[Startup story] Woof Diet | Fall edition of Rubik Garage Accelerator 2022
January 4, 2023
First of all, we would like to know who’s behind the keyboard.
Hi! This is Alex Roșian-Savu, CEO with over 7 years of business experience in FMCG and digital marketing. A marketing graduate of Lancaster University, currently ranked no. 1 marketing university in the UK.
Tell us more about your startup. What problem do you solve? Who’s your audience?
Woof Diet is the first all-in-one service for personalized dog nutrition based on AI. Based on our algorithm, we create the best possible diets for dogs and ship them to the owners’ homes every month.
We target dog owners who want the best for their furry friends, but don’t have the time to research and drive long distances to buy the best food.
What motivated you to create this startup? What’s your „why”?
Sierra, our Golden Retriever, is a very special member of our family, and we were devastated when she was diagnosed with IBD. Teia (my life partner and Woof Diet Chief Medical Officer) soon realized that a major contributing factor to her illness was the poor quality of the commercial pet food we had been feeding her. This prompted us to do our own research and seek out alternative, healthier options for her diet. As we learned more about the importance of proper nutrition for dogs, we realized that many other pet owners might be struggling with the same issues.
That’s when we decided to start our business – we wanted to provide a service that would make it easier for pet owners to access high-quality, healthy options for their furry friends, and prevent others from experiencing the same struggles we went through with Sierra.
How is your startup different from competitors?
There is no other personalized dog nutrition service in Eastern Europe and we are the first company worldwide to leverage AI and machine learning to improve dog health through nutrition.
We’re curious to learn about your team.
Teia Patrichi – CMedO, certified in dog nutrition and worked with top US veterinarians
Cristi Călăcianu – CTO, full stack developer with over 12 years of experience
Iulian Iancu – CMO, with over 10 years of marketing experience
What are the biggest rewards of being a startup founder?
One of the biggest rewards of being a startup founder is the opportunity to create and build something new and meaningful. By working at Woof Diet, I have the chance to bring a unique product to market, which has the potential to make a real impact in the world. Being able to pour my energy and enthusiasm into a project that aligns with my values and interests is incredibly fulfilling.
On the contrary, what are the biggest challenges?
One of the biggest challenges is having to choose your own path, oftentimes you do not know if it is the right one. This can be intimidating, as the success or failure of the company depends on the decisions you make.
Another challenge is having to wear different hats and do a large spectrum of work. As you are responsible for product development, marketing, sales, finance, and operations, in addition to your area of expertise. This can be overwhelming sometimes.
Financial resourcefulness is also a major challenge, as funding can be scarce. You need to be creative in finding ways to stretch your budget and make the most of your resources.
However, these challenges are also some of the most interesting parts of the work as a startup founder.
What made you apply to our accelerator Alpha USA Startups (fall edition of Rubik Garage)?
I liked the idea of meeting like-minded people and getting a glimpse into the US startup ecosystem.
Obviously, you were selected in this accelerator because you are targeting the USA market. Why is that?
The North American dog food market is the largest in the world, while also having the largest spending per capita. So the US market is the logical next step for an ambitious startup like ours.
What are your top 3 learnings of the acceleration program?
- The US startup investors’ mindset
- How to set our KPIs
- How important is the legal aspect of a startup that has some traction
How was Demo Day for you?
A great moment to meet people within the ecosystem face to face and an incredible confidence booster to share the stage as finalists with startups much more experienced than ours.
What do you like in the Rubikorns Startup Community?
The vast amount of resources available and all the available perks that come from public funds.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Many dog health issues and vet costs can be prevented through a proper diet, so dog owners please do your research and allow your pet to live a long and healthy life!
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.
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!