Meet the Participants: From motivation to reality

It isn’t easy turning your business dreams into a reality. After three fast-paced weeks of IACT, participants from Teams Pawfect and The Thanks Company reflect on motivations behind their ventures, and how they are slowly creating the real thing.

For the third week, IACT teams were put through toolkits and challenges to test and progress their ventures. Additionally, at Tuesday’s After Hours Event, a presentation from Griffin Legal ran through the key legal considerations for start-ups. And teams got to meet each other in real life at our first IACT Happy Hour!

Here to capture the moment, our Marketing Officers spoke to two teams to catch up with their progress. This week, we focused in particular on motivation, and where their business dreams came from.

Pawfect, composed of Michelle, Prachi, Bernice and Rahul, is working to create a platform that is ‘a one-stop shop for all pet-owner’s needs.’ This will include learning tools and Q&A forums about all pet-related topics. More broadly, it will ‘create a community of pet owners and professionals, such as veterinarians, pet groomers, etc., so there is always somewhere you can go to help each other.’

This idea, while still being refined, has arrived from multiple sources of inspiration.

They were initially driven by the dream of creating an Airbnb for pets, providing pet-owners the option to have their pets looked after when they are away. In Prachi’s experience, ‘I have found it difficult going on holidays and finding someone trustworthy who can look after my pets. I talked to a bunch of other people who had the same problem. My previous landlord had the same problem with two dogs, and could not travel anymore. There are lots of stories of animal neglect and abuse when people go on holiday and leave behind pets… so that is what pushed me to build this Airbnb for pets where people can find trustworthy caregivers.’

Team Pawfect with Suhaib from the IACT Committee

However, noticing there were already many competitors in this space, their idea evolved. Realising that information about pets is widely disaggregated and often riddled with opinions rather than facts, Team Pawfect were drawn to create a more multipurpose platform which provides for pet-owner’s various needs, including training, grooming, health, etc.

Being a work in progress, the group are setting their sights onto what is next. They all note that through IACT’s workshops, they have been faced with many new ways to structure and progress their venture. Bernice would now like to pool all of their new knowledge to really consolidate their idea. Similarly, Prachi would like to decide what exactly their product will encompass.

Michelle also wants to become more confident in what they are offering, but is also focusing on growing her own skill set in the coming weeks. While there is still a long way to go, we are sure the drive from this team will make it happen.

We now move to The Thanks Company, where we spoke to Amrit about the motivations behind this venture.

The Thanks Company aims to ‘have a solution that can help the elderly. It revolves around loneliness and depression, and how after a certain age they feel lonely and depressed, with no one to talk to. We’re trying to help them be mentally stimulated, and physically fit.’

As a medical doctor, Amrit has been frequently exposed to many elderly people who suffer from loneliness and depression. She recounts a particular conversation she had, with a patient who was both blind and deaf, which brought sharp awareness to this fact.  

Team The Thanks Company with Anika and Suhaib from the IACT Committee

‘I literally sat there with him for 45 minutes and talked to him about life and pain and how we can find help for the pain he has… That conversation, 45 minutes of that conversation, changed his perspective on life. I was blown away that the power of conversation would have so much impact. The next few days I was thinking wow, just being in somebody’s company can make a big difference… That blew me away.’

It was this moment that drove her to start The Thanks Company, a platform which would try to eliminate the loneliness felt by the elderly. When IACT came along, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to provide structure and method to this business idea.

IACT has been providing actionable steps to make this idea a reality. As Amrit says, ‘Whenever you have an idea, you are so in love with it, that you don’t think whether it’s going to work. The program has given me some insight: there is an idea that you love, but there is a way to go about it.’

Since starting IACT, Amrit has spoken to 52 potential customers over the phone, creating the data and evidence needed to validate her idea. In light of this, she has gained the confidence that her idea is truly something that would be useful for a lot of people. ‘It has given me confidence that I am in the right direction. Before conducting these interviews, it was more wishy washy in my head. But now I have some data to back it up.’

Over the next few weeks, The Thanks Company is seeking more guidance. While they are reassured in the validity of their idea, they need more help with the practicality of implementing such a platform. But with the passion for this venture that was made clear in this conversation, we have little doubt of success.

Pawfect and The Thanks Company are only two of our many hard-working teams, who are busy working out the practicalities of their business dreams. Join us next week for a wrap-up of week four, and a showcase of more progress from the IACT teams.