Have you ever dreamed of flying high above the peaks of the Swiss Alps in a small aircraft? The startup MyAirSeat is launching an app to make your dream come true. Quite often, small planes have free seats available. These can now be booked quite easily using a new app. This is good news for airlines, tourists, and anyone who loves flying. MyAirSeat has issued a basic beta version to test market acceptance. So far, media response (see below) has been positive, and first bookings are coming in. MyAirSeat will soon be ready for takeoff!
In a next phase, the founders will work hard at increasing user friendliness. Future releases should make it possible for users to inform and invite their friends on social media.
Many startups try to ride the digital wave by designing an app to help realize their business idea. We have asked the founders of two of them to answer ten questions about their ventures and the app they have created.
What is your background? How did you come up with this idea?
We are both helicopter pilots. Philipp is an attorney and a member of the board of directors of Air Zermatt. We always thought that it should be possible to book flights on small aircraft electronically, and so we decided to do something about it.
What do you want to achieve with your startup? What motivates you?
We are developing a booking system to minimize the administrative effort for the airlines. (Usually, such bookings are made by phone).
How much time do you spend on your idea? Do you work full-time or part-time? How do you deal with the work?
Alexander (CEO) can devote 50% of his time to the project (in addition to his studies), Thomas (President) approx. 20-30%, as needed, and Philipp (partner, in charge of legal & compliance) 10-20%, as needed.
Where do you plan to be in three years?
In three years’ time, we want MyAirSeat to be the number one provider of helicopter and small aircraft reservations.
Why should someone invest in your new startup venture?
The demand for mobility and adventure is on the rise. The flight schedules of small aircraft are not yet integrated into existing air traffic networks or booking platforms – our offering is therefore just what is needed.
What exactly did you do to develop your app? Do you yourselves have any programming know-how?
We only have a basic knowledge of app development. In other words, we can define processes that fit into the 0 and 1 framework. We, therefore, tried to find an IT partner who would program the app for us. Jointly with Wallis Cimark, a business development firm, we invited five companies and, based on their offers and what they told us, we chose one of them.
What proved to be particularly challenging in developing your app?
Defining the processes in such a way that a programmer who is unfamiliar with them would be able to understand them. Also, the Appstore has clear regulations for the apps it includes. This makes testing a little complicated, in some ways. For Android, this is easier.
What would you do differently next time?
Programming the app is a little too much work for one person. Next time, we would look for a co-founder who knows how to program and who could, therefore, act as the CTO and manage the development of the app internally as well as externally. Parts of the app development could still be outsourced, but someone within the company would need to keep an eye on the technical details.
Would your business model also work offline?
No, you need an Internet connection to be able to show available flights in real time and to allow the system to register bookings immediately. Otherwise, it could happen that two people book the same seats.