Barna Hub Talks With CEO of Curiooso and Mobile Weekend Award Winner Melissa Sävlind
Exclusive interviews offering insight, resources and advice with Barcelona startup founders and entrepreneurs, only on Hubbub Labs
Shake your coco loco, break out your bermudas, and pack your best snorkel, because you are going somewhere tropical. It’s time to talk to Melissa Sävlind, CEO & Co-founder of Curiooso, a travel planning service with a difference.
What is Curiooso, exactly?
Curiooso is a hassle-free travel planning platform on a mission to help you organise the perfect trip.
Forget texting, bundles of surplus features, and bad user experience, Curiooso gets right down to it and helps you get going quickly, easily and in collaboration with your friends.
Melissa, it’s over to you!
140 character pitch:
Curiooso is a chat-free platform that simplifies travel planning between you and your travel buddies.
We dare you to plan your next trip without messaging apps! Take the challenge on www.curiooso.com
Down to business
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
A combination of loving challenges, problem-solving and making things happen. It has always been my career goal to run a business, as I think it’s the type of job that best matches my personality and interests.
I also think that we all have a huge potential to make a larger scale impact in this world, not just in our own lives or the lives of our friends or family. So I want to try to fulfil that potential.
Where did the idea for Curiooso come from?
Originally, I had an idea about planning trips with friends in virtual reality (VR) and applied to the startup competition Mobile Weekend at the beginning of this year.
My idea was chosen and I put a team together to work on the idea with me. We won the competition and, since then, Xavi, Pablo and I have been developing it into what it is today. We realised quite quickly that it was too early to enter the VR market, so we decided to develop this solution that is useful for people right now.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given when it comes to business?
That’s a tricky one, I’m going to have to mention two things. The first is that a great team with a not-so-great product goes further than a great product with a not-so-great team. I think it’s really important to build a winning team, because that is essentially what drives you forward.
The second is to launch something small and have real users or customers as fast as you can. Don’t wait too long with launching things.
The users will give you the feedback that you need to improve your product. Even if you launch something that’s incomplete you’ll get real feedback about what should be improved, rather than guessing about what should be improved.
Finish this sentence: “The biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is…”
Losing their optimism.
You need to have an optimistic mindset. You can’t let yourself be negatively affected by the obstacles that come up along the way.
You’re going to face a lot of unexpected challenges and the moment you start believing that something isn’t possible, you will start to develop a toxic mindset.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?
My first advice is do it!
If you’re thinking about starting a business, give it a try. Even if it doesn’t work out you’ll learn and grow so much in a way you wouldn’t do otherwise.
The second thing is thoroughly investigate if there is any way you can legally found your company in a different country while operating it from here.
The bureaucracy of having a company in Spain is unfortunately quite a hassle and will take a lot of energy and patience from your side. There are also a lot of unnecessary costs tied to this.
What does Barcelona do better than anywhere else in the world, in your opinion?
Connect people in a great environment. The city is so lively and full of all sorts of events, both startup-related and other types. You find something new to discover everyday.
Add to that the international crowd and you have a great talent pool with lots of synergies and interconnections.
People from all over the world pass through Barcelona frequently. Lastly, all of this happens in a great environment where you have year-round sunshine, the beach and rooftop terraces.
You’re taking your best client to lunch in Barcelona: Where would you go?
Depends on the type of person they are but most likely Flax & Kale. Their food is really delicious for being so healthy and the rooftop terrace is great on a sunny day.
Hubbub – Thanks Melissa, we’re packing our suitcases and heading to Curiooso right now!
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