Today, I’m talking to Andreas, one of aioneers’ founders and CEO of aioneers Technology. He will tell us more about the what’s and why’s of aioneers. In December we’re taking some time to introduce you to our team, and we’ve been running an advent calendar on social media.
Hi, Andreas! I joined aioneers in September 2020, when the business was still pretty young: aioneers started in April 2020. Why did you found aioneers?
Hi Ilja, your question gives me the opportunity to talk about our foundation, philosophy and a bit about our products & technology.
Personally, I left a big consultancy to become an investor in new supply chain technologies ---- At the time, I talked to my business friends and partners about my plans, and out of these conversations we came up with an idea for a platform to address today's and future challenges in supply chains, and, in a way – unintentionally, I ended up investing in our own business and building up Aioneers with the smartest people in this field - just to mention Christoph and Boris since they were pivotal to our idea of building new technology.
...And it being your own venture, you can shape it from the bottom up. What is the key idea behind aioneers?
One of my dreams over the last couple of years was to build a technology for supply chains that is as easy and as user-friendly as a CRM system like Salesforce while being able to tackle the sophistication and challenges of a supply chain. Figuring out how to start and finding a smart way to bring this to life required a lot of thinking, discussions, and experimentation, as we wanted to avoid reinventing the things that already exist. We wanted something different to enable supply chains to work at their maximum performance. Finally, we decided to develop an ‘intelligent execution’ technology which we put at the heart of our platform.
That’s interesting and ambitious. How did you get there?
It’s a lot about working with the smartest people and creating a space to develop and execute the ideas we had. A key aspect that allows us to get to the best solutions is our culture. The best solution sounds like a natural outcome of good leadership but it actually requires a very different philosophy. We all had experiences from working in mid-sized and large corporations, with clients, with partners, and in our own firms. However, we wanted to build a culture that allows us to build a new technology that is redefining the way how supply chains will be optimized. That’s why we have carefully selected guiding principles and tools including those of other successful entrepreneurs to build our own DNA. For instance, we’re inspired by Ray Dalio and his book principles and we are using Y Combinators tools and curriculum.
Founding a start-up in 2020 is ambitious. How did you do it?
Our ideation and planning finally culminated in the incorporation of aioneers at the beginning of 2020. After setting up the company we found ourselves in the middle of the first lockdown in Germany – on April 1st – when we started the business operationally. But when you’re convinced of building something meaningful and important you do it anyway.
That must have been quite an experience! How did that work out?
For our plans in our service business, it became a huge accelerator since we all agreed upon building a truly digital service branch for aioneers. From day one, we operated fully digital, fully remote, and fully connected - we had no other option.
The challenge was more on the clients' side. How quickly were our clients able to work with us... Under these circumstances? It took a while to get them on board. Firstly, to work with a new vendor in a time when many companies faced a lot of uncertainties, and secondly to pitch and work only remotely.
And what about aioneers Technologies and the development of our AIO platform?
For our technology team, it became incredibly challenging, since we did not have our core team selected, hired, or even onboarded. Therefore, we ran into nearly any possible obstacle and problem you can imagine. But here we are: Now we have a highly experienced and powerful tech team here in Germany and in India where we incorporated Aioneers Technologies recently.
Thank you, Andreas! Sounds like 2020 has been a big year for aioneers, and personally, I can’t wait to see what 2021 brings!
For all of us, the learning curve couldn’t have been steeper, more exciting, and more challenging. I’m so proud of what we as a team have achieved in the last month. We are releasing the first public version of our platform next week for selected clients, and we’re looking forward to our public release in January 2021!