My NOCCA Experience: Finding Teammates to Connect Pet Parents with Veterinarians
Egils Šusts was already running his own digital media company when he realized that he wanted something more. He wanted to make a difference in the world. Egils met his business partner Martin through the NOCCA program and now they’re connecting pet parents with vets in Latvia through their mobile application Hero.vet.
Would you tell about yourself and why you participated in NOCCA?
I have been running my own digital media company for the last 7 years, producing digital content like videos. However, I wanted to change something in my life, I wanted to make a difference. Last year I got an idea of a mobile application that connects pet parents with vets. I tried to find someone to do the programming part but as a teammate, not as an employee.
I heard about NOCCA hackathon from a friend. I enrolled in the event in the hope of finding a teammate with programming skills. I almost didn’t go because I was busy with my own company, but Maira from SSE Riga convinced me to go so I did. There I met Martin from Germany who was studying in Latvia on student exchange. We had a good connection right away. The first two days we developed our idea. Then Martin called a friend who’s a programmer. He thought it was a good idea and joined our team.
Would you like to tell about your business idea?
The idea is to make sure that pet parents can get help from veterinarians despite the time or location. First, the pet parents create an account on Hero.vet and add their pet’s information and select a vet from whom they want consultation. After inserting the basic information of the situation, the vet approves the request and the consultation payment is charged from the pet parent. The consultation takes place as a chat but it’s also possible to send pics, files or video call.
The MVP version for Android is already up and running in Latvia. Now there are more than 100 registered pet parents and eight registered vets. Before the launch, we had 40-50 vets testing the app so that we could use their insights in the app development. Especially, the younger veterinarian generations, let’s say 40-year-olds and younger, are excited about our service.
Now we’re working on having more people to register to get data for investors. Next year we’re launching in other countries as well. The goal is to have Hero.vet available everywhere in Europe.
How would you describe your NOCCA experience?
I took part in all events. First, the Hackathon in Turbas, Latvia went well. We learned a lot from mentors, and it was great for team bonding. Then there were the Growth and Scalability Workshop in Riga and Idea and Acceleration Bootcamp in Tallinn. The best thing about NOCCA was definitely the mentors. The pitching workshop in Tallinn Bootcamp was impressive! Also, Aivars from SSE Riga was a good mentor from a financial standpoint and Davis Suneps was also great support.
When I took part in NOCCA program, I had already been hustling my own company for seven years. Although I was familiar with a lot of information, they were good reminders to me as well. It was a great experience to see others hustling with new skills to achieve their goals. It inspires me to aim higher too. Overall, the energy in the events was great!
I recommend every new (and older generation) to participate. If I was younger, 20-year-old with no experience in founding a company, this would have been the best thing to happen to me.
What would you say to someone who is planning to participate in NOCCA?
Just give it a try! Running a company is not about being smart or knowing everything but it’s a lot of learning and executing. Don’t be afraid of if you can’t do something for the first time.
Just remember that all good things happen when you don’t wait for them.
Join NOCCA to start your entrepreneurial adventure:
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