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Salonkee: You Will Never Book a Hairdresser the Same Way

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Salonkee is a startup on the rise. After more than 2 years of iterating their concept in Luxembourg, Tom Michels and his team recently announced receiving €1 million in funding to expand their activities in Europe. Did you know that the startup also benefited from the 16 weeks of coaching and acceleration with the Fit 4 Start program?
(Featured Image: Tom Michels, Founder & CEO of Salonkee / Image Credit © Luxinnovation)
Why did you choose Fit 4 Start when, as a Luxembourg startup, you already know the local ecosystem very well?

Introducing startups to the local ecosystem is only a fraction of what the program offers. We chose to participate in Fit4Start to accelerate our business and prepare for international expansion.

“We realized that there is a massive opportunity to bring an entire industry from the pen and paper approach into the digital age.”

What were the benefits of Fit4Start in your entrepreneurial journey?

Fit 4 Start proved to be helpful to us in multiple ways. On one hand, the coaches challenged us to rethink every part of our business and strategy. On the other hand, the 50k grant certainly helped us in accelerate our development and invest more financial resources into our growth.

How did you come up with the idea?

Annoyed by having to call our hairdressers to book appointments or by waiting 1+ hours to get a seat in salons that don’t allow appointments, we realized that there is a massive opportunity to bring an entire industry from the pen and paper approach into the digital age. Driven by this massive opportunity, we decided to take a leap and set out to build a flexible yet highly functional salon management and online bookings solution that will make salons ready or the future.

What is your business model (products/services, clients)?

Our business model is rather simple. We provide salons with a fully-fledged salon management solution that is charged on a monthly basis. We don’t take any commission on online bookings and adapt our pricing based on the required modules a salon is using (Online Bookings, POS, etc…)

“The Fit4Start coaches always challenged us during the program. It helped us rethink and reevaluate our current growth assumptions.”

Has Fit 4 Start influenced your growth strategy?

Yes, Fit 4 Start certainly helped us rethink our growth strategy. We had a lot of fruitful discussion with the coaches during the program and they helped to further accelerate and move to a wider multi-channel sales strategy. I’m also glad The Fit4Start coaches always challenged us during the program. It helped us reevaluate our current growth assumptions.

What are the next steps in your development?

Since we just recently closed our 1 millions funding round, we are now rapidly growing the team with the objective to bring Salonkee to as many salons as possible. To achieve the latter we are opening new offices in different European countries along 2019. We also have some really exciting functionalities in our pipeline that will further help us to differentiate ourselves from the competition. Being the market leader in Luxembourg is just the first step.

Interview by C-L.M.

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