.High-level concept - regaining the customers` confidence for using the vending machines after the COVID-19 crisis.
7.Unfair advantage - First on the market, multidisciplinary team - software, hardware professionals, full-stack developers, business people (strategic & HR).
8.Channels - a) Selling the solution to: i. Vending machines manufacturers (securing contracts); ii. Retailers for vending machines & spare parts (securing contracts); iii. Merchants (operating one or several vending machines); b) Advertising i. Vending machines operators clusters - connections/partnering with them; ii. Fairs for vending machines; iii. Extra informative website & leads generation for online demonstration\call.
9.Customer segments - Vending machine operators & manufacturers & retailers in the Netherlands and Bulgaria and then in Europe.
10.Early adopters - Small operators of vending machines in the Netherlands & Bulgaria.
11.Cost structure - Two main costs: hardware and SaaS service.
- Revenue stream - a) Recurring revenue i. Subscription based revenue - for the payment service & stock statistics; b) One-time revenue i. UV-lights component sold separately
Dutch Market and Potential Revenue Analysis
Dutch market: The dutch vending machine market is estimated to be around 4 716 million euros - around 561 000 machines
561 000 machines x 0.05 (conversion rate) = 28 050 machines per clients 1st Case: 28 050 clients x 5 euro (monthly subscription) = 140 250 euros (monthly revenue) (701 250 euros yearly revenue) /// 2nd Case : 28 050 clients x 8 euro (monthly subscription) = 224 400 euros (monthly revenue) (2 692 800 euros yearly revenue)