We are progressing much faster with UP21, says NutritionPro and Sdílejprostor

Our startups, Interview
Do you have a great idea, need help, but are not yet ready for a big investment? Then the 6-month pre-seed incubation program that we’ve recently launched is just for you. We give selected startups opportunity to make use of our network of contacts, experienced mentors and shared office. So far, two startups have participated in this program – Sdilejprostor and NutritionPro. We asked their founders about their experience with the program.

NutritioPro

co-founders Nurlan Abdrassilov and Elisey Sviridov

If you want to lose weight these days, you have so many different options – you can attend sessions at a dietitian, try out randomly one of the thousand diets on the Internet, or start reading blogs and books about healthy lifestyle. Or you can try NutritionPro, an application that measures your body composition, makes a personalized diet and brings food to your home.

How does it work? Within 5 minutes, a special device measures your body composition and gives you an analysis with 56 indicators such as weight, height, percentage of fat, muscles or water. You then upload this data to your profile through the app, answer a few questions about your lifestyle and your goal (either losing weight or building muscles), wait for the dietitian to make a personalized diet and for NutritionPro to deliver food to you.

How did you got to know about UP21?

Originally, we had an angel investor with whom we worked on the project, but in the end, we did not close the deal. Therefore, we started to search for various startup incubators on the Internet. We wrote down a list of 100 investors and the first one we contacted was UP21. We submitted our project and they said yes. This was in November 2018 and since January 2019 we’ve been here.

What did you agree on with UP21?

We have been given a pre-seed investment for six months and, in addition to that, we got access to a range of services that we value even more than money. We use a coworking office that suits us because we can meet other startups every day. We have a mentor with whom we talk almost daily about our business strategy. If we need help with marketing, law, finance, HR or sales, we can contact any UP21 copilot. What's more, we can approach the startup coordinator Viktor Nyitray in case we need anything.

How did the first months of your incubation go?

We’ve created a more universal product that is aimed at many target groups, and thanks to our mentor Martin Klčo, we have already started doing sales. At present, we have first satisfied customers from whom we collect feedback and based on it we improve our product.

What do you work on these days?

We spend most of the time selling our product and tuning processes. When people create a profile and upload their data, the dietitian has to go through it. If people did not fill up something, we need to contact them again and complete the information. This takes a lot of time, so we try to optimize the process. At the end of the pre-seed phase, we want to have a functional product and dozens of satisfied customers.

How would you evaluate the UP21 incubation?

There is a friendly and open community of people who enjoy what they do. Some evenings we play music and work until 10 PM and it’s fun. Overall, we would say that program has met our expectations. We are moving forward. It's cool that there are many different events taking place here. There was a great lecture recently, where Viktor Stískala (CTO of Twisto) and Petr Bartoš (former CTO of Slevomat, Rohlík and Dáme jídlo) spoke. Next week two people from Silicon Valley – John Rizzo and Bill Reichert – are coming. We really like it here.

Sdilejprostor.cz

founder Vladimíra Koncarová

When you look around the city, you see buildings everywhere. In almost all of them there are some non-residential premises, such as offices, meeting rooms, massage and cosmetics studios, photo studios or gyms. At first glance, everything seems to be working fine. However, market research shows that most of these spaces are not used 70 percent of time, even though they have long-term users who work or spend their free time in them.

“You will always find free desks, massage tables or rooms that are not used for 16 hours a day! The crazy thing is that owners and operators of these places have to pay 100 percent rent and fees. We want to change that,” says Vlaďka Koncarová, founder of the new platform Sdilejprostor.cz, whose goal is to start exploiting unused spaces by sharing them.

How did you get to know about UP21?

When I started to work on this project, I used to go to many startup events. On one of them I met the CEO of UP21, Vít Šubert. I explained my vision to him and we met a few more times to discuss how the project could evolve. In the end, we came to a conclusion that it would help me to become a part of in an incubator program. So, in October 2018, I submitted m project to UP21, I pitched my idea to the Mainboard, which I liked, and I have been working on my project in UP21 since November.

What did you agree on with UP21?

We have agreed that for a period of six months, I will have one chief mentor who will consult my project, that I will be able to talk to all the specialists who are here and that I will be able to use the office and shared rooms and participate in educational and networking events. That’s the contract that I have with UP21. For these services, I gave UP21 a small share of my business. As for the investment, I currently fund the project from my own resources.

How did the first months of incubation go?

During the first months, I worked with my mentor Milan Šemelák on the project vision, which has changed quite a bit compared to the original version. It was an important step because it is now much clearer and stronger.

What do you work on these days?

I'm preparing a group discussion for my target group to see what their expectations and needs are. The whole product and also the website will be based on this. As soon as I have this information, I will start developing a strategic and marketing plan with another mentor.

How would you evaluate the UP21 incubation?

I like the way it works here. I'm glad I can stop anyone in the hallway and people are willing to advise me. I also appreciate the lectures and events that take place here.