At least a couple times per week, I find a friendly email with a money making opportunity: "Would you like to earn 13 Swiss francs for delivering IKEA merchandise to your neighbor?" Behind these lucrative gigs is BringBee, an innovative start-up here in Switzerland.
My curiosity to find out more lead me to Stella Schieffer, the founder and CEO of BringBee. An entrepreneur at heart, Stella gave me the lowdown on her aspirations of making the world a more efficient place.
Reducing Traffic and CO2 Emissions
"Up to 70 percent of a car's loading capacity are usually left unused", says Stella. And this is exactly where her start-up comes in: For many smaller items such as pots and pans, napkins and decorations, a trip to IKEA is simply less than efficient.
On the other hand, for those who are hauling home new furniture anyway, delivering some extra items for someone else might help pay the costs of the trip in the first place.
Driving this win/win situation are BringBee's main objectives: To reduce overall traffic caused by the inefficient movement of small objects, and in turn to reduce CO2 emissions.
Since Stella does not hold a drivers license of her own, the logistics of getting things from point A to point B have always consumed her. As part of her studies in engineering, she soon started to think about how the flow of goods could be optimized.
Meeting your Neighbors
Apart from reducing your environmental footprint, there is another intended side effect of engaging with BringBee. If you are picking up some extra items requested by someone in your town or neighborhood, you will inadvertently meet your neighbors!
"People love doing favors for others, and BringBee helps facilitate this through our technology. In the end, our network helps people connect with next-door neighbors!" Stella is right on the money, because BringBee is soon launching a new feature that lets you shop at any store in Switzerland, not only at IKEA!
With the individual shopping lists, customers can simply name the store (be it Migros, Coop or OBI), write down what they need and find a nearby BringBee to help them.