Deena Habib, Co-Founder and CEO, explains how Yspot intends to inspire and equip youth to unleash their podcasting and digital art talent.
Can you please introduce Yspot to our readers briefly?
Yspot was founded just under two years ago with a mission to support aspiring youth reach their goals by promoting collaboration and meaningful engagement with organisations. We are currently running programs that include internship programs and content creation programs such as podcasting and digital art. We are working with a number of large organisations and educational institutes, and we are planning to increase our offerings and reach with the launch of our app in Q1 of this year.
How did you raise capital to fund this venture?
So far, we are completely bootstrapped however we are investing our revenue back into the business.
What are the major obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
I am sure there are many startups that have faced similar struggles with finding the right app developers to produce technology that not only serves to provide solutions but also that use data in a meaningful way that creates a positive impact on society. When we first started, we were very focused on the app and spent a long time going back and forth with developers and faced all the usual struggles of lack of delivery and lack of good resources.
We realised that we needed to ‘pivot’ and go to market with our programs to start to bring in revenue and this did open our minds up to more possibilities that were of benefit to the company. We had initially outsourced the tech side of things, but we are proud to say that we did hire a CTO and with the knowledge and expertise that he brings we are now in a great position to both launch our app and to bring in revenue simultaneously as we were able to focus more on the business side as well.
How do you visualize your business growth in the next 12-18 months?
In the next few months, we will be focusing on expanding our market share by delivering more collaboration with our partners and customers. We will then look to expand into other markets outside the U.A.E which include Saudi & Egypt. We will also work in parallel to continuously release new and exciting features that will help our youth on their development journey.
What can students look forward to in the upcoming youth podcast masterclass?
The podcast masterclass consists of a series of learning sessions and workshops on all stages of creating a professional podcast. We will take the youth on a journey through creative conceptualization, the art of storytelling, the podcast production process which includes pre-production and post-production and sound mixing. We also bring in industry leaders to share best practices and we run a workshop with the youth around harnessing the power of their authentic voice.
The youth have the opportunity to present their concepts and to come up with a name for their podcast series and to also design branding for their logos. This really is a great way to enter the world of podcasting and a world of knowledge and hands-on experience.
What advice do you have for budding entrepreneurs like yourself?
Always focus on the bigger picture, don’t fixate on the details. Have a clear plan that you execute towards however always be ready to pivot from that plan as well. Be creative and try new things but always ensure that your solutions are data-driven and always put the customer first in all you do and build to solve challenges in the market.