In the past few months, Ceasy, the Luxembourg-based startup has worked on improving its product and business model at Fit 4 Start’s acceleration programme. We caught up with its founder Ben Thinnes to learn more about the benefits and challenges encountered during the programme and how it has improved Ceasy’s nifty calendar sharing app.
Photo: Ceasy’s founder Ben Thinnes / Image Credits: House of Startups
Finding time to meet up with friends is rarely as easy as it sounds. Today’s urbanites have busy lives, full calendars and worst of all calendars which cannot be shared across different platforms such as Apple and Android.
Ben Thinnes, founder and CEO of Ceasy was first confronted with this problem when he tried planning things with his partner. Thinnes, an Android user realised that he could not share his calendar with his girlfriend who was using and iPhone at the time. Wanting to keep the functionalities of Google, Apple or Microsoft calendars, he set out to develop Ceasy to solve this problem.
“Ceasy was developed, because the big platforms like Google, Apple and Microsoft are not compatible with each other and don’t allow you to share calendars if you don’t want to switch to another platform,” he explains.
After getting positive feedback from family, friends and strangers on his first Ceasy app, Thinnes decided to take his entrepreneurial career a step further and joined Luxembourg’s Fit 4 Start acceleration programme.
“It’s a bit like Calendly but combined with the painkillers Doodle is offering too.”
Understanding the market
Having joined the 10th edition of Fit 4 Start with the goal of improving the product and working on its business model, Ben Thinnes realised that a B2C strategy might not be the easiest approach.
“I learned during the program that to run a solely B2C oriented app is very difficult to launch. It requires a lot of money to go that path,“ Thinnes explains. He added that being in the middle of a pandemic did not exactly help.
Determined to take as much out of the Fit 4 Start programme as he could, Thinnes decided to pivot his roadmap and “focus more on professionals who are willing to pay for a solution from the beginning.”
By allowing users to not only share their calendars but also their availabilities, Thinnes added a feature that was rare for calendar apps and that he hoped would make people flock to his app.
“It’s a bit like Calendly but combined with the painkillers Doodle is offering too. It will help professionals manage their appointments with their clients more easily and more digitally,” he elaborates.
“The next steps are now to increase our team and to find investors to go for the next big challenges together.”
Graduating from Fit 4 Start’s programme is never easy and is bound to test every founder’s belief in his startup. For Thinnes, the biggest challenge consisted in proving the need for Ceasy.
While working on customer discovery and validation, Ceasy found many customer segments interested in his solution. Interestingly, real estate agents showed themselves to be the most interested.
Comparing it to organising an event, Thinnes says, “If you have ever organised an event, you know what a nightmare this can be, to find a slot where everyone has time. If you use Doodle, you need to create one each time, and ask and remind everyone to fill it out. If you use Calendly, you can only share your own availability, but you cannot combine them with the availability of someone else. “
Ceasy takes the best of both apps, adds its own twist and out comes a calendar sharing app that many users and professionals have been waiting for.
Talking about Fit 4 Start and his next steps, Thinnes says, “I learned a lot during the program which will help me to progress and evolve even more than before. Becoming an entrepreneur is a long and challenging way, where you have a lot of ups and downs and a lot of challenges to manage. That’s why the next steps are now to increase our team and to find investors to go for the next big challenges together.”