DAAN WEDDEPOHL (RUNNER-UP): PEERBY
Plan: This app and website enable consumers to rent goods from people nearby. The app uses Facebook, email and smartphone notification to contact people in the user's postcode and ask whether they have an item he or she needs. It then connects the user and borrower/renter and helps them negotiate a deal. Other services include pickup and return reminders and product insurance. A pilot was started in Amsterdam in july. The current prototype already matches a request with a neighbor's product within 30 minutes on average. The company says it aims to bring neighbours together and focuses on people rather than goods.
Biography: Daan Weddepohl is a serial entrepreneur and former CTO. After building software for banks and advertising for a couple of years he decided that it was time to do something meaningful. He is now on a mission to make the right thing to do also the easiest choice.
1. Please introduce yourself
My name is Daan Weddepohl (31) from Amsterdam. I was born in Rotterdam, a hard working harbor city, and spent my teen years near De Veluwe, a natural reserve in the middle of the Netherlands, where I learned to love the forest. I'm a serial entrepreneur and a former CTO. I picked up my technical skills by doing computer programming as a kid, but haven't always been in the Internet business. I was educated to be an actor for stage and television. I had a lot of fun performing on stage and television for a few years and I still love to watch movies and plays.
2. What's your entry for the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge?
Peerby.com is the fast and easy way to borrow and rent the stuff you need by asking around in your neighborhood. From cradle to grave, every product has a carbon footprint. Mining, assembly, transportation, maintenance and disposal, it all consumes energy. The houses around us are filled with the products we need. What would happen if we could make these products easily accessible to everyone in your neighborhood? Do we really need a lawn mower for every household?
Peerby is like a Google for stuff. You type in what you need, let's say a power drill, and Peerby starts asking you neighbors through Facebook, smart phones and E-mail. If they don't have one, Peerby remembers and won't bother them again. If they do own one, you are connected through a chat. Within minutes you are ready to pick it up right around the corner.
Today's hyper consumption is largely financed with debt. Debt causes stress. Stress is causing people to go out and buy more stuff they don't need with money they don't have. Peerby is breaking this cycle of stress: stress on resources, stress on debt, stress on the individual and stress on the planet.
3. Where did you get this idea?
I was tinkering with the idea of creating a service to communicate with the people around you, but I was still figuring out what it could be used for. When I saw a talk titled "The Case for Collaborative Consumption" by Rachel Botsman on TED.com everything fell into place.
4. Why do you want to contribute to the reduction of CO2-emissions? Where does that drive come from?
The question for the years to come is not if we are going to share, but how. If all developing countries want to have the same standard of living as the Western world, we need six planets. We have to find a way to drastically reduce our consumption, preferably without sacrificing the quality of life we've grown accustomed to. My goal for Peerby is to create the first step towards a sharing economy.
Foremost I am an entrepreneur. I want to create and innovate and I want these creations to have a positive, meaningful impact. From that standpoint Peerby is the perfect idea. It is creative, innovative, good for social cohesion in neighborhoods and good for the planet.
5. What difference will your plan make if it comes to market if you win the €500.000 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge prize?
To us: We are just a small team with a limited amount of money. Bringing Peerby to the world is going to require a lot of time and effort. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge prize would allow us to expand the team and spend all our time on building and fine tuning the product and sending our message out into the world.
To the world: Peerby is going to make a difference for everyone. I believe that the best way to motivate people to do the right thing, is to make the right thing also the easiest thing to do. Peerby is creating a movement. A movement that promotes access over ownership, usage over consumption. This kind of enlightened consumption allows us to share prosperity and reduces the carbon footprint of every family.