[Startup story] REVital | Rubik Garage Accelerator spring of 2023
May 17, 2023
First of all, we would like to know who’s behind the keyboard.
Hi, my name is Tori Master and I’m the CEO of REVital.
The road to REVital was a bumpy one. I started working with IT and electronics in 1995 providing tech support to a little family-sized business called G.A.T. I studied linguistics at Tallinn University, so I started as a translator. But that didn’t stick, I was still more inclined to real sciences, engineering more specifically. I left for Ireland and have been a freelancer there for several years. During my stay there, besides working freelance, together with a couple of locals I designed and put in place a computer and design class for computer-illiterate adults in Mosney refugee camp in co.Meath, Ireland.
After that I came to Estonia and worked there in an engineering center for Elcoteq, back then it was one of the largest European OEM manufacturers. I was involved in the design and development of a data collection and analysis system that was implemented on some production lines for companies like Nokia and Ericsson, as well as internally used by Elcoteq. I worked with big data before it was cool, or even called big data. 🙂
Since then I mostly held tech jobs, from system administration to the head of tech support and testing department. I went through the ranks from system administrator to head of IT for a medium-sized international company. I ended up setting up my own company providing IT services to various clients in several fields.
In October 2021, an idea for REVital was born. I was busy building it ever since.
Tell us more about your startup. What problem do you solve? Who’s your audience?
There is a killer on the loose and it’s called hypertension. More than a third of the adult population is afflicted by it. Our heart, the thing that gives us life, is the one that is most likely to take it away.
But it is not all doom and gloom, a lot of people are already wearing something that can assist in tackling that issue: smart wearables. Unfortunately, less than a quarter of people use their smart devices to monitor their health.
That is where REVital comes in. We support the majority of smart wearables already on the market. Thanks to that, our users don’t need to purchase a new device or change their lifestyle. The data is delivered directly to GPs safely, securely, and above all anonymously.
At the moment, we focus on the B2B sector. Our clients are mainly software development companies in Czechia, but we’re planning to go to Germany too. The problem the B2B part solves is staff retention. We provide a tool to impersonally and anonymously gauge the morale of the company and to improve it by offering various possible solutions.
What motivated you to create this startup? What’s your „why”?
I’m afflicted by hypertension myself. I even wore a Holter EKG device for a while. To say it was uncomfortable is a major understatement. That is when my research in the field of cardiovascular diseases and their effect on quality of life started. The first brainchild was myPEL, a quantified human app available from both mobile stores. We continued to build our remote patient monitoring to get it to the stage where it is providing value to its users.
How is your startup different from competitors?
We looked at what others were doing, and most companies were offering the hardware solution. Having its own hardware makes life a lot easier for the company, sure. But that taxes the user more: they need to purchase some new device and get used to a new app. Considering that the overwhelming majority of people are not using the health apps they already have, it wasn’t the approach we wanted to take.
We looked at the software part first, can we get the data from existing devices? And the answer was a big “Yes”. Instead of delivering live data to the doctor, something that they would rarely even look at, we’re giving them statistics. Our data is clear of noise and allows doctors to see trends, allows them to correct the existing medication, or prescribe some new ones.
Tell us more about your team.
I’m Tori Master, CEO of REVital. My experience ranges from running a successful IT company to setting up a class for computer-illiterate adults or building a data collection and analysis system for Ericsson.
Our CTO, Borislav Pajkic, started developing software when he was 15 years old. In his 6 years career, his achievements include 3 GDPR-compliant large-scale applications.
My wife of 19 years and our lead designer, Anna Master, is a world-renowned artist with more than 14 years of experience. She has worked alongside artists like Jim Lynell, Betty Cox, and others.
Pavlo Haydedey is responsible for our QA. Pavlo is leading a QA team in Veeam with 15+ years of experience in QA/QC who has raised through the ranks. He tests products approved by the US Department of Defense.
What are your plans for your startup in the next 6-12 months?
We are planning to do a lot of marketing in the next 12 months. Another big task is to strengthen our sales team. At the moment it’s just me doing sales and it has to change. We need to get more people doing it.
What are the biggest rewards of being a startup founder?
The biggest reward for a founder is to see your own ideas take flesh. Many people think they can make this world better, but not all of them act on that thought. Founders get that chance, they get to shape the world around them and bring something that wasn’t here. If you remember the amazing book “The Word for World is Forest” by Ursula le Guin, the interpreters, “sha’ab”, brought things from the world of dreams into the living world. That is exactly what startups do.
What about the biggest challenges?
The biggest difficulty I faced was getting my vision to other people. It isn’t an easy task to break through all the barriers to get other people to even see and read your ideas. With spam filters at the ready and guarding every inbox, getting past that takes determination. I’ve got that in spades, but it is still not easy to do.
What made you apply to our Rubik Garage accelerator?
The main drive to apply to Rubik Garage was to win a challenge. It’s a sort of a validation. Other people see value in my startup too. Hooray!
But it was of course more than that. It is an accelerator in the EU, focused on the EU, and it is backed up by some serious names. I couldn’t find too many reviews online. My not speaking Romanian didn’t help much either. But what information I did find was all good.
Top 3 learnings of the accelerator until now?
The three big things I took from the program so far would be the involvement of Rubik Garage at every step. REVital has been accepted into Newchip, but the communication there is slow compared to Rubik Hub.
The other big difference I see is the focus on the EU. Every workshop is relevant because they all focus on EU laws, regulations, and specifics.
If I had to list the third it would be the speed at which the program is moving. It is ultra-fast. And at the same time, there is no “you snooze, you lose” mentality. Simona, Valentin, and other people in Rubik Garage are always happy to assist, send a transcript or a recording from a workshop.
What do you like in the Rubikorns Startup Community?
The answer to that question is closely tied to the previous one. The involvement of Rubik Garage at every step is amazing. They are there should you need assistance, but at the same time nobody is holding your hand. A child needs to trip and fall at least once to learn. I imagine the same would apply to a startup founder.
What message do you have for other startup founders?
If there was one thing I could say for every founder in the world to hear, it would be: you are not alone. It was an eye-opener for me when I was just starting with REVital. There are so many people around that like the idea and would love to help. They could introduce you to investors, or help you find a co-founder. Or even just listen to you and ask questions that might help you hone your vision.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
If I could add something, I’d say please don’t ignore regular GP checkups. Unmanaged hypertension increases our mortality risks by as much as 87%. That is a big number. Let’s do something about it together.
Stay tuned to discover the story behind the other startups from our accelerator! #WeAreInThisTogether
Rubik Garage is an equity-free acceleration program aiming to support startups from CEE get to their first paying customer, raise investment or go international.