Drivi is bringing the driving school industry into the 21st century, by digitizing the entire process of taking a drivers license. The product has been under development for the past three years, and are now very close to being in the hands of driving schools and pupils.
How we started out
The idea for Drivi was created in a small basement by three guys. Three childhood friends, with a shared interest in start-ups. After weeks of brainstorming one of us came home after a practical driving lesson. He was frustrated with the communication he had with his teacher, as the teacher was never available. We all agreed that this might be a problem we could solve, and started contacting driving schools in order to validate that there was a need. After little validation we thought that we had struck gold, and quickly started a company (first mistake). With the company opened up, we were ready to start a business, but since none of us were tech savvy we needed a solid programmer. This took way longer than we anticipated, which in retrospect might have been because we never really took the time to make a solid business plan. After about 3 months we found a good candidate and he agreed to come on board. With the programmer onboard we once again contacted driving schools. We were now in business!
Our first partnership
Contacting the driving schools in our area resulted in a reply, where the owner offered a meeting where we could discuss our product. We drove down to his place fully confident that our product was a homerun. We laid our product out for him and told him how our brilliant idea would make communication a lot easier. He looked at us and smiled, after which he told us that we would never be able to sell it. He said that we had to think much bigger than communication, and that the driving schools had a lot more problematic areas than just communication. He then followed up by offering us to work together with him to create a product which could digitize the entire administrative workload, which has long been a dream for him as he owned two driving schools. We drove back home and decided to sleep on it for a couple of days. After sleeping on it we agreed that it was the right move and called him up.
In the meantime, our third founder decided to step out of the company due to enrolling into university. This made space for the driving school owner, and we proposed that he should have an equal stake in the company as us. We started developing the idea with him, and used his school as an office for the start-up. Since none of us had experience with working with a programmer, we just told him the functions needed (chat, booking etc). He was clearly frustrated with the unorganized work environment, but never voiced his concern in person. Fast forwarding 8 months our programmer was offered a well paid job in inner Copenhagen, which he decided to take to support his family. At the same time our partner came running into the office and aggressively stating that he now wanted 50% of the company. We felt like our company was collapsing, with no one to work on the program and a partner asking for more than what was feasible.
A fresh start
We decided that we needed help in order to solve these issues. We contacted VentureCup witch set us up with three mentors. With their help we found a solution, but were now back again at only being two founders. We once again put out a job post for a programmer, though this time we were prepared. We started organizing the business, and created detailed user-stories for our coming programmer to follow along with a detailed business plan. We searched for a programmer through the Hub and various facebook groups, which resulted in us acquiring a young back-end developer along with seasoned front-end developer. From here on we decided to split responsibility within the company, and made a formal structure for meetings, development, milestones etc. I can’t say this has been the end of all our problems, but reconstructing the company and getting the right people on board with a long term commitment made a huge difference to our progress. Since then (around a year ago) we have had a lot of ups and downs, but with the amazing commitment from our mentors and the team we hope to tackle all obstacles in our way.