Five Minute Features #5 – Saumya, our Pre-Accelerator attendee

Meet Saumya Banker

Founder of Neck Up, who describes how he first found his way from being a self-taught Fintech Product Manager, before deciding to build his startup – challenges, nuances and “different kind of pace” included. 

So what? We love this story because even though we marketed our Pre-Accelerator for digital/tech-focused founders, Saumya brought his startup, Neck Up, along for the programme anyway.

His questions and participation in our classes – from resilience classes to building value propositions – showed the SeedReady team that our programme could reach far more than who we initially had in mind.

If you’re thinking of joining our programme but are not a ‘digital founder’ or ‘tech founder’, check this story out.


About Saumya

“I used to work as a Fintech Product Manager focusing on web and mobile apps for a S&P 500 company in San Francisco. I was tired of the internal politics and bureaucracy that came with working for the “man”.

I had always wanted to start my own company since my earliest memory and I had been passively looking for a co-founder and an idea to pursue for a few years. But when I was not coming across one, I decided to stop waiting and pull the trigger myself. I quit my job and decided I would figure it out on the way, and I did.”

Q1: Could you tell us about your startup, and why you decided to build it?

Saumya: After I had quit my job of 5+ years, I decided to take a break and travel the world. My thought process was that I would stumble upon something during my travels and I surely did. I used to get my grooming product advice from the females around me back in San Francisco. But when I was trying to find something on my own during my solo adventure, I found it very confusing. I realised that like me, a lot of men want to look good and take better care of themselves, but are overwhelmed by the confusing jargon, active ingredients, and toxic stereotypes of the cosmetics industry. That’s when Neck Up was born. To avoid all of that confusion, and provide products that are easy to understand so men can just grab it and bring out their best looks. 

Q2: How have your personal or professional experiences been whilst building Neck Up?

Saumya: They have been good. I tried to learn all the key aspects and metrics of the industry in advance, so I thought I had it down to a science. But when I started executing on it, there were so many nuances that are very specific to my scenario that could not have been anticipated in advance. I am learning and experimenting with new things everyday. It feels like a bootcamp. I never worked this much, or at this pace in my previous jobs. But I love it. 

I have had issues working alone [as a solo founder]. I sometimes get so granular into tasks that I forget the macro objective of why I am even doing this. I also often get tunnel vision and miss something obvious that was right in front of me. That is due to the fact I am not speaking aloud with anyone. Thus, everything is in my head. I often forget to step back and look at the bigger picture. 

Q3: We’re excited to see that you’ve been participating in both our Pre-Accelerator classes and community. Has it supported your journey in any way?

Saumya: The pre-accelerator has helped me take a pause from my daily activities, take a step back, and look at the business holistically again. For a couple of months now, I had only been focusing on operations and executions of micro tasks. This has helped me re-look at the bigger picture, and work on overarching strategy. 

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