StartupValley start-up talk with compacToys

compacToys problem solutions for everyday life: 7in1 Sand Toys

Briefly introduce yourself and the startup compacToys to our readers!

compacToys was founded a good year ago by Sutepan and me (Steffen). We both live in the Freiburg area and have been good friends for a long time. We have a lot in common and we particularly enjoy working on problem solutions for everyday life. The idea for compacToys matured for several years and then really picked up speed with the step to the public at the Nuremberg Toy Fair 2020.

Why did you decide to start a business?

We (Sutepan and I, the two founders of compacToys) have known each other for a long time and have been working on problem solutions for everyday life ever since. But this time we knew immediately that we had invented something special and decided to start a company.

What is the vision behind compacToys?

Our vision is to bring out a whole range of products based on our patent. We have a well-filled roadmap that has a lot of potential. The "7in1 Sand Toys" is just the beginning.

From the idea to the start, what have been the biggest challenges so far and how have you financed yourself?

One of our biggest challenges was the financing, because at the beginning you often have considerable expenses as a start-up. In order to do this with your own means, you have to be very creative and ultimately there are many ways to achieve your goal.

Who is the target group of compacToys?

With our invention, we want to make everyday life for families a little easier. As family fathers, we know the problem of that big, unwieldy plastic bag full of sand toys all too well. Our target group is derived from this, namely mainly parents with children between one and six years of age. Be it the urban mother who wants to go straight to the playground on the way back from kindergarten. Or the father who goes on a trip with his children. The campers, where everything should be as compact as possible anyway, and last but not least all the package travelers who typically leave the sand toys behind at their holiday destination. Our target group is very diverse.

What is special about your sand toy? What are the advantages? What makes you different from other providers?

The special thing about our products is the functionality paired with a well thought-out design. This enables us to accommodate comparable content in just a third of the usual volume. We hold a patent for this and thus differentiate ourselves from other providers on the market.

Above all, we want to address the issue of sustainability with our concept. In a direct comparison, the transport space required in logistics is significantly reduced and huge amounts of carbon dioxide can be saved. Countless loads of plastic waste arise year after year solely from sand toys that are left behind in the holiday resort. Our product fits easily in every suitcase or in the smallest storage compartment in a motorhome. We also pay attention to high quality and design our products for the longest possible service life. Of course, our packaging is not made of plastic, but of recycled paper.

compacToys, where are you headed? Where do you see yourself in five years?

In the next few years we want to do research on ecological plastics in order to make our products even more sustainable. Biodegradable plastic is the future and we definitely want to be part of its design.

Finally: What 3 tips would you give prospective founders?

Above all, we want to encourage all founders in these difficult times. Hold on and stay tuned.

Involve close confidants in your project and repeatedly question your steps together.

We often had to reorient ourselves, so always be flexible and always have a plan B in hand.

We thank Steffen and Sutepan for the interview