Moodfit: Design projects tailored to fit your mood
Editor’s note: This article is part of our #Startups series covering the evolution, scope of work and challenges of young startups founded by millennial entrepreneurs from different countries around the world.
Think you can’t design your space successfully without conducting multiple meetings with the designer? Think again!
Young Lebanese startup Moodfit is all about abolishing traditional physical boundaries by allowing designers to work on projects remotely with just any client around the world.
Moodfit started as a university project conceived by three MBA students from diverse professional backgrounds at the American University of Beirut (AUB), operations manager Ghassan Abi Fadel, architect/designer Tarek Jaroudi and VC associate Mohamad Sabouneh.
“Our approach to building Moodfit was very lean, it was based on validating the customers’ need and relied heavily on customers’ feedback,” Sabouneh told GYV. “We managed to take it from a simple Facebook page to a basic landing page then recently to a fully-fledged online platform, where the full design project can happen online without the client needing to meet the designer in real life.
The team went on to win a number of competitions and grants worth up to $50,000, which enabled them to validate the concept and develop the platform to build some initial traction.
“Since we launched Moodfit, the customer feedback was great,” Sabouneh said. “We managed to sign over $30,000 [worth] of projects since July 2016, and we completed over 30 projects between Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. This is a great indication that the market is ready for a solution like ours.”
But the journey was not void of obstacles. “Finding the right technical talent for app and web development with the right attitude and startup mentality was and still is a major challenge for us and for many fellow local startups, given that a lot of talent in this field prefers a corporate job or is leaving the country for better opportunities abroad,” Sabouneh explained.
“Another challenge is finding the right go-to-market channel. Lebanon is a relatively small market, startups therefore need to expand into the MENA [region] and beyond in order to become self-sustainable,” he added. “Finding the right channels to expand into other countries is therefore crucial for the survival of the startup.”
Despite occasional struggles, Sabouneh thinks there’s no better time than now for young entrepreneurs like himself to pursue any business idea they have due to growing mentorship and support opportunities within the startup community.
He also believes entrepreneurs first and foremost shouldn’t be afraid of failing. “The most important lessons we learned were from our failed experiences,” he said. “A recipe for the successful entrepreneur blends passion and motivation to stand up after failing, an analytical approach to learn from past experiences and discipline to apply the lessons going forward.”
The Moodfit team is in the process of raising funds that would allow them to expand the team and invest more in marketing and business development. “We’re also very excited about several potential partnerships with some of the big corporations in Lebanon and the UAE that will help us grow our design business,” Sabouneh concluded.