[Startup story] iflows | Rubik Scale to USA 2024

[Startup story] iflows | Rubik Scale to USA 2024

April 18, 2024

iflows was one of the startups that participated in our program Rubik Scale to USA, cohort 6. Discover its story below.

First of all, we would like to know who’s behind the keyboard.

Hey! I’m Julia Sisu, the Co-Founder and CMO of iflows. My journey here is a story of passion for tech and innovation, shaped by over ten years of entrepreneurial adventures and academic exploration, including a doctoral thesis centered on digital transformation.

At iflows, we’re pushing boundaries to create something unique for small and medium-sized businesses. This platform is the culmination of everything I’ve learned and dreamed of — transforming complex business processes into streamlined, smart solutions. We aim to empower SMEs with the tools they need to thrive

Tell us more about your startup. What problem do you solve? Who’s your audience? What motivated you to found it?

iflows is a comprehensive management platform designed to streamline, automate, and enhance the various operational, financial, and administrative processes of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with a particular focus on those in the B2B sector. At its core, iflows addresses a critical problem many SMEs face: the overwhelming complexity of managing day-to-day operations while trying to grow and scale their businesses. Our platform simplifies these complexities, offering an integrated suite of tools that covers everything from workflow management to customer relationships, inventory, sales, and beyond, all in one ecosystem. This not only reduces the need for multiple disparate systems, which can be costly and challenging to manage, but also significantly improves decision-making, efficiency, and scalability for businesses.

Our primary audience consists of SMEs, particularly those engaged in B2B transactions, who are seeking ways to optimize their operations and gain better control over their business processes. These companies are often at a point where they need to transition from manual, labor-intensive methods to more automated, streamlined operations but find the market’s existing solutions either too generic or too complex and expensive to implement.

What motivated us to find iflows was a shared vision among the co-founders, all of whom are serial entrepreneurs. We all harbored the entrepreneurial dream of stepping back from the day-to-day operations without losing control over our businesses. More importantly, we wanted our businesses to not only function but also thrive, even in our absence. This desire led us, three individuals from entirely different fields, to come together and create a solution that could serve almost any industry vertical. Our goal was to free managers from the operational tasks that often bog down their days, allowing them more time to focus on growth and strategy. In essence, iflows was born out of our own needs and challenges as entrepreneurs, and we’ve built it to be the solution we wished we had — one that enables businesses to operate more independently, efficiently, and successfully.

We’re curious to learn about your team. 

The team behind iflows is by far the coolest team I’ve ever been part of. Our team is led by three co-founders: myself, Andrei Stanciu, and Ionut Sisu.

Andrei and Ionut are exceptional business minds, each with a wealth of experience that spans various industries and sectors, making them invaluable in our quest to innovate the way SMEs function. This ambition is brought to life by our talented team of developers, who are integral in developing iflows into a leading-edge platform designed to enhance business efficiency and growth.

What is the biggest achievement / progress / changes you’ve achieved during our accelerator?

Participating in the accelerator has been a transformative journey for iflows, marked by several pivotal achievements.

One of the most significant milestones was gaining hands-on experience with the U.S. market, which not only validated our solution but also helped us establish a valuable network there. This exposure led to a deeper understanding of elements we initially underestimated, such as pricing structures, the effectiveness of our landing page, refining our pitch, and tailoring our approach to U.S. customers. Also, the mentorship was a goldmine, arming us with actionable insights that fine-tuned our strategy and operations. This has supercharged our global outlook and strategic agility.

How was the USA immersion trip? How did it change your perspective on scaling in the USA?

The trip to the USA was incredibly beneficial for us, shifting our understanding in many ways. Being immersed in the U.S. business ecosystem and engaging directly with it provided insights that simply couldn’t be gained from a distance. This hands-on experience highlighted the distinct approach of the U.S. market, particularly its emphasis on networking and personal relationships. Through this immersive experience, we gained clarity on the adjustments and enhancements needed to effectively serve U.S. clients.

The Rubik team truly went above and beyond in supporting us, offering a wealth of connections, introducing us to key communities, and even granting us privileged access to several businesses. 

What role did mentorship play in your experience, and how did it impact your startup’s growth?

The mentorship during our journey provided practical insights across several areas of our business, from refining our marketing strategies and value proposition to improving our pitch and pricing strategy. Mentors guided us in integrating AI into our solutions, making our offerings more robust. They also shared detailed knowledge about the U.S. market, which helped us tailor our approach to that region. This advice was directly applicable to our current strategies, helping us make informed decisions and subtle adjustments without overhauling our core concepts.

How has the experience in the acceleration program influenced your vision for the future of your startup? What are your next steps and goals as you continue to grow and evolve your startup in the USA market and beyond?

The trip to the USA was incredibly beneficial for us, shifting our understanding in many ways. Being there and interacting with the U.S. business ecosystem gave us insights that we wouldn’t have been able to gather from a distance. This hands-on experience highlighted the distinct approach of the U.S. market, particularly the emphasis on networking and personal connections. Such a deep dive made it clear what adjustments and enhancements we need to make to effectively cater to U.S. clients.

The Rubik team went above and beyond in supporting us, providing an abundance of connections, introducing us to key communities, and even allowing us to get an insider’s view of several businesses.

Why would you recommend Rubik Scale to USA to those startup founders who want to expand in the States?

I firmly believe that Rubik Garage Scale to USA is the best accelerator in Romania, and I say this not only because of the numerous opportunities it exposes you to or the wealth of information available but also because of the Rubik team’s approach. Their team doesn’t just support you, they immerse themselves in your startup’s journey, providing personalized guidance rooted in a genuine belief in your potential.

What elevates Rubik is how it goes beyond the conventional accelerator model: where else have you seen an accelerator that not only prepares you thoroughly over months but also takes you across the continent to ensure your landing in the U.S.? It’s nothing short of spectacular.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

To all the dreamers out there hovering on the edge of launching their own venture, I extend a heartfelt invitation: leap into entrepreneurship with boldness. And for those wandering through the maze of startup growth, there’s a community ready to infuse your journey with incredible momentum: Rubik Hub.

We encourage you to support iflows and follow its journey on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube