My name is Andreas Frankl (firstname.lastname@example.org), I am 23 years old and I am founder and CEO of Opus Novo (www.opus-novo.com), an elderly care start-up company from Graz, Austria. We have developed a multifunctional luminaire which is called ELLY, which is a digital care assistant for informal home care. ELLY gives elderly people a better feeling of safety and more orientation on their nocturnal ways via an individual adjustable orientation light. Furthermore, caregivers get informed ab out a movement outside of the bed and are thereby able to provide immediate assistance.
We founded Opus Novo in April 2020 and started to sell our product in May 2021. By doing so, we noticed soon, that selling innovation in elderly care is not the easiest thing to do, and that we also need lot more money for raising our business. But we had no idea about fundraising processes till now and also now idea about how to reach our customers.
This was the point where I applied for the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs platform. Just a few weeks after applying for the programme, I met Markus C. Müller, CEO and Co-founder of Nui Care GmbH (www.nui.care), a software start-up from Munich in Germany, which has also developed a new digital software for elderly care. Nui Care was founded a few years ago, but Markus already has raised a software company successfully and has performed an exit by selling the company to Blackberry. For me his story and the vision of Nui was very exciting, and I asked myself how he managed this great success till now, and what do I have to do, to reach the same.
This was the start of our Erasmus exchange. From August 2021 till December 2021, I have been in Munich for several weeks and I have learned a lot about how to raise fundings, how to communicate with investors and how to inspire them, how to build a great team and how to find new and innovative ways to sell your product in a new and difficult market. If you are interested about these topics, if you also want to raise your own business and if you have similar questions, maybe this story can be interesting for you, and please do not hesitate to get in contact with me to discuss my experiences more in detail.
Bevor starting the programme and the relationship with Nui, I was not sure about what to expect. I didn’t know anybody who has made this programme before and I did not even know if the company selected will be helpful for my questions. Furthermore, I already had four employees within my own company Opus Novo so it would not be possible for me to always work for Nui when I receive in Munich, because I also have to manage my own company at the same time. So I was a bit nervous before starting the programme, because it would be necessary for me to have enough time to also work on my own project.
But when arriving at the office from Nui in Munich, all my worries disappeared. Within the first few hours Markus told me a lot about his team, how he set up his team, how he manages his finances and fundraising, which tool he uses to plan his journey, which strategies he uses to test the market and lots of other things. I have met the whole team within the first days and I was able to participate at several meetings, discussions and events, not only within the Nui team, but also with business partners and other external stakeholders from Nui.
During my whole stay I made a project for Nui, where I tried to implement several external sensor data within the software of Nui, because Nui was just an app but they wanted to implement sensor data in future. As an prototyped, I used the sensor data from my own product ELLY. This was a really great project, because software programming is something which I am really good in and this was also a great business opportunity for me: When finishing the implementation of my own sensor data within the Nui app, maybe we can cooperate also in future and can sell our two products together.
Furthermore, beside of this project and all the mentoring and coaching I received from Nui, such as the participation at meetings and discussions, I also had enough time for further develop and work on my own project Opus Novo. So there was absolutely enough time to also work for ELLY.
All in all, participating at this erasmus programme was definitely the best thing I could do! I learned so much regarding team building, fundraising, market strategies and other relevant tings for a start-up company and I have also built a great relationship to Nui, because we definitely will stay in contact and maybe we also will start a deeper business relationship in future.
So, all in all, I really can recommend this programme, because for me this experience changed my entrepreneurial life extremely in a very positive way!