It’s the evening before a big pitch and suddenly you realise your Mini-DVI adaptor is missing. What do you do? The answer may soon lie In the basement of Oslo’s Innovation Park, thanks to the folks at SkyLib.
SkyLib is an app that makes your physical stuff searchable, to you, your close friends, your local community or the entire world. You can search around your current GPS position for something you need right now, and borrow or buy it.
The original idea came to CTO Geir Engdahl when he needed to borrow a special screwdriver to repair his laptop, but the project has grown into something far greater, with global ambitions. SkyLib is currently in beta mode and you are invited to try it out at www.skylib.com.
A project like this needs a superstar team and SkyLib has one. CEO Marius Ulstein-Brokner worked in classifieds for 15 years and like so many great startup ideas it began with the light-bulb moment: “there must be a better way to do this.” He involved his friend and experienced business manager Olav Djupvik. The project gained traction when the duo met Engdahl, fresh from a three-year stint at Google Canada, eager for a challenge, and already working on a similar idea. The three got together and SkyLib was born.
“We want to make it really simple to make your stuff available online. In the process I created this app to scan barcodes, which means it’s really easy to add your books or DVDs to the site, although it can be used for anything”, says Engdahl.
SkyLib CEO Marius Ulstein-Brokner explains the potential uses: “The reason you use SkyLib to digitise your stuff may vary. Maybe you want to keep track of your own items for insurance purposes, or rent or sell things you already own. I have my car on SkyLib, for trusted friends only, but all my gardening tools and children’s ski equipment are there for my neighbours to borrow or even buy.
“As a green company we want to make it easier not only to buy and borrow used items, but to encourage that activity locally. But that applies globally – we could be most useful in developing countries, for example”
What stands out for me is the potential of the underlying technology. It’s not just a prettier Craiglist, it’s a complete system allowing you to digitise and manage a library of physical products within your existing networks. There are many potential uses for this technology and it will be fascinating to see where SkyLib are this time next year.
A former IT Project Manager, David Nikel now works as a technology writer in Norway. He helps Norwegian companies communicate in English and reports on the entrepreneurial scene for ArcticStartup.