In this interview, Lars talks to Zan Alexander, a Hult Founders Lab program Alumni and the co-founder of the GREM App, currently live in Ljubljana (Slovenia). Alex and his team have built their MVP, raised money and are currently in process of applying to and joining YC in the San Francisco bay area. All of us at the Hult Founders Lab wish you the best of luck!
LARS: What is the GREM App?
ALEX: The GREM App is a platform that provides people looking for events/fun space where they can identify this. In addition, it provides the auxiliary services you need for these events, such as transport, meals, and all other things you would want for having a great experience. It’s all about the overall package, what happens before and also what happens after. This also gives brands and sponsors a much broader and explicit impact on each attendee.
LARS: Where did it come from?
ALEX: The idea of the GREM App came from myself organising events when I was 15… I was organising these events for people that were underage, effectively what I was doing was moving from them the streets into an organised environment, increasing safety and oversight. With Grem we’re tried to replicate the success I had alone there with people in different age-segments. We’re also looking at having sponsors do events and increasing the broader impact for the event-goers and the event-organisers as well as the brands
LARS: How was the Hult Founders Lab program helpful for you?
ALEX: The Hult Founders Lab was helpful in many ways but especially with one of the external speakers that hosted a workshop during the program, speaking about the fundamentals of projects, about the details, filling holes that who had overlooked and so on. It really made me review the entire concept with a fine-tooth comb and we came out much stronger on the other side of that.
LARS: What has been your biggest challenge?
ALEX: The biggest problem for us has been the fact that we are all full-time students and we all study in different schools – in different timezones! Communications and coordination become so much more laborious but because we have done it like this since we began it has really hardened us in a way where we manage to work effectively like this. Additionally, when we actually get to be in the same room for four months over summer it makes us work so well, we are able to shoot through all our to-do’s and problems we’re faced with because we have these barriers on a day-to-day basis, that we eliminate when we are together.
LARS: What is the best thing you learned from this experience?
ALEX: The team, for sure. With all the challenges and hurdles we’ve had, the realisation of how important it’s been that the core team must be right. In the beginning, we started out not really knowing each other that well, merely being acquaintances but throughout this, we’ve made friends. However, that’s not really important, the number one factor is that we are able to separate business and friendship and have each and every one of us focus on what’s the priority for the project. That’s what matters.
LARS: What does the future hold for you and the team?
ALEX: The optimistic version of the story is that we will disrupt and pivot the market for how sponsored events work, where we sit on data that allow us to position sponsors in a way not seen before. Realistically, our MVP will prove the concept in Slovenia, then we’ll aim for the US straight away and replicate the model and success in that market. There is some fundraising on the horizon as well but we’ll get to that by the end of the year, early next year.
LARS: Any tips for the Hult Founders Lab community?
ALEX: Definitely. My two tips are: Don’t be afraid to change. You’ll never have it right in the beginning, you need to adapt! And number two… When you’re in the deepest hole, mentally, or otherwise… There is always light on the other side, you just have to stay true to what you believe and keep iterating until you get it right, even if that means pivoting completely, the right iteration may be the next one.