Every month we run a feature a member of CRL’s community – whether a coworker, a member of our Accelerator, a mentor, and beyond – checking in with them to get an update on what they’re working on, and to find out about any other exciting developments.
Having joined us around a year ago as fixed desk members, we’ve watched in awe as Botsandus have gone from strength-to-strength. Their first product, Bo the robot, is an intelligent assistant for events, hospitality and retail, which has already been trialled in shopping centres. Bo welcomes customers, helps them navigate to find products/areas and brings part of the convenience of digital to physical spaces – read more below.
Not only are Botsandus one of the many exciting startups we have in our space, they are exceptional coworkers (… thanks for helping us keep the kitchen clean!). I caught up with Andrei Danescu, cofounder and CEO, to find out what they’re up to next. We look forward to sharing lots more updates on the progress they’ll no doubt make!
Could you tell us a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey so far?
We started BotsAndUs in 2015, initially as a side project aiming to bring to market an autonomous surveillance camera for the home. This evolved exponentially and 2 years later we launched Bo at a tech show in Paris (InnoRobo) with fantastic reviews. Nights in the workshop, hundreds of pitching hours, team celebrations, travels and meeting royalty (of two countries) all followed in just a few months after. It’s an absolute roller coaster of emotions but we absolutely love what we are doing.
What project/product are you working on at the moment?
Our product is Bo, a customer service robot for retail, hospitality and events. Bo is an autonomous assistant that approaches customers and guests, analyses their needs, personalities and mood and helps them with key queries. It can give directions and information about the surroundings – such as tell you where certain stores are in a shopping centre, gather feedback, present promotions and many more. He is already working with global companies like intu shopping centres, Etisalat, Virgin.
What’s your advice to prospective entrepreneurs considering launching a business/product?
Once you decide to go public with your idea, be prepared to spend significantly more time on the business aspects rather than the product itself. Get yourself out there and meet as many people as you can, network and keep in touch. You never know what opportunities can come up from the craziest places. Most importantly, get your product into potential customer hands very early on. Although nerve-wracking, it is the only way to make sure you are on the right track.
What do you value most about the CRL community?
Firstly, that is really feels like a “community”. It’s not just random people sharing a space, but a buzzing group of hard working, knowledgeable creators. The broad skill set and expertise of everyone and the fact that members are extremely helpful and supportive is key when you feel everything is coming to pieces. We are also very grateful when other recommend or introduce us to potential customers or investors. Most importantly, it is really motivating to see each other’s progress and celebrate success.
Describe CRL in 3 words?
Unique Diverse Opportunity