New app to compete with Uber

Kristian has developed a new app to compete with uber
Krister Bagnkop, right, and his partner, Bertram Galas.
Krister Bagnkop, studying to be a Global Business Engineer at VIA, is working as a mobility and innovation developer at Europcar Innovation Lab in Paris, and, at the same time, he is developing an app that is going to challenge Uber.

Krister Bagnkop’s everyday life is busy: he works three days a week as a mobility and innovation developer at Europcar Innovation Lab in Paris – where he has previously been an intern. Two days a week are assigned to being a distance learning student in the eighth semester of the Global Business Engineering programme, and, on top of that, he and his partner are developing an app that has won an award in a major French innovation competition.

The Decarbonathon innovation competition’s prize, “Public Prize” was awarded in connection with COP21. Krister Bagnkop and his partner, Bertram Galas’ idea is to develop an open, digital marketplace, so local taxi companies can compete with multinational competitors such as Uber.

Krister Bagnkop and Bertram Galas met initially at the Europcar Innovation Lab. But after they won the award, Bertram Galas chose to resign and he now works full-time, developing the app in collaboration with both Krister and help from various mentors.

12 sq. m. on the seventh floor

Krister Bagnkop does not speak French, and French people, in general, are not so happy to speak English, so Krister has not only had to face professional challenges associated with working in Paris. And although Paris is a fantastic city, it is not always so fantastic to live in 12 sq. m. on the seventh floor of a building with no elevator.

But being an entrepreneur is very much about being able to tackle setbacks and see opportunities where others cannot see them – and that’s what Krister Bagnkop does. The space is, therefore, not so important, as long as he gets to work with tasks that he is passionate about.

Educational programme supports the entrepreneurial dream

It is no coincidence that Krister Bagnkop became an entrepreneur, because that is what has always inspired him to work on developing things and come up with ideas: “I've actually always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. But, for me, it's more about creating success than making money. What's funny is that you learn as you are in the developing process. And if the app is not a success, I’m sure that one of my other small projects will be!” says Krister Bagnkop and concludes:

“My education supports the things I work with as an entrepreneur. On the Global Business Engineering educational programme, I receive both engineering professionalism and good business understanding. It provides me with the tools to think in an interdisciplinary manner and that is important when you, as I am now, are involved in a lot of development work."

Krister is hoping to launch the app at the end of 2016.