Startup Spotlight: Foogin

6th April 2023

Vasily Alekseenko, CEO and Founder, Foogin

Vasily Alekseenko, Founder and CEO of Foogin, shares his journey of bringing his vision to life – transforming the wellness industry by creating a global marketplace of top-quality online, on-demand, and in-person classes and events, led by renowned instructors.

Can you introduce your start-up? What is it, and how did it come about?

Foogin is an AI-powered b2b marketplace for personalized, bespoke, real-time online wellness classes and webinars led by professionals, catering to businesses of all sizes.

Where are you in your startup journey?

We tested our MVP on b2c users and it’s ready to be launched to b2b customers. As a result of b2b testing we built a community of 400+ wellness professionals ready to teach 2,000+ LIVE classes and webinars per week. In Q4 2022 we carried an in-depth market research on 37 companies employing 200+ employees, with 16 of them being added to the waiting list. We started our pre-seed fundraising campaign and aiming to close it by the end of April 2023.

To date, what has been the biggest triumph for your business?

The market research we did has verified our business hypothesis and confirmed that businesses see the value in our services. 82% of the companies we interviewed agree that our services would benefit their employees and 62% would subscribe to it.

The other notable milestone was Caroline Frankum, CEO of Kantar, joining our Advisory Board.

Meet the team

Are you a sole founder? If so, how have you found it? And do you have any advice you would give to other sole founders?

Yes, I am a solo founder. Sometimes it’s a blessing as I can have complete control over the direction of the company and take full responsibility for its success. However, at times it can be a curse, especially when facing tough decisions or feeling lonely. It’s important to build a support network, whether it’s through industry groups, networking events, or mentors.

To other solo founders, my advice is to stay persistent, stay focused, and stay motivated. It’s important to take breaks, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and seek feedback and advice when needed. Building a successful company is a marathon, not a sprint, so be patient and enjoy the journey.

How do you manage balancing growing a start-up with having a personal life?

In my case, having dogs has been helpful in maintaining a balance. I take breaks to walk and play with them, which helps me recharge and stay focused. However, at this stage, my personal life is largely focused on my business, and I’m willing to make that sacrifice for now.

How do you cope with the pressures that come with building a business?

I stay organized and prioritize tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Taking breaks for exercise, meditation, and time with loved ones helps me recharge. Seeking support from mentors and peers is also important. Founders’ health should be a top priority, and it’s their responsibility to take care of themselves.

Did you pursue investment? If so what advice would you give on pitching? What was your secret weapon?

I’m currently in the process of fundraising, so I can’t speak to the outcome just yet. However, what has helped me thus far is thinking outside of the box and approaching things differently than other founders. For example, I organized a private event to launch our fundraising campaign and have recorded personal videos for investors I want to connect with. Since I don’t have a strong investor network, I started hosting my own networking events for founders and investors.

If you could name one thing that you wish you knew when you started, what would it be?

The one thing I wish I knew when I started is the importance of networking. It is the key to unlocking opportunities for investors, partnerships, clients, employees, and more. I believe that if I had realized this sooner, I could have built a stronger foundation for my startup more quickly.

To date, what have been your most important lessons?

The founder journey is anything but easy, and it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people who support you and understand what you’re going through. I’ve learned that building a strong team and network of advisors and mentors is critical to success.

Do you have any tips or advice for anyone thinking about starting up their own business, or who has just started their journey?

My advice would be to take action and do more rather than overthinking and getting stuck in analysis paralysis. The more you do, the more you will learn from failures and the faster you can grow and adapt. It’s important to have a clear vision and purpose for your business, but don’t get too caught up in planning and perfectionism. Embrace the unknown and be willing to take calculated risks.

What has been the most challenging part of your start-up journey so far?

For me, the most challenging part of my start-up journey has been fundraising. As someone who hasn’t done it before, it’s been like walking blindfolded with others telling me where to turn. It requires a lot of trust in others and in my gut feeling, and there is always a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity involved. Additionally, fundraising always takes much longer than you expect, which can be frustrating and time-consuming.

What’s next for your business?

Our next step is to close our funding round so we can focus on delivering our services to companies and start making a positive impact on the lives of employees. We’re excited to continue growing our community of wellness professionals and expand our offerings to more businesses. Ultimately, our goal is to become a leading provider of workplace wellness solutions and help companies create healthier and happier work environments.

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    2023-05-22T16:00:26+00:00April 6th, 2023|Categories: Startup Spotlight|