Bookbird is a new app that allows students to buy and sell used textbooks. It was launched last fall at the University of Toronto and aims to be available in all universities in Canada, the US, and Europe. Their business model is based on charging a small commission on each transaction. Tanguy JOSZ, former HEC student and co-founder, speaks to us about how it all started and shares his entrepreneurial experience.
When did you feel that your idea was worth testing and launching?
The idea came to mind while I was a student at the University of Toronto. I found textbooks to be very expensive and hard to sell once I was done using them. I wanted to easily buy and sell used textbooks for my courses.
After the Digital Entrepreneurship Certificate, William and I realized we needed concrete data from UofT students confirming the need for a mobile application to solve this issue. Once this need was confirmed, we had the green light to continue with the development of the app.
What makes creating a new app such a special entrepreneurial journey?
While our product seems relatively straightforward, bringing the idea to reality was far more complicated than one might expect. Many unexpected hurdles arose, making the process more challenging and exciting. Starting a business from scratch teaches you things that you do not learn in the classroom. You have to be extremely resourceful and manage your time efficiently. There are many legal, business, and technical tasks to juggle all at once in order to meet expected deadlines.
How far would you say the HEC incubator helped in the creation of BookBird?
The incubator was pivotal in the creation of BookBird. First, the matchmaking of team members allowed my co-founder William and I to meet; we both have complimentary skill sets. Teams are comprised of an HEC Paris MBA and MiF student, a student from computer programming school Ecole 42, and a design student from e-artsup. We got to meet people from different backgrounds. Second, we received mentorship and advice from several individuals with significant experience in the world of start-ups. Third, the pitching competition at the end of the program led one of the judges to invest in our business!
Do you have any advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you are currently a student, it is a great time to launch your start-up. You have resources available on campus, time to pursue your project, and can find other students who complement your skillset. Now is a good time to bring your idea to reality.
Worst-case scenario, you will learn a lot.
More on : https://bookbird.ca/