Everyone on the screed with Staenis
by Staenis | 26/04/2018
For a good screed, Portland composite cement is usually used, plus water and sand, and that's it. Easy. For an innovative idea, you take some youthful enthusiasm, a good dose of pragmatism and perseverance, and that's it. Easy. Adding 1 and 2 together results in something that seems simple, but will make the lives of many screed installers easier. These are the words of Daisy and Tom, managers of Staenis and holders of their first patent in construction"
This patent relates to a new product concept for easy installation of screed floors. It grew out of Tom Verstaen's personal experience: “At a certain moment I had to lay a small piece of screed, and that turned out not to be so straightforward. Especially in small spaces I ran into the problem of placing screed flat.”
Tom soon came up with a first prototype to remedy this. To develop it, he entered into an 'alliance' with former school friend, Daisy Bohyn, who had studied product design: “When Tom presented his idea to me, I had almost graduated. We both came to the conclusion that this was a perfect combination professionally and so we rolled into it together. We finalised the product together, which resulted in the Staenis battented screed system."
As flat as a screed should be, their path to independent entrepreneurship was very bumpy. For various reasons, they had to postpone their product launch a number of times. Daisy: ”We spent a long time developing the product itself, with market research, the patent and the practicalities to set up our company. We have also gone through a learning curve from an accounting and financial point of view. It was very exciting, but at times debilitating.”
On the balance of that learning curve, having confirmation from the outside and other boosts ultimately weighed a lot more than the few breaks they had to take, culminating in the first prize at the Demo Day of Start it at kbc. Tom: ”That gave us a confidence boost and the conviction that we were on the right track. Such initiatives are very valuable as a sounding board for start-up entrepreneurs.”
As start-up entrepreneurs, Daisy and Tom appealed to PMV/z's Startlening+ and subsidies from Vlaio for their product development for the marketing of the Staenis grid. There too, some ping-pong had to be played to properly substantiate everything financially and to demonstrate the benefits of their new product. Daisy: ”PMV/z was critical in its assessment, but it is good that we have taken those steps. We have also grown along with the financial plan, for example by allowing ourselves to be challenged by other parties.”
“Reculer pour mieux sauter” ("Go back to jump better"), that's how French speakers put it nicely. And the time to jump has come right now. The product is ready for sale, and everything is set up to put it on the market and generate the first income.
With the Staenis grid, Tom and Daisy are targeting both professionals and DIY-ers. Tom: "In construction there are a number of things that you can do yourself as a private individual, but also things that are better outsourced. Plastering is one of those classics that nobody dares to start. Laying screed also deters many. Thanks to our system, that is no longer a challenge.”
And last but not least, it is also a thoroughly Flemish product. “The entire production process is carried out here, and we are very proud of that,” say Daisy and Tom in unison. That pride is more than justified. Thanks to their innovation, and with the financing of PMV/z, everyone will soon be laying their own screed!View the original article