StartUpPath’s last panel discussion revolved around four different businesses which started by catering to a niche and ended up building communities around their products and services. The creators of Untold&Neversea, M60, Pegas and TimesNewRoman sat down and shared their insights into the inner working of their businesses, learning from failure and their recipe for building communities.
“I studied sociology and in the past years of my studies I studied in Sweden. They have a good infrastructure and when I went back to Romania I wanted to do the same: I tried to use my bike in the city,” Andrei Botescu, the entrepreneur who revived the Pegas bikes said. “At first it was just that: using the bike in the city. Then something happened: my bike got stolen. And thought I can do more than that: why don’t I make a bike? Then, as I was studying I thought … why not revive the old brand? I gathered a team and although we didn’t have experts and knowledge , together we thought we can build a ‘Romanian dream,’ he explained.
“When we started the project with Pegas, we didn’t think about making a replica,” he told the audience. “We started to reengineer the bike. Preserving the retro design shape- the look. But keeping the perspective of and think … how would the bike have looked like had production not stopped?”
“Our first model was very close to the one we grew up with,” Botescu said. “But then we realised we wanted to be ourselves. And the question was : How did you get the brand? Everyone thought we … might have some combinations. But it was pretty straightforward. I found out from the newspapers that the brand’s copyright had expired. So we registered it. Since 2010 when we started the project gathered knowledge and went to electrical assisted bikes, to IoT experiences and keep the community posted on the journey. We are now listed on Amazon. Everyone is happy that we can succeed,” Botescu said.
One of the brand’s secret to building a community was to ‘get local.’ “This year we also tried to get local. We opened 12 stores and realised that if we want to grow we must be a part of the local community. If two nice communities get together and two brands do branding, the results will be good,” Botescu concluded.