[Startup story] Chambr | Rubik Garage Accelerator 2022 Batch
August 9, 2022
First of all, we would like to know who’s behind the keyboard.
Hi! I’m Gabriela Constantinescu and I’m a co-founder & COO of Chambr. My academic background is in Psychology. My most meaningful learning experience was the Alternative University, a university founded by students, where you were empowered and supported to create your own learning journey. That’s where my co-founder Alex and I met, where I learned the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and the place that inspired us to create our first startup, Playlearn.
Tell us more about Chambr. What problem do you solve? Who’s your audience?
People forget 90% of what they learn within the first month. Usually, you listen to the content and you answer a quiz. It’s fun, you passed, but what have you really learned? You are memorizing, not learning.
Existing tools use outdated learning methods. This creates a huge problem for learning and development professionals, which is lack of learning retention.
That’s why we created Chambr. Chambr helps learning & development professionals create learning games that increase content retention. We target learning & development managers and training organizations.
What motivated you to create this startup? What’s your „why”?
Our shared passion for Learning and Playing, our personal pain with the outdated learning system both in school and at the workplace, and our strong belief that we can upgrade learning to the 21st century.
How is your startup different from competitors?
Our competitors have figured out engagement, but the trouble is they engage learners in a broken system. They use outdated learning methods that enhance memorizing, not learning. Chambr, on the other hand, uses evidence-based learning methods that increase content retention.
Do you have a team supporting you in your mission?
We are a team of 2, my co-founder Alex and I. Alex previously founded a training startup. We have been designing and facilitating learning experiences together since 2015. We co-founded Playlearn in 2017 where we gamified organizational learning for HR.
What are the biggest rewards of being a startup founder?
Having the freedom to design your own path and the responsibility to make it work. I value the everyday growth that comes with being a startup founder. You often encounter situations where you don’t know something and you have to accelerate your learning so that you become better in a matter of days. I enjoy challenging my beliefs and discovering new capabilities I wasn’t even aware of. Most of all, I like how this experience is shaping me as a human being.
On the contrary, what are the biggest challenges?
Bootstrapping, haha. Having to live on a very calculated, squeezed budget while being creative, focused and generating results. Keeping the balance between having skin in the game and taking care of yourself. Stretching beyond your comfort zone and making progress while feeling exhausted. Believing in yourself and your product against all odds.
What made you apply to our accelerator Rubik Garage?
We had been working just the two of us for quite some time and we needed guidance and support. At the same time, many people in our network recommended Rubik Garage and the beautiful team behind it. After having heard a lot about you guys, I remember one day being in m60, the coffee place where we work from and seeing someone enter, wearing a Rubik’s hoodie. We were like ‘Ok, we need to apply.’
What are your top 3 learnings of the acceleration program?
- From Oscar Kneppers: Trust your founder’s intuition. Most of the time, you already know what’s good for your company. Trust that. And choose your investors well, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ and hang on to what’s important to you. Also the trio required in any tech startup: hacker, hustler, hipster.
- From Oana Manea: Don’t push the product until your customer is aware of their pain. + Work on your mindset. You need to have a strong mindset. Practice in the mirror. You are the one who has to believe in your product first.
- From Emanuel Martonca: People choose between descriptions of options. Use cognitive biases to your advantage. Prove how you can save money and use that as an anchor in the decision-making process.
What do you like in the Rubikorns Startup Community?
I feel that everyone is super open and willing to help and share from their own experience & challenges. The bootcamp really helped us with the bonding and I feel that we’ve created a safe space for learning and growing together.
What are your plans for Chambr for the next 6-12 months?
We want to integrate content delivery inside our platform and add 2 more games to it. In January 2023, Chambr will run training sessions by itself, where learners are exposed to the content and immediately put it into practice inside our learning games.
We also plan to hire a CTO to join our team and we want to raise € 150k at a € 2M valuation by the end of the year. In 2023, our target is to reach an MRR of € 10k.
What message do you have for other startup founders?
Keep on rocking the startup world! Enjoy the highs with all your being. And when you get to the lows, don’t push yourself too hard. Keep showing up every day, consistency will take you where you want to go.
What is your special power?
Resilience. In the 5+ years that we’ve worked together, we’ve been through 5 business models and we kept showing up no matter the extent of the hardship. The pandemic has been by far the toughest. All our contracts were canceled in a matter of days and our business model became completely irrelevant overnight. After 7 months of testing various approaches, we pivoted to Chambr. We’re still here and we’re going to stick. Like learning content after playing Chambr, haha.
Stay tuned to discover the story behind the other startups from the Rubik Garage accelerator! #WeAreInThisTogether
Rubik Garage is an equity-free acceleration program aiming to support startups from CEE. We are helping early-stage startups get to their first paying customer, raise investment or go international.
The accelerator started with a Founders Bootcamp in Piatra Neamt. Four months of acceleration will culminate with a Demo Day in September, where startups get the chance to pitch their startup in front of investors. For the most motivated teams, the journey will continue in the next 6-12 months – our team will offer their full support to help them raise an investment round.
If you want to pre-apply for the next Rubik Garage edition, complete this form and be the first one to get the chance of starting their acceleration journey!