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Steora - next step to a smart city

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Steora (Steora - next step to a smart city)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-07-31

The main issue being adressed by the project is an increase of technological presence in everday life, so the need to use it outside the home increases each day. Followed by citizens and tourists visiting specific locations. Still the company is careful to adopt technologies which would use renewable energy as a powering source. So it leaves double positive impact for the society, provides technological solutions for problems that citizens have while spending enormous time on the streets and outside areas (besides resting, and night lightning, they get a lots of useful information on the screen panels placed on the bench sides, they can charge their mobile electric devices and use internet connection effectivley). On the other side it doesnt harm the environment, and presents clean energy source for the automation of the bench functionality. The overall objectives are to increase the number of benches installed all over the world, to improve user exeperience constantly comming from end users and buyers.
From the begining of the project the company has made most the following:

*The logo and visual identity has been altered so that it can be more identifiable with the technology and innovation companies, compared to the previous one that was quite basic. The color of the logo is white and black that is in line with the Steora logo that has already been defined. Also with the new logo are the new colors of the company (purple, cyclamen and pink), which made the company more recognizable. The aim was to create awareness of the company and the brand Include and not just Steora, because most of them actually thought that the name of Steora was not the product.

*Conducted primary research. The results of the primary research point toward a generally positive attitude towards smart benches, and towards the purchase of the Steora benches, in particular. These attitudes are especially positive in Florida, California, Germany and Sweden, and a bit less so in Nevada and Spain. The highest intention to purchase a Steora bench was recorded in Florida, but the markets in Sweden, Germany, and Spain also show promising results with regards to purchase intention. Most of the respondents seem to be receptive to the idea of a smart bench, and are not aware of any similar product offered on the market. Those that have heard of a similar product, list only one brand – the Soofah Bench, developed by an MIT team and available on the US market. The optimal price range for one Steora bench seems to be in the 2500 to 3000 USD range. However, probably due to a lower general standard of living and a lover BDP in Spain, the recommended price for this particular market should be somewhat lower, under 2500 USD (or 2300 Euro). The 3 year plan is to penetrate activley to mentioned markets.

*Closed the first round of investment cycle. In cooperation with the Zagreb Stock Exchange, entered a pilot project of financing through the Estonian platform Funderbeam, which enables startups and small companies to realize the initial seed investment round in a short period of time. The platform is based on a crowdinvesting fundraising system where a greater number of physical or legal persons express their interest in the investment, and upon completion of the investment campaign, their funds are provided in the form of lending to a SPV opened in Estonia, which then enters the ownership structure of the company that entered the investment cycle. In return, all investors get securities - a value in the value of their own investment so that one euro invested one token. With these tokens, secondary trading can also be performed on the Funderbeam platform. This process has enabled greater liquidity of investment in small businesses such as this one.

*Made financial projections for the researched markets. The conducted primary market research serves as a base for further financial projections, following specific market results. The assumptions are made in the most realistic manner, using ratios from the given results. The projections are made for each of the 6 markets separatley and finally summarized into the one piece, defined as a first round of a strategic expansion. Yearly demand is calclualted as a number of market population, devided with the number of citizens per bench sold on Croatian market on a year basis (41.237 citizens per unit). In line with that it is multiplied with the percentage of every specific market which has shown positive interest for purchasing the bench. Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) from total year demand is estimated to be 6 %, accoridng to previous experience on other foreign markets. It can vary from 6-9 % depending on the market, still for simplicity of caluclations it is fixed to 6%. The percentage of willingnes to buy is estimated to be increased by 3 percentage points yearly, while market demand grows by 5 percentage points yearly.
Price per unit grows slowly up to 3.000,00 € in N+5, except for the Spain where it grows up to 2.500,00 €. Projections are visible in the global feasibility study.

*with the investment cycle (first round) eneabled to move the production location to the more adeqaute space, followed by larger production capacity, to be able to follow the increased order qunatities.

Dissemination of the result is presented through Croatian media (TV, radio stations, newspappers, internet portals which are following this successful story), conferences for the young startups, to the potential investors, and also via social media channels.
Since the project started the company has placed a huge effort to build the hybrid bench, which will partialy use solar energy and partialy will be connected to the existing electricity grids on specific locations. This decision has been made for the countries lacking of sun energy, meaning have less sunny days during the year period. Those countries are Germany, and Nordic countries, as well as the rest of central and northern European countries which are interested for the bench implementation. The hybrid model is quite new but already recording the solid sales activity, mostly oriented to Sweden. The goal is to prepare the hybrid model for all of the countries located in the areas which count less sunny days around the world. The mentioned substitute will leave impact on the company market share which will increase sales and revenues, will insure new employments, and follow estimated organic growth. On the other side it will offer such countries equality to use the same product as well as it has been used in sunny ones.