If there were a competition to find the world’s most innovative business startup, small businesses all over the world would likely be very interested in seeing what a company so game changing looked like. You would probably think that it was a pharmaceutical company that invented a cure for a disease or an energy company who figured out a way to turn trash in to ordinary fossil fuel. (You know, Back to the Future style)
Startup Weekend is an initiative of the Kauffman Foundation, the largest foundation in the world solely devoted to creating and fostering growth within small business communities around the world. Startup Weekends took place in more than 175 cities in 100 countries. During these weekends, fifty winning business were chosen to compete for the title of global startup winner. The winner of this year’s competition was chosen from among the 36,000 businesses eligible for the honor so that business must be set to make a footprint in the world equal to Edison, Pasteur, or the Wright Brothers.
Perhaps that’s true but this year’s winner looks more like a business that goes back to the basics. They saw a need that came about because of a rapidly changing retail business model and they met that need with an innovative solution.
The company is Awesome Ship. You might first think that it has something to do with the Cruise line or commercial shipping industry but that’s not the case. Awesome Ship is a technology company that came up with a simple way to help online retailers and their customers.
Online retail is the 21st century way to shop. Why put up with the crowds and the lines at brick and mortar stores when you can go to Amazon.com or one of the many other shopping sites and have the merchandise shipped directly to your door? The only drawback to online shipping is that people are impatient. They don’t want to wait for their items to arrive but if they have to wait, they at least want to know when it’s going to get to their home.
They don’t have the time or the patience to continually track their purchases so if the online retailer’s shipping estimate ends up not being correct, they get upset and call.
Awsome Ship allows the retailer to use their service to send notifications via text, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail alerting them about the status of their item. They’ll know exactly where it is all of the time. Not only does it manage the shipment, it manages the customer’s expectations keeping them from calling and taking up valuable customer service resources for something that is largely out of your control.
Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? Hardly worth the title of Global Startup winner? Every entrepreneur should take note of this because you don’t have to be the next Edison to be a successful entrepreneur. You just have to be good at identifying a need and solving the problem.