Chandigarh Based YouCare Services Makes It To The Westerwelle Young Founders Conference 2019 In Berlin
YouCare, a Home Healthcare pioneer based out of Chandigarh was one among 25 participants around the world to be selected for the Westerwelle Young Founders Programme’ Conference. The selection was done from over 2000 applications received by the foundation followed by a screening and personal interview round with the founder of the start-up.
Held in Berlin from 22nd to 26th October, the Conference brought together only twenty-five entrepreneurs from East and West Africa, Middle East, Latin America and South East Asia giving them an opportunity to interact with each other, and with other successful Berlin based start-up founders, global investors and policymakers from the German Administration. Manan Majithia, Founder, YouCare Services represented his start-up at the conference.
A unique diversity could be seen amongst the participants. Each of them had a distinct story and business. While the average age of start-ups was two years, most of them had either raised some institutional investment or were in the process of doing so. The business genres included medical tech, Ed Tech, Agri, SAAS, and services. Another noteworthy thing at the conference was that there was an equal number of women entrepreneurs as men.
Of all the sessions included in the Conference, the most insightful of them was the mentoring kick-off, wherein the participants were introduced to a personal mentor and got to team up with them on a milestone plan for the next couple of months. The mentors, having sailed in the same boat at some point in time, successfully though, support the Founders Programme as they discuss challenges and opportunities with their mentees who are in different phases of growing their start-ups across emerging markets.
While the mentor session is one of the major highlights of the conference, the whole agenda of the Westerwelle Founders Programme revolves around building a strong network of like-minded start-up founders, helping peers to fill up gaps within and beyond their entrepreneurial journey.
YouCare was started in 2016, initially as a blog to address the woes of newly-born parents who couldn’t find a professional caregiver and was later pivoted into a home healthcare service provider to cater to the mismatch in demand and supply. One among the first in the region to provide professional caregiving services at home, YouCare doesn’t simply focus on customer satisfaction but also imparts proper training and certification to women and youth from underprivileged backgrounds prepping them for full-time jobs as nannies and elderly care assistants.
Since Caregiving is a customized service, and cannot yield the same results for everyone, YouCare helps families by matching their requirements with the skills and nature of the caregiver. The home healthcare start-up facilitates a caregiver’s service only when interests of both sides are met, thereby making the service personalised rather than business-oriented.
“Through the Westerwelle Foundation, we got an opportunity to not only interact with like-minded fellow entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and geographies, but also in understanding the nuances of fundraising, building scale, handling legal matters and building culture, and a robust organization. It’s made us much more knowledgeable in terms of handling obstacles, developing strategies for future markets, and setting achievable milestones for ourselves and our organizations,” says Manan about his experience at the Conference. Regarding his key learnings at the Conference Manan added that the scaling and bootstrapping of a new venture is highly essential, and how the whole process of raising funds through liquidation can be detrimental to your vision for the business.
As for the venue, Berlin has a lot of history attached to itself. From its Prussian and Nazi past to the Communist propaganda years, the city has seen a lot of political regimes flourish and wither. However, the city still stands as an essential element of world history and embodies a mark of resilience and spirit in its culture, and strives to only get better in terms of its infrastructure and amenities.
No wonder the Conference leaves an indelible mark in the entrepreneurial journey of many!