WOHNWAGON

WOHNWAGON: Inspiration for a more sustainable and self-sustained lifestyle!

Wien, AustriaAustria
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

What do you really need for a good life? We fundamentally change the way we think about housing & living by creating inspiring opportunities for self-sustained and natural living. We build Wohnwagons that work off the grid, we offer know-how and products on our webplattform and in our workshops.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we reduced the space and resources needed for living by 80% without people even noticing a difference in your living standards and at the same time help them to lead a more sustainable and self-empowered life?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The space & resources needed for living have multiplied over the last decades. The average European citizen owns 10.000 things. We want to fundamentally change the way we approach the topic of living and inspire people to take action: Live small! Live sustainably & independent! Approaches so far have failed to reach people on a deeper level as they lack emotion. With our hands-on experience in the Wohnwagon we inspire people to take action!

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The Wohnwagon is a flagship for sustainable and independent living. It offers a tangible and emotional experience and makes people think about new possibilities for sustainable living. The opportunity is to reach people on a completely different level with beautiful design, a clear and cool message and the vision of a good life without dependence on the grid. We reach people from all different backgrounds and enter into a dialogue: How do you really want to live? Together with our partners we offer hands-on solutions to take the first steps on the path towards a reduced and sustainable lifestyle: The Wohnwagon itself, autarky modules, products for sustainable living and coaching services. Together we find new answers for sustainable living.

Awards

Join our core – Ben & Jerries Social Entrepreneurship Award, Austria finalist Nov 2014, i4c incubator – Stage 1 winner (“innovation 4 climate”), e.i-m. – Award for start-up of the year 2013, klima:aktiv Membership 2015
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Imagine a young family that wants to build their dream house. This is potentially really bad news for nature. When they get in touch with Wohnwagon they first reconsider: How much space do we really need? They might build a smaller, more sustainable home thanks to the information and know-how they find on our platform or learn in our workshops. If they want to dig deeper into the topic they will find solutions for more sustainable and independent living that they can integrate in their dreamhouse! Our photovoltaik-system, our combined solar-wooden heating unit, our water-treatment system! If they fall in love with our idea and live in a Wohnwagon instead of a house they decide for zero emission and also offer inspiration for many others!

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Our impact can be seen on different levels: Raising awareness, reducing emissions and resources in housing, offering solutions for living off the grid. Our goal is to offer solutions on all different levels so that everyone can connect and find the right solution for his living situation. What we have achieved so far: –214.000 Euro funded by more than 300 Crowdinvestors –2000 km tour with our Wohnwagon to spread the idea, more than 75.000 people visited our Wohnwagon –100.000 visits on our website without advertising –50.000 clicks on Youtube –7 Wohnwagons built / under construction –More than 300 people visited our workshops –25 projects –200 products for sustainable living in our web shop (goal for 2016: 2.000) –30 blogs entries about sustainable, reduced and self-sustained living – 5 content-cooperations with other platforms and initiatives – many more to come!

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We want to become the first address for autarkic and sustainable living. To achieve that we will start internationalizing in 2016. We want to combine online & offline and will embark on an inspirational tour with our Wohnwagon through Germany, Switzerland and Belgium. We are also cooperating with platforms and initiatives with similar goals (e.g. blogs about sustainability) and organize events and workshops together. We will use every Wohnwagon project (beautiful pictures!) to create a viral buzz for the topic and spread it via Social Media (no marketing expenses needed to spread the idea).
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We provide the know-how and Do-it-Yourself tutorials on our platform free of charge to make this available for everyone. We ensure financial through different business segments: We sell Wohnwagons, we sell autarky modules and products in our webshop and we offer services in planning and consulting regarding sustainable and self-sustained living. To finance growth we successfully completed 2 crowd investing campaigns with more than 300 investors.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

To our knowledge there is no one addressing this particular problem so far. There are various initiatives for modular, upcycling homes that provide cheap space for living. They mostly address developing countries, but there is little focus in self-sustained systems. People in first world countries have the financial resources to start using circular energy- and water systems and help to gain the experience and build the market. This way we can gather enough know-how to make those technologies available on a Do-it-Yourself basis. What makes us unique is the hands-on and emotional experience.
Team

Founding Story

Christian worked in planning and architecture for years and always observed people building large flats and houses and only using a small part of it: The area on the couch to chill and talk to your friends, the kitchen where you chat and cook, the place where you work … He noticed that there are patterns in the behaviour of people and in the rooms they use. He figured out that once you compress those patterns you can provide the same quality of living while reducing the space by 60-80%. He accepted the challenge: Compress all necessary patterns for good living in one unit and add all the know-how about sustainable & independent living to give people a hands-on experience what is possible!

Team

Our team has grown over the last year from 2 founders to 10 dedicated minds that work on achieving our mission. Not all of them full-time but each and everyone with heart and soul. The roles in out team: Theresa Steininger – CEO, sales, customer relation, marketing, cooperations (full-time) Christian Frantal – innovation, planning & technical solutions (full-time) Niko Hofbauer – Project Management for the development of our online platform (full-time) Lydia Sciri – planning & coordination of production (part-time) Eva Tschiderer – content production for our online platform, video tutorials and office support (full-time) Christoph Raz – legal support & customer relations (part-time) Alexandra Fruhstorfer – Planning & 3D visualisation (part-time) Richard Preissler –content production for our online platform & co-operations (part-time) Stefan Pindeak – production supervision (full-time) Each of the team members regularly is supported by a trainee, when we grow nearly everyone in our team could become the head of a department that works rather independently.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

I was contacted by Ashoka and they asked me to join.

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

WW Wohnwagon GmbH, Theresa Steininger, CEO

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Christian Frantal has founded many companies so far and is an experienced entrepreneur (gastronomy, planning bureau, art gallery, magazine…). He brings the technical know-how into the team and also provides his entrepreneurial experience.
Theresa Steininger regardless her young age also brings entrepreneurial experience to the team. She founded her first company at the age of 21 (agency for communication and design - which is still operating successfully) and developed many projects before that (eg. cultural festival "Einigschaut" in Lower Austria).

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

Through our crowdinvesting campaigns we built a strong network of supporters and fans that helped us build our company so far. There are some people that are especially important for our success:

Prince Alfred from Liechtenstein – international connections, strategic partnerships, finance advisory & investment
CONDA Crowdinvesting platform – advisory
Alexander Zacke, CEO of “Auctionata” mentor and experienced founder of e-commerce platform
Kuno Haas, CEO of “Grüne Erde”