iDROwash: Sustainable Solutions For The Maintenance Of Cities

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Alessandro Florio, co-founder of iDROwash, explains what solution his startup offers to cities that want to invest in urban regeneration & quality of life:

Describe iDROwash in 50 words or less.

iDROwash is a global service company that develops and supplies innovative and sustainable solutions for the maintenance of buildings and cities. We help city managers aware of the quality of life of their citizens and the reception of tourists and owners of commercial buildings, industrial and residential properties in need of redevelopment.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

Me and my co-founder are both programmers and we grew up watching and learning the construction work by our grandfather. We saw many new buildings and the destruction of good old buildings. We saw the inefficiency of this, and we started thinking about how we could use our technical background and apply that to the longevity of a building.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

In the last 48 hours we have worked to plan maintenance for commercial centers, and also for industrial districts. Our customers want to improve and make aesthetically more pleasant places in which they live and work.

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

We want to help 1,000 cities around the world to improve the quality of life of citizens and tourists, we will make a positive impact on more than one billion people. There are many side effects to solve a huge global problem such as urban regeneration. Increase the quality of life in a city by reducing the use of chemical products and lengthen the life of a building.

iDROwash: Sustainable Solutions For The Maintenance Of CitiesIn what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

It’s hard to measure success. In the short term, our company has received important awards. During the World Exhibition in Milan (EXPO2015Milano) the Italian Government has selected and presented our company to the world as an example of innovation and environmental sustainability. Now we are working hard to enter the European market.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the service like you imagined it in the beginning?

The market and our customers’ needs are constantly changing. We analyze the feedback from our customers and we try to find solutions to improve our service every day. Customers are our obsession.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

We funded the startup and continue to self-finance our company. We were helped by some entrepreneurs who have become our first clients, and have recommended our services to their friends as well. For the future we are looking for partnerships with other European companies in our sector to scale the market and get customers directly.

What were the biggest challenges you faced building your startup?

None in particular. But it was still very difficult, here in Italy specific initiatives that help small businesses like ours in growth, do not exist or at least we were not able to find them. For other sectors, such as digital, there are hundreds: associations, public financing, private capital and aid programs to the birth and growth of these enterprises. Good. But is not enough, they need equal opportunities and programs for new enterprises in all sectors.

For example we could not find any initiative that brings new businesses, like ours, in a trade fair, often prohibitive for the costs. We need to give the opportunity to new businesses to test the market and what better than a trade show? If there are institutions, contractors or enlightened people willing to listen to us we are there, we are ready to talk.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

When you are trying to build a new company, you meet many people who try to influence your choices. It’s very important to listen to all the advice and try to figure out which ones can be useful to help the growth of the company. For this you must have a vision and a very clear and solid business model.

What do you look for in team members?

We think of our company as a team – if the team wins it is because we all combine our skills to achieve victory. So we try to motivate our members to achieve goals as a group, plus they should also be able to help their fellow workers and encourage them to give their best.

Why would a talent join your team?

A talent that enters our team finds a dynamic and innovative environment, with the opportunity to learn and grow professionally.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

Our first customer was the sponsor of a football team of Italian Serie A. They noticed us on our Facebook page and have commissioned one of the most demanding tasks so far – but also a very memorable one.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

First, to learn from all the experiences that you have made before starting their own businesses. Look at your skills and understand how they can help create a valuable business.

Then always start with the business model: know what you want to do and how you want to achieve it. If you do not have it in your mind clearly, write it down.

Then do not look for money, but customers. When we started to find the support of many entrepreneurs: nobody gave us money, but we asked them to try our solution. After seeing it, they have become customers and then we were allowed to cash immediately.

Finally, have the nerve. I have worked in the commercial sector, those who know the logic knows that a “no” today, may turn into a “yes” tomorrow. Only, however, if you are ready to fight, don’t surrender. If no one has done what you’re doing before, it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed.



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