Startup Story: HopLocal X Tehnopol Startup Incubator
It’s time to get to know another startup that is currently in Tehnopol Startup Incubator’s batch no 7 – HopLocal. By the way, Tehnopol Startup Incubator is now accepting applications to batch no 8. For more information, visit startupincubator.ee/en.
But now, let’s get to know HopLocal a bit better. The co-founder of the startup, Parmeet Sawhney, said that they aim to make organizing team events easier and this is especially helpful in December, when many companies are looking for ideas how to spend time with their teams outside of work environment.
How did you come up with the idea to found a startup?
When I became a team lead at Wise, I realized organizing team events was a significant task that I have to do every month. But it was a complicated process. Like me, all the leads were spending a lot of time in planning and execution of their monthly team events. As it was an unproductive yet important task, I thought of simplifying it so it can be done in just under 1 minute.
Thus, HopLocal is offering a one-stop-solution for team events that allows team managers to find the best events and book these in under a minute. This saves hundreds of unproductive hours for the companies.
What have been the biggest challenges/failures and the biggest wins so far?
- Getting first meeting appointment from the service providers without local language skills.
- Building the founding team to create and market the product.
- Won a special prize from the Ministry of Culture of Estonia at Garage 48 Hackathon in Narva.
- We have successfully onboarded 20+ team event activities and got Wise as a paying client.
- Got product market fit.
- Selected to Tehnopol Startup Incubator and were a shortlisted startup to pitch at Tehnopol and EstBAN’s demo day.
Why did you join Tehnopol Startup Incubator?
We attended the Tehnopol pre-incubation days earlier this year which was quite good and insightful. We realized as first time startup founders, we would need Tehnopol’s expertise and ecosystem to make our project a sustainable business model.
We applied last year with a different startup idea but were not selected. However, we received useful feedback from the panel. We decided whenever we come up with a better business plan, we will come back to pitch at Tehnopol. And here we are.
Where do you see your startup in 1 year’s time? And in 5 year’s time?
We are growing at 2x speed each month. As we are now preparing to raise our first round of investment from angel investors, we are aiming to secure the Estonian market and enter the Finnish market in a year’s time.
We are aiming to become a go-to-platform for our users which are primarily startups, scaleups and corporates. We see HopLocal operating in the EU and the US in the next 5 years.
Who will be the next Estonian unicorn?
There are many startups progressing at sky rocket speed and changing the world for good. To pick one, we would probably sayMonese.
What kind of books/podcasts/magazines (or top names in your field) do you follow and would recommend to other founders?
If you’d get a chance to meet with Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, what would you ask them?
What is their hiring strategy? When can I buy an affordable holiday package in space?
Startup Story series introduces the up-and-coming startups that are part of Tehnopol Startup Incubator’s growth programme and whose journey is worth keeping an eye on. Startup Stories can be found here.