We set out on a mission to explore the inspiration behind some of the innovative startups that call Mindspace home. What we learned, was that each startup is driven by a different motive: There are those who want to solve previously unaddressed problems, those who want to build upon existing processes, those who are fueled by passion, and those who seek to spread knowledge. This pans out a four-way-forked road to launching a startup – but we’re sure that there are many more paths that drive one down the road of entrepreneurship.
For now though, we’ll share what we learned from the tales of four spirited startups:
Motivation: Solving a problem
TestCraft brought together developers, QA testers, and product managers to create a solution for an inherent problem in the tech industry: A lack of auto testing tools for newly developed technologies.
“We worked together at a mobile advertising company and were assigned a technological project that we had to build from scratch,” say founders Yarin Podoler and Daniel Levin of Test Craft’s inception. “In the process, we learned and developed a new technology, which required course testing. When we got to the production phase, we had to look for auto testing tools in order to generate the tests, and we just couldn’t find any.” This gave rise to a flashing lightbulb, sparking the idea for founding Test Craft.
Yarin and Daniel realized there was a vacant niche in the market in that there lacked an availability auto testing technology, and turned it into an opportunity. It was never planned though, and an unexpected twist in the career-path of the duo.
“We never looked for a problem to solve in order to build a startup company,” they say. “We worked with a certain technology and encountered a problem. We tried to find solutions but there weren’t any.”
So they seized the day. “We solved that project’s problem in a pinpointed way and we simply thought that it doesn’t make sense that such a tool doesn’t exists in the world. You could say that we saw an opportunity and seized it.”
Lesson of the day: See an opportunity or problem that needs solving? Don’t go running for the hills, and take on the challenge.
For an easy, cost-effective way to test technologies, visit: testcraft.io/
Motivation: Improving existing processes
Dfrent is all about easing the often frustrating process of renting or moving out of an apartment. “In my long search for a rental apartment, I got really frustrated by real estate agents who wasted my time and were of no help”, says founder Moran Lerenthal. “It hit me that something needed to change.”
Moran and his partner set out to improve upon existing rental processes. They created a new “RIY” (rent-it-yourself) model for handling the turnover of rental properties, rewarding outgoing tenants, and putting the power in the hands of renters and property owners rather than real estate agents with hefty commission demands.
“It didn’t take me and my best friend long to understand that dealing with real-estate agents, along with the hard work put in by a tenant before leaving a rented apartment, are infuriating”, he says.
According to Moran, “leaving tenants have to put up with a lot: advertising, marketing, coordinating visits of potential renters, answering questions”, all of which amount to hours of work. With Dfrent though, renters are rewarded for their hard work rather than coming up frustrated and empty handed.
For a more friendly experience navigating Israel’s real estate landscape, visit: dfrent.co.il
Motivation: Chasing your passion
Doing what you love is not impossible. Yes, it might require making sacrifices and roughing it out for a bit – but what’s a more exciting journey? The boring and mundane? Or traversing exciting, unchartered territory? We think the latter. And so does the team behind Tastillery.
Andreas and Waldemar Wegelin had two criteria when approaching the startup design process: “First, it had to combine our passions – travel, design, tasting new things, inspiring people and creating events, And second, it had to be an actual physical product, enhanced through technology”, they said.
Out of their brainstorm came, Tastillery. The startup merges a myriad of passions into one packaged technological product: The Tastillery Tasting Experience Set – a box filled with try-sized bottles of fine spirits like whisky, gin or rum, sent out to consumers who then review the products online.
“We found out exactly which spirit people like best, and why, creating an overall experience that brings people joy”, the say.
To take part in the passion-project, visit: tastillery.com
Motivation: Spreading knowledge
Yura Milyutin worked in the field of IT when he had a Buddhist enlightenment. “The methods helped me deal with problems,” he says.
Since then, Yura expanded upon his initial enlightenment. He met with Dr. Berzin, a Buddhist teacher who leads courses online, and scoured the likes of the web for information on how to apply Buddhist thought to daily life. But his results came up blank.
“After research, I realized that despite 500 million Buddhists worldwide, there’s no good online material for how to apply the material,” he says.
Buddhism, Yura says, is based on critical study, and there was dire need for an online forum that people could turn to gain full access to a range of Buddhist teachings and learn how to apply them. He put together a team to materialize his vision and launched the site Study Buddhism.
“Community feedback has so far been really positive,”Yura says.”
To be enlightened, visit: studybuddhism.com