NeoSupport is the company behind Calcapp, the app that enables its users to build calculator apps. The company aims high and see a multibillion-dollar market for their product. The road there however is long, which is why the support from Innovation Skåne’s business advisors have been important.
– Spreadsheets are used by hundreds of millions of users and we think that the market for company specific apps, which can be created by users without having to pay for and communicate requirements to consultants, is a future multibillion-dollar market, says David Polbergerwho together with his father Staffan Polberger founded the company NeoSupport.
In the early 2000s, David Polberger’s father asked him to develop applications for the hospital clinic where he worked. Among the apps he developed was Nutricalc, an app that calculate the nutritional intake of premature children, and Pharmacalc, an app which calculates drug intake. Both apps are used in Region Skåne. Calcapp is a different type of app however, it makes it possible for users without any experience of programming to create calculator apps.
– There are many uses for apps that count. Traditionally, that kind of issues are handled by using spreadsheets and by using software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. However, there are a number of issues with using spreadsheets, including users accidentally erasing formulas and poor usability on mobile devices. Our product makes it possible for anyone with spreadsheet experience to create calculator apps, for mobile devices and desktop computers, says David Polberger.
NeoSupport came into contact with Innovation Skåne for the first time in 2013, an important step in the company’s development.
– The fact that our advisors believed in our project meant the world to us. In connection with our first contacts with Innovation Skåne, we created a broader, more ambitious vision for the future, partly because we wanted to present ourselves as a more ambitious startup and not a lifestyle company. Over the years we have met a number of advisors who contributed with their specific skills, says David Polberger.
The meetings with Innovation Skåne continues regularly and NeoSupport have a clear image of what support they will need in the future says David Polberger.
– We hope to be able to utilize Innovation Skåne’s extensive network as we grow in the future and when we need to hire more people, alternatively when we’re looking for consultants. There are many problem areas we as a startup is confronted with during our growth phase and we will continue to reach out to Innovation Skåne to get support on these matters.
One of NeoSupport’s bigger challenges has been to reach buyers with the message that the product is available to purchase. Another, previous challenge, was to earn enough from the company to enable the founders to work full time with NeoSupport, but since a few years they do just that. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of work and David Polberger have a few tips to other entrepreneurs:
– Y Combinator, a leading accelerator in Silicon Valley, says it best:Make something people want. If you’re not sure there’s a market for the product you have in mind, don’t make the product. Instead, get out of the building, as Steve Blank puts it, and talk to members of your chosen demographic. What they will tell you will astound you, probably leading you to make a product far different from the one you had in mind before reaching out, says David Polberger and continues:
–Don’t build your new business in evenings and weekends. Quit your job – in Sweden we have a general healthcare insurance and it’s not linked to your employment, therefore we should dare so much more in Sweden. Live as cheap as possible while building the company – living for ten thousand a month is not difficult.
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