StartIn: Hello Amar! Please give a three sentence overview about your start-up!
Amar: Our software offers small to medium enterprises the ability to advertise at a very high quality, but without the high cost, time and knowledge commitment. We do this with our AI powered software that automates the advertising workflow. Using our tool, clients can focus on their businesses while Advicely takes care of their growth and sales.
StartIn: Where, when, what did you study?
Amar: I studied business and law at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and then a Master’s in Neuroscience at King’s College London
StartIn: You got excited by the idea and are day dreaming about how it will look one day. But how do you actually start builing your MVP?
Amar: After we got into the King’s College London K20 Accelerator we pushed quickly to find a developer (using contacts from King’s) and then started scoping out the product, building wireframes and working out what we needed to build and how we would get there. As our product is digital much of the effort went into working out how our algorithms would work and how to integrate these meaningfully into a piece of software that was user friendly and captured our client’s needs correctly.
StartIn: What resources were the difficult ones for you for building the MVP? Team, money, time, motivation…?
Amar: Definitely time to build the MVP. Everyone involved has sperate jobs or work and so finding the time to actually build something complex has been challenging. As some of the team has been new to the tech space, actually upskilling as well and solving for complex technical challenges has also been difficult.
StartIn: What advice would you share with your younger self?
Amar: Move on quickly from the ‘idea phase’. It’s very exciting and intoxicating when you come up with an idea. It’s easy to dream about the future and get stuck on perfecting the idea before you actually get much traction. Getting things done, however is crucial and so I’d tell my younger self to get out there with an early idea and test and learn as fast as possible. You need to know how your idea will actually play out, and the best way to do that is get underway quickly and keep validating with your customer base along the way.
StartIn: What were the darkest times in this process and how did you get out it?
Amar: We had real challenges during covid around actually developing our software. Like most of the world our team all had personal challenges to overcome during the pandemic, from mental health issues to physical health issues. This took it’s toll in terms of time and slowed us down from making the fast progress we would have liked to have had.
StartIn: What is your current status now?
Amar: We’re about 2 months away from a fully working MVP! On top of that we have several clients we work with manually and we’ve also created another arm of the business that consults large companies on marketing, technology and strategy work. This work came somewhat by accident where the team realised we had soft skills we could also apply to big companies. This has helped us also stay ahead of the curve on all things advertising technology and currently is a fast growing part of the business.
StartIn: Many thanks your time and sharing your insights!