It is unfortunately often forgotten how important the community and social aspects of founding a startup are. It is not only about networking but it can also be psych-social support and bonding that will enable the startup owners to get the push and motivation they need to get through whatever difficulties they face. The importance of this kind of social relation was crucially presented in the case of Trutivet, a startup that seeks to provide pet owners and service providers with a better way to connect with each other as well as with the necessary support in the follow-up after services are provided. The Trustivet team was created on the basis of their shared interest in having pets, cats in particular, and their love for animals in general. This interest materialized when they started providing their friends and neighbors with connections to nearby vets and pet shops and they quickly realized that this could be their way to form a startup that emphasizes the building of a community around their care for animals. Unfortunately, the team’s passion and ideas were not enough to get their startup running and they started gradually doubting they had made the right choice in creating a startup. Despite the doubt, the Trustivet team joined Etijah’ Tomooh program to get the technical and professional guidance they needed. However, what they found was much more than what they had expected.
The Business Modeling, financial planning, and legalities sessions helped provide the team of Trustivet the practical and theoretical knowledge they had previously lacked. Additionally, since their startup is unique, they also made good use from the mentorship sessions and the follow-up they got from the consultants. Crucially, the team have also found in Tomooh a community of peers and others who are also pet owners and who eventually became the startup’s first customers. These simple interactions with the other trainees gave the Trustivet team so much meaningful feedback and the support that helped them regain their confidence. Such was one of the many unforeseen positive outcomes of Tomooh’s training on the team.
Tomooh’s program has therefore helped construct a safe space for all trainees who collectively motivated each other and pursued their dream to found and/or develop their own competitive and effective startups in their respective fields. Despite their differences, the teams and individuals engaged in community-like support that did not only allow Trustivert team members to take their first steps in the market but have also benefited so many other startups and owners of great ideas with the necessary push for their ideas to see the light. And as one of Etijah’s mentors said to the participants: “Ideas are cheap … let us work to make them a valuable reality” the Trustivet idea is now a reality.