Corentin de Trégomain of pool.farm is a winner of the first cycle of Social Challenges Innovation Platform (SCHIP) and his startup pool.farm was awarded 30,000 EUR for his solution to create more social interaction in the Dutch countryside.
The idea of pool.farm is simple: people collaborate to place bulk orders – reducing shipping costs for individuals, giving large orders to the suppliers, and minimising the carbon emissions for everyone!
As Corentin says, “I just picked up an old idea that when people do things together, it is more efficient. Take the example of a family, one person goes shopping and everyone just gives them their list”. pool.farm can be used to counter PostNord’s new tariff on imported goods from China, for example.
pool.farm was initially funded by ALMI which enabled the startup to launch a pilot version of the project in August 2017.
“ALMI was a stepping stone for me and pool.farm, but their initial demand was to come up with a vision for the company and they helped me a lot with that. With their help I came up with the vision for pool.farm – to make an impact in the world by working together with your neighbours or colleagues or friends; to be less impulsive and think before doing or buying something. pool.farm creates a mini social bond even though it is for a short time. What we are trying to do could have an impact on our daily lives and have an impact on the environment, but optimising logistics, for example. Also, it makes cheaper for people to buy good things, giving them more alternatives and makes it easier to buy quality produce.”
Corentin discovered the opportunity of funding via SCHIP from Cathy Xiao Chen, the Community Manager at Impact Hub Stockholm. He applied for funding through numerous organisations previously without any luck. He says that most organisations like Vinnova and VCs are looking for something too specific. Startups are required to check certain boxes, and pool.farm has too broad a scope and is too diverse to check the right boxes for them. He’s therefore, very happy that SCHIP and Impact Hub bring together people that are more interested in making a difference rather than checking boxes.
“Impact Hub is basically related to all the funding I’ve been getting in recent times”, says Corentin. pool.farm has also received funding from Coompanion, a national organisation that sits at Impact Hub Stockholm’s coworking space. Coompanion’s funding was intended to be used to research how Corentin can improve the design of pool.farm. Part of the SCHIP funding will be used to implement these changes in the website design and a part would be used to employ a Community Manager in the Netherlands who can spread the word about pool.farm and build a community offline before migrating them to the online version.
“SCHIP is like a breath of fresh air in the investment area. It’s amazing to have people that would never connect with one another and have a lot in common; and I would never have met them if it wasn’t for SCHIP and Impact Hub.”
“I’ve met a lot of new …and very interesting people through Impact Hub and even found some new customers and clients… It’s a great meeting point!” says Corentin.
The deadline for the current round of SCHIP funding is April 15th and more information can be found on: https://www.socialchallenges.eu/city/9/Challenges/71
Sahil Aery is a student of management and works as a community host at Impact Hub Stockholm. He has worked with plant biotechnology before and is now learning how organisations function in today’s society.