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Every week, the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute elects a Startup of the Week. We invite the founders of these startups to share a blog post with our community. These posts can be inspirational, educational, or entertaining.
This blog post was written by Aleksandra Medina (Abu Dhabi '21), Co-founder of Frich.
Not all tech founders build their startup from a garage in Silicon Valley. Before dedicating our lives to helping young people achieve financial wellbeing and becoming co-founders of Frich, we worked in the fashion industry everywhere from Milan to Paris, Shanghai to New York.
After spending years traveling for our studies and work, we realized that no matter where in the world we were, young people struggled to keep up with their friends' social lives. Deep down we knew we shouldn’t have had another $6 coffee, ordered Seamless again or had five cocktails at that new rooftop bar, but budgeting just seems boring to us and people our age around the world. So we decided to take on this problem and solve it for ourselves and our friends first.
We tried almost every single finance app out there but, with each one, we quickly lost interest. That’s when we realized what’s missing - money is inherently social, especially when you’re young. Inspired by our past personal success with fitness apps and setting goals with each other to stay fit, we brought in accountability and made money social. Imagine a gym buddy who keeps you accountable and adds a little healthy competition - Frich does that for your finances. Challenge each other to take fewer Ubers, have fewer fancy cocktails or stop eating out every other night. See each other’s progress and achieve your goals together.
Fast forward a few months and Frich (F-rich, get it?) is backed by MasterCard and available in the App Store and Google Play. Our journey showed us that anyone passionate about solving a problem has the potential to become a startup founder - here’s what we have learned so far:
- You can learn anything in 6 months. Although we’ve worked in startups before, we knew very little about the specifics of the fintech industry and how to run a startup in general. However, it only took about 6 months of dedicated and continuous learning, late night Y-combinator videos and numerous advisors to feel completely confident in the field.
- Picking a co-founder is like picking a person to marry. Sometimes (or almost every day) you'll spend 16 hours a day talking about your startup. Having complementary skills and a great personal match is a must.
- Listen to people that are smarter than you. We wouldn't be where we are without the advisors who have supported us from day one and the accelerators we participated in. Talk to people who have done something similar before and you'll save a lot of time learning from their past failures and successes. People love talking about themselves and their companies, so they are a lot easier to reach than you might think 🙂
- Overnight success takes time. When we first had an idea, we imagined we could launch an app in a month (ignorance is bliss!). All those overnight success stories featured on Crunchbase often forget to mention the reality that involves many, many iterations, roadblocks, pivots and hard work.
- Be resourceful. There is no path to how to build your own company. Being a founder means having to solve problems you've never encountered in a heartbeat. Don't hope someone's going to give you the recipe for success. You'll have to trust yourself (and if you're lucky, your co-founder) to figure it out. The good thing about being an early stage startup is that, if you mess up, probably no one will notice.
- Time is everything & you have to move fast. Ideation is fun but people often dread execution. When you’re this early, you can only move forward if you keep trying things. Set up tests, see what people’s feedback is and iterate. Perfection is every founder’s worst enemy!
We hope you learned something from our journey thus far. It would mean the world to us if you could support us. Make sure to download the Frich app & follow us on social media (we're on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter). Let’s get F-rich together!