As you probably already know if you’re following us onFacebook,Twitter orLinkedIn, we were in Las Vegas earlier this month for theCES. CES is nothing less than thebiggest technology show of the year with more than 180 000 participants.
The event means something special for Moona asthis is where we introduced our concept for the first time two years ago!
The system was nowhere near as technically advanced as it is now but our vision and energy enabled us to win a startup challenge by IBM (and a nice check). You can say this is where our entrepreneurial adventure took off.
We decided not to go last year. While invaluable, the CES is also very time-consuming. We had just finished our Kickstarter campaign at the time and we wanted to focus on improving the product.
Business France (a governmental agency that helps French businesses grow abroad)selected us with 25 other companies to exhibit in Eureka Park, “the global stage for startups”. 2019 was thus our second time at the CES and we used that opportunity toshowcase the final version of Moona for the first time.
We brought a team of four, Coline (cofounder/CEO), Nicolas (Head of Marketing), Ingrid and Romain, who both live in San Francisco and helped us during the week. David (cofounder/CTO) ended up not going to focus on production. With Chinese new year coming in February, all the factories will close for a month so the tech team is currently hard at work to get as many things done as possible.
Ourmain objective was to generate media coverage around Moona. We know sleep is an important topic and our innovative solution can help a lot of people. It is usually a good combination to draw attention from the press. Nevertheless, there are so many remarkable startups that it remains hard to reach journalists. That’s why we chose to use the services of aPR agency. They were tasked with generating interest about Moona and making sure journalists stopped by our stand. They did a great job and we werefeatured on theWashington Post andM6 amongst many others.
We chose to start selling Moona on Kickstarter and ourwebsite but we hope to expand to new channels as soon as the product becomes available.
Online marketplaces, like Amazon, and physical retail are expected to be significant growth drivers for us. CES was a good place to keep the conversations going with those actors and understand what are their strengths and weaknesses.
Sleep plays a key role in many different industries (travel, insurance, etc).
We envision Moona playing a role there. Whether it is selling Moona to hotels or integrating our technology, there are plenty of opportunities. We had a productive week talking to potential corporate clients and understanding their needs.
There was a dedicated “sleeptech” area for the first time at the CES. It’s always interesting to see what the competition is doing and how they position their products. If you want to know more about the sleeptech market, theWashington Post article previously mentioned is a great overview.
While we are only selling to consumers at the moment, those consumers can turn out to be tech professionals!
We were lucky to meet two of our great Kickstarter backers, Vincent and Myke. Thanks to both of them for their continued support. Myke, one of our favorite backers who has regularly sent us feedback to help, tried Moona for the first time and ended up pre-ordering second one on the spot!
CES is where companies from all sizes gather. It’s a great opportunity to talk to the startups “who have been there before” and can teach us one thing or two about marketing, logistics, etc.
“How can we prepare best to ship our Kickstarter backers?”, “How do you enter retail?” are amongst the questions we asked.
A week at theCES is always exciting and filled with great conversations. It also requires a lot of work before, during and after the exhibition. Doing this more than once a year would be tough.
We are now back in Paris and we hope the rest of the year will be as productive as it was at the CES.
PS: let’s finish with a behind the scene picture.