compacToys problem solutions for everyday life: 7in1 sand toys
Please introduce yourself and the startup compacToys to our readers!
compacToys was founded by Sutepan and me (Steffen) a good year ago. 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 solutions to problems 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 company?
We (Sutepan and I, the two founders of compacToys) have known each other for a long time and have been working on solving problems 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 did you finance yourself?
One of our biggest challenges was the financing, because as a start-up you often have significant expenses at the beginning. In order to manage this with your own resources, you have to be very creative and in the end there are many ways to get there.
Who is the target group of compacToys?
With our invention, we want to make everyday life a little easier for families. As fathers of families, we know all too well the problem of that big, unwieldy plastic bag full of sand toys. 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 visit the playground directly on the way back from kindergarten. Or the father who goes on a trip with his children. The campers, for whom 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 the holiday destination. Our target group is very diverse.
What is special about your sand toys? What are the advantages? What distinguishes you from other providers?
What is special about our products is their functionality paired with a well thought-out design. As a result, we are able to accommodate comparable content in just a third of the usual volume. We hold a patent for this, which sets us apart 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 reduced considerably and huge amounts of carbon dioxide can be saved. Countless loads of plastic waste are created year after year simply by sand toys that are left behind at vacation spots. Our product fits in any suitcase or in the smallest storage compartment in the motorhome without any problems. We also pay attention to high quality and design our products to have as long a service life as possible. Of course, our packaging is not made of plastic, but of recycled paper.
compacToys, where are we 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 shaping it.
Finally: What 3 tips would you give to prospective founders?
Above all, we want to give all founders courage in these difficult times. Persevere and keep at it.
Involve close confidants in your project and keep questioning your steps together.
We often had to reorient ourselves, so always be flexible and always have a plan B up your sleeve.
We would like to thank Steffen and Sutepan for the interview