We sat down to catch up with Mandeep Soor, co-founder of Bendi
Who are you and what does your company do?
Hi! I’m Mandeep Soor, CEO and Co-Founder of Bendi.
Bendi shows consumers the sustainability of the products and services they want to buy.
Why did you go with a WTF domain, what’s that about?
The WTF stands for Wear The Future. We want a future where sustainability information for clothing is as accessible & necessary as an item’s price or size.
What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
We wanted to drive positive change in the world, both in terms of the product and community we build, but also by creating an organisation that brings together smart passionate people who can work on – and solve – important problems.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
My co-founder has worked in fashion and sustainability for 10+ years and brought the domain experience and I’ve worked across commercial and strategic roles in corporates and at a data science start up.
We brought together our different backgrounds to look to solve a problem we both faced as consumers. We don’t know how sustainable we are and we don’t have the information to make different choices without lots and lots of research.
How did you come up with the name for the business?
It’s a portmanteau of our names.
Ben and Mandeep = Bendi
What is the most significant hurdle that you have overcome with your company so far?
Taking the first leap towards making Bendi a reality!
The first mental hurdle was significant. Putting together the resources and vision for others to join the journey and making a significant change in my own life. Self doubt was pretty high for me in that first step, each step since has led to strengthening my own conviction that Bendi is needed in the world, and I am the one to do this – alongside Bendi’s awesome multidisciplinary team.
What is the biggest challenge facing you and your business at the moment?
Funding to test and grow Bendi’s core assumptions with different segments and delivery methods.
I’m sure of the problem Bendi is solving, and certain that the time and market is now, but the route to market is yet untested.
A chrome extension may be the right, approach, but it might not. We have built experiments to test this, and conducted over 100 interviews with our core segment, and we are building out our MVP to test this further.
How will you measure your success?
In the near term = emails on Bendi’s wait list, then downloads, then retention and NPS..
In the mid to long term its about helping people to shop better, to positive influence them and understand the drivers behind this. That’s where the long term value of Bendi’s data and analytics comes from.
As an alumni of the SeedReady pre-accelerator, we wanted to quiz Mandeep on her experiences before and after…
What problem(s) did you face before joining the SeedReady Community?
I had no product and no funding… yet!
What are three benefits you’ve experienced as a result of joining the SeedReady Community?
We learnt how to get grant funding, which was pivotal to our growth.
The advice on how to test the assumptions of my business was excellent, but equally important was the “boring” tips – like which accountancy platforms to use.
The fortnightly check-ins with the SeedReady team and other founders were amazing.
If you were to recommend the SeedReady Community to another founder, what would you say?
It’s revolutionary thinking to provide this service to everyone in a flexible way – anyone can join and get what out what you can put in. I just can’t believe its free!