22
Feb

iFeelonline.com: Epitomizing Entrepreneurship @ IE

Escrito el 22 Febrero 2017 por entrepreneurship en emprender

How it all began: the MBA experience
I enrolled in my IMBA with the clear aim of starting something impactful with some like-minded peers; at the end I specifically decided to choose IE for its focus on entrepreneurship. I was lucky enough to find my two great co-founders within my very same IMBA section. We started the program together in April 2015; at that point we were just three friends – an Italian, a Mexican and an Israeli – who got along naturally together. We decided to team up together as we all joined the first “edition” of the Start-up Lab. Looking back that was one of the wisest decisions we could have taken. The Lab period was an extremely intense and formative period for us. At the end of the Start-up Lab we were awarded the Best Team Prize. We thought this could only be a good sign, therefore we decided to carry on with our project. During our fourth and last term of the MBA – the electives’ period – we successfully enrolled into the Venture Lab. There we had the chance to further develop our idea, leveraging on one side the knowledge and skills we were acquiring throughout the classes and on the other the support that the IE ecosystem was providing us through mentors, networking and tailored workshops. As a result we got accepted to compete at the IE Venture Day where we were awarded the best MBA project.

Making it Real: “Welcome to the Jungle”
The Venture Day essentially coincided with the end of our MBA. The experience and achievements gained during this period further motivated us to move beyond and bring our project to life. That is when ifeel was officially born. I have found the transition between school project and real business to be one of the most delicate processes. This is when you go from drafting your business canvas to actually putting it in place, from defining your value proposition to actually selling it to your stakeholders, from recognizing your values and motivations to actually instilling them in your employees. It is a long process that can take – especially for first-time entrepreneurs – several months, because of the infinite challenges that you will be experiencing in the day-to-day and that no school book will really teach you how to overcome.

Doing it our Way: ifeelonline.com
The upside of the process is that, if you work hard enough and with persistence, you will have the rare privilege of being able to create something that matters. At the end, this is what we wanted when we started ifeelonline.com: create something that matters, to us and to our customers. Our idea is simple: to give mental health the importance it really deserves in our society. And the necessary step to achieve this is by democratizing and making mental health treatments more accessible. That is why we offer access to professional psychological services in a more modern and affordable way, a way that better reflects how we live our lives and emotions today. It takes less than a minute for our customers to get from the registration on the website to the moment they start chatting with a licensed psychologist. By doing so, we have been honored to help the lives of many by working with an outstanding community of therapists that helped us out in turning our vision into a solid reality. A lot of things have changed in a very short amount of time. Today, less than one year after we finished our MBA, we moved into our very own office and are screening applications of candidates who are willing to join the team on our mission.

Looking For(back)wards: Note to Self
If I could single out a crucial lesson out of our whole experience so far, I would definitely mention the importance of having the right people onboard – with you and around you. In the end, nothing but great people make great companies. First of all you want to have great people with you because starting your company is an intense rollercoaster; therefore, you want to make sure you have the best company next to you during both the ups and the downs of the ride. Leveraging on the strong ethical values we believe in as a team and exploiting our cultural, professional and emotional diversity has always been one of our strongest assets. But, also, you want to be surrounded by the right people. They are not necessarily the most experienced or successful ones, but instead those who are more willing to share, support and advise you during the different stages of the company evolution. We have been fortunate enough to have around friends, colleagues, professors, mentors and especially investors who have always been there for us when needed and I am sure this will also be a crucial factor for our success in the future.

Amir Kaplan
IE IMBA 2016 alumnus
Co-founder & CEO
www.ifeelonline.com

 

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