An Interview with Jasper Klimas
How our alumni make the leisure industry more dynamic
Jasper Klimas and Pétur Müller (Bachelor and Master in Economics), are alumni of the WiSo faculty of the University of Cologne and co-founders of dynAmaze. With their start-up, they dynamically provide unused remaining capacities for the largest leisure providers in Cologne and are thus particularly aimed at students who are spontaneously motivated to enjoy great leisure activities in Cologne through improved conditions. According to the motto "Experience more. Spend less".
We spoke with Jasper Klimas about the origins and further development of dynAmaze. He also gave valuable tips to our students.
Dear Jasper, how did the idea and concept for dynAmaze come about? And how did your name come about?
The idea for the start-up was born during a semester abroad in Canada. As an exchange student, one undertakes many leisure activities in addition to one's studies in order to get to know the country better. We noticed that many capacities of leisure providers such as cinemas, museums, swimming pools and painting courses are not occupied and therefore expire, although there are often no costs for the providers for an additional customer. This is highly inefficient and as an economist you always try to make the world a little more efficient.
We therefore offer these remaining places at a much lower price via our platform dynAmaze and motivate our users to do something nice spontaneously. For the first time, our prices are completely dynamic and change live depending on current demand and available capacities (similar to the stock exchange). Our users save a lot of money, while we can optimize the utilization of the providers. This is a classic win-win situation that allows us to make providers more dynamic and profitable and to inspire end customers for great leisure activities. That's why dynAmaze!
As an economist you always try to make the world a little more efficient.
What role did the founding location of Cologne play for you?
After I came back from Canada, I evaluated the idea in Cologne with Pétur and talked to many potential providers and users.
With a lot of positive feedback and first pilot customers behind us, we decided to implement the idea together with our programmer Timo.
For us it was always clear that we wanted to implement the concept in Cologne if possible. We all studied here, feel at home in Cologne and have built up a large network here. We cooperate with the city of Cologne, sit with our start-up in the Gateway Gründungsservice of the University of Cologne and work and do research with several professors of the University of Cologne and the TH Köln. Cologne is a very up-and-coming business location with many supporting institutions (IHK, Digital Hub, Cologne Startup Unit, hgnc) and we are very satisfied to have started here in Cologne.
For us it was always clear that we wanted to implement the concept in Cologne. We all studied here, feel at home in Cologne and have built up a large network here.
What is your current working week?
We don't have THE working week and that's what makes our work so varied and exciting.
While we wrote a lot of concepts in the beginning (how should our platform look like anyway?), in the last months we have been busy with practical product development (programming and testing of a minimal viable product) and wrote grant applications to finance the project.
Currently the focus is more on the areas of marketing & sales. So now we want to reach as many users as possible in Cologne, expand our offer and providers and improve and further develop dynAmaze together with our users.
After the establishment in Cologne, our goal is to fill the capacities of leisure providers in other major German cities as well.
What are your greatest challenges at the moment?
Every day there are new construction sites and new opportunities. In our small team, it is sometimes not easy to keep the overview and focus on the essentials, given the multitude of tasks. Otherwise, the big challenge will be to reach as many people as possible in Cologne with little money.
Where will dynAmaze be in three years? What is your goal for the future?
After the establishment in Cologne, our goal is to fill the capacities of leisure providers in other major German cities. We also want to develop our platform further and have the vision to create a platform that makes people's leisure activities easier. This includes inspiring people for individually suitable leisure activities and helping them to organize leisure time in groups quickly and efficiently via dynAmaze.
During my studies of economics, I learned concepts as well as methods on which the development of our product and our algorithms were based.
What are the most important contents or insights from your studies for your current profession?
In my studies of economics I learned both content concepts (Dynamic Pricing) and methods on which the development of our product and our algorithms were based. In general, you learn an analytical approach to problems during your studies, which can also be helpful for problems in the start-up.
Sometimes, however, you have to do things simply and not approach things in a too intellectual way. In addition, I made many valuable contacts during my studies and, among others, I also got to know my co-founder Pétur at the beginning of our studies in 2011.
What would you give our students in general? What are your three tips for life and career?
1. gain practical experience.
Not to improve your CV, but to find out what you enjoy and what you are passionate about. If you would like to do an internship in a start-up, please contact us!
2. if you have a good idea and feel like starting up, then give it a try!
There are many good ideas from students, but for many the step to independence is relatively big. Evaluating your own project during your studies and, if necessary, implementing it, can't hurt in any case! For the first step I can recommend the free initial consultation of the Gateway Gründungsservice of the University of Cologne.
3. get involved in a student organization.
There are many cool student organizations at the University of Cologne. If you are interested in the topic of start-ups, I can recommend the Entrepreneurs Club Cologne or Enactus, who implement many exciting projects.
Thanks a lot for the interview!
The questions were asked by Ayla Wisselinck