Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?
Hoscom: Our startup Hoscom, which stands for Hospitality Communication, develops a cloud-based internal information & communication platform for employees in hotels.
During his luxury hotel career, our co-founder Robin Renschler has noticed that internal communication, within a team but especially between departments, is the key to an unforgettable guest experience. However, he has also realised that this is exactly where hoteliers around the world fail. Behind the scenes the hotel industry unfortunately still works like it did in the 90s. They simultaneously use emails, phones, printouts, whiteboards, poster & flyer, handover books, WhatsApp groups, meetings, briefings, etc. to communicate e.g., daily changes, VIP arrivals, repairs, guest complaints & requests. Emails and the telephone are most commonly used, but usually, only shift leaders & managers have access to these two media. In addition, there are numerous incompatible silo solutions in each individual department.
With Hoscom, we want to close this information gap between departments, employees and guests, integrate required tools and flexibly link the existing system landscape. Our goal is to ease the daily work of hotel employees and thereby increase the quality of the hotel.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Hoscom: You might think so. When digital solutions are used, there are usually either non-industry-specific communication solutions or hotel-specific silo solutions for a single department. However, these do not solve the problem, but are part of the problem. Hoscom is the first holistic communication platform that combines the two components “communication” & “hotel tools” on one platform.
“Sooner or later, hotel software will no longer be a hurdle, but a vital potential”
Munich Startup: What is your founding story?
Hoscom: Our idea provider & CEO Robin Renschler comes from the hotel industry. After his “International Hotel Management Studies”, he worked for renowned luxury hotels such as Kempinski and Rocco Forte in Dubai, Malta, Russia and Germany. In every hotel station, he was confronted with the same customer problems already mentioned. Thus, one always had to take care of everything around, but the most important thing always fell by the wayside: the guests.
Out of his own problem, he then started to build up Hoscom. Due to the unexpected Corona crisis, the hotel industry suddenly came to a complete standstill overnight and he was able to use the short-time work to push the product forward. It quickly became clear: Hoscom needed a software developer to be successful. This is how today’s Co-Founder & CTO Magnus Liedtke joined the founding team.
We used to play football together in our school days and then lost track of each other a bit. During this time, Magnus completed his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and then worked as a software developer for six years. We have been working together on Hoscom for a year now: We were part of the VentureVilla seed accelerator, celebrated various successes in startup competitions, founded Hospitality Communication GmbH in February this year and are now about to implement the inhouse-developed MVP in our pilot customers.
Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Hoscom: Firstly, the current, or rather said, outdated system landscape in hotels. It is very cost- and time-intensive to create interfaces with “old” key players in order to integrate them into new systems. In addition, there is often the outdated mindset of today’s hotel management that it is highly complicated and would take months to introduce new software. However, the Open-API philosophy is, fortunately, gradually catching on in the hotel industry. Sooner or later, hotel software will no longer be a hurdle, but a vital potential – we at Hoscom are strongly convinced of this!
We are still working on a challenge or piece in the puzzle. We would like to complement our team of founders, with high expertise in the hotel and IT industry, with a sales and/or branding co-founder. Here, the interpersonal – the “chemistry” – and the necessary entrepreneurial mindset are especially important to us. Experience in the hotel industry or software sales is of course helpful, but not absolutely necessary.
“Looking forward to living events in Munich”
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Hoscom: We will launch Hoscom with our pilot customers in the summer and expand the customer portfolio by the end of the year as well as closing our financing round. In one year, we will have implemented Hoscom in hotels in the DACH region and built up a team around us. Only with this team will we be able to establish a well-known brand in the international hotel industry in five years and realise our vision “to be the centre of the hospitality industry”.
Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?
Hoscom: Munich’s startup ecosystem has a lot to offer with LMU, TU, CDTM, WERK1, Founders Institute, BayStartUp … – especially for the software industry. We make particular use of BayStartUp’s offerings. Since we started in the middle of the pandemic with our startup Hoscom, very few events took place locally, which is why we are already looking forward to living events in Munich.
Munich Startup: Outsource or in-house?
Hoscom: Good question. A mix of both. It is extremely important for us to develop the MVP ourselves, as we are completely independent of third parties and have everything in our own hands, as well as being able to react more quickly to customer feedback. Nevertheless, we are planning to expand the product portfolio with our IT partner brayn.io, so that we can draw on years of know-how and take big steps quickly. In the medium to long term, we want to build up our own programming team and develop in-house.