Startup Yuniq that we hosted recently in Surf Office Santa Cruz isn't unique only in their business idea. The team is made of two women who came from Germany in search of sun, beautiful nature and fresh ideas that they could gather in California. We talked with Sophie and Ana to find out more about their vision and differences between startup scene in Berlin and Bay Area.
Can you please tell us about yourself and your team?
Sophie (or 1st co-founder): I am French and live in Berlin. I have a marketing and business background and six years in the mobile app development. I've always been passionate about technology and new businesses, thinking on how to create products that bring value to the world. When I moved to Berlin, inspired by the active startup scene there I decided to use my experience and knowledge to build a product about local shopping, as I'm very into retail shopping myself. I cover the product, business & marketing part in this venture.
Ana (2nd co-founder): I'm a software engineer, specialising in big data and scalable architecture solutions with experience from various projects including B2B ERP and integration systems, e-commerce and analytics. I've been living in Berlin for more than three years. The first time I visited the city I was fascinated by the atmosphere of freedom and possibilities so to move was an easy decision. With all of this, Berlin is very suitable for startups, full of creative and open-minded people who always have great ideas. For me it's very important to build a product that will help local shops to start and grow their own businesses. As for me, I cover the technical and business & administration part.
What is Yuniq about?
Yuniq is a mobile app that gives the original shops and products around you visibility. Beyond the functionality of a local searcher for independent boutiques we aim at supporting the growth of local businesses and designers by offering them more visibility through our platform.
Do you see any difference between the startup scene in Berlin and Bay Area?
As far as we could see from Bay Area (which is our experience at The Surf Office so far), it has the benefits of having a great nature around where you can disconnect between the sprints or working days. In Berlin, you have a lot of co-working spaces as well, but they miss the benefit of escaping the office for a few hours to go surf or enjoy seaside... But a few ideas are popping to offer co-working space in pleasant locations around Berlin. Let's see!
It's rare to see a startup founded solely by girls nowadays. What are the main challenges stemming from this standpoint?
Well, the same challenges as any entrepreneurs can have when founding a startup :) Proving your concept, validating the market, finding the right resources to develop your ideas, developing a quality product and making it sustainable in the long term...
Why did you choose Surf Office for your work retreat? Could you really get a lot of work done?
We were very attracted by the concept of combining work and retreat in a pleasant location like Santa Cruz. The experience was in overall very positive for us. We could use a lot of our time together to achieve tasks, brainstorm and make important decisions. In the meantime we could refresh our minds with seaside walks and that beautiful nature around us. It was also nice to meet like-minded people among other guests and exchange ideas and experiences.
Did you have any team building activities at The Surf Office?
Yes! We were breaking our working days with a lot of seaside walks, cycling, and some food & wine evenings. These events made us closer as a team.