Title : Rising Star: Åsmund Møll Frengstad, Meshcrafts
Date : 31 August 2015
LA catches up with Åsmund Møll Frengstad, CEO of Meshcrafts, a Norwegian start-up specializing in the trading of energy for electric vehicles (EVs).
LA Report: What education or training did you have?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: I have an MSc. in Mechanical Engineering and Product Development from The Norwegian University of Life Science
LA Report: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: Elon Musk
LA Report: Why did you set up your company?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: I wished to make the world a greener place.
LA Report: What is the specific benefit that distinguishes your product or service from its competitors?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: We provide a roaming platform for the transfer of energy to EVs solving all the hassles in today’s market, like connectivity, identification and multiple payment systems. We are the Airbnb for EVs.
LA Report: How does your company change people’s lives for the better?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: We reduce the pain and the barriers of owning an EV, and increase the market for the operators.
LA Report: How long did it take you to set up your business?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: 120 days.
LA Report: Where did you get funding to set up your business?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: Government grants and we won a competition run by Inven2 (an innovation company owned by the University of Oslo and Oslo Hospital).
LA Report: How would you describe your progress so far?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: We have finished the first prototypes of our hardware and a beta of the App.
LA Report: How long did it take you to break into new markets?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: To break into the E-mobility market takes time and we are still making our way. It takes time because we are changing the model of the market and smart city functionality. We have spent about 6 months getting where we are.
LA Report: How are you planning to grow your business further?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: My business is expected to grow exponentially with some VC funding. After that the revenue will fund the growth.
LA Report: What are the main barriers to its growth (if any)?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: Getting the first paying costumer and an immature market ( very few EVs).
LA Report: With hindsight, which would have been the most valuable knowledge base or skill set to have before setting up your business?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: The knowledge and acknowledgment of not knowing everything. Also the ability to understand the core function of any problem.
LA Report: Do you have a mentor/s?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: Yes, we have 2 personal mentors and belong to an accelerator programme (startup lab), where the startup lab team act as additional mentors.
LA Report: If you were in charge of the government ministry for SMEs and start-ups what would be the three most important changes you would make to help them grow?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: Better access to seed funding. Accelerator programmes taking a project from concept to the viable business. Build a security net for businesses so they can fail without going personally bankrupt (like the early warning system in Denmark).
LA Report: Entrepreneurs are important to society because …
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: Entrepreneurs create value, the jobs of tomorrow and are the best way for society to progress.
LA Report: The best thing about being an entrepreneur is …
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: The opportunity to create, making the world a better place and make a living out of it as well.
LA Report: If you could go back in time to when you were just about to start your company and tell yourself something useful, what would it be?
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: Talk to people about your idea and focus on the business side of the project. Not just the technology.
LA Report: Thank you very much; and the best of luck for the future of your business.
Åsmund Møll Frengstad: Thank you.
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