The Cambridge MBA is life-changing in many ways; for us, it led to the birth of our venture, Skinlync.
From ideation to reality, 2020 has been a truly remarkable year for our entrepreneurship journey. After a good deal of blood, sweat and tears, we finally launched Skinlync in November, a platform that simplifies self-management of skin conditions. We reached the 500-users milestone in our first month and are determined to ensure Skinlync continues to reach those who need it.
Post MBA, in October 2019, we kicked off our adventure with Accelerate Cambridge, University of Cambridge’s accelerator programme, and have been moving forward ever since. After winning the Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre’s Venture Creation Weekend in June 2019 with our Skinlync idea, we knew we had to ensure that it comes to fruition. The Cambridge MBA Careers team helped mapped this path whilst the Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre helped made it possible.
In addition, one of the other ‘magic’ elements of the Cambridge MBA is the access it gives you to Cambridge’s strong entrepreneurship community, comprising entrepreneurs, investors and business support. Beyond our MBA class, we have met a number of impressive entrepreneurs and mentors who have provided both valuable business and emotional support. Much like our collaborative Cambridge MBA classmates, there is always someone willing to extend a helping hand.
Atiqah – ‘Skinlync isn’t just a venture for me, an eczema sufferer for over 30 years, as this is a passion project driven by my desire to make it easier for people like me cope with their skin conditions. Recently I had an unmanageable flare-up which left me feeling frustrated and depressed. Hope came in the form of interaction with another person who has the same condition as me, who recommended things that worked for her. Our exchange of similar experiences was very comforting. Skinlync makes these exchanges easier and more accessible to those with a skin condition.’
Yigit – ‘As for me, entrepreneurship has been my lifelong dream and the only post-MBA path. I had many opportunities to explore this path during the course of my MBA, including networking with existing Cambridge entrepreneurs and taking the Entrepreneurship Concentration. It was also very encouraging to be surrounded by classmates who are equally enthusiastic about entrepreneurship. I was never short of people to bounce ideas or learn from. It is truly a privilege to be able to start a venture here in the UK under the UK Start-up visa endorsed by the University and this fuels my entrepreneurial drive. We are also extremely fortunate to have met our co-founder Cemal Bilgic, an extraordinary software developer who has poured in hours of hard work into Skinlync.
Like many ventures, the first lockdown interfered with our development plans. But instead of accepting defeat, we turned it into an opportunity. One of our proudest lockdown milestones is that we completed our user research within two weeks. By the end of the exercise, we had spoken to over 100 individuals with skin conditions, with each call lasting an average of 30 minutes (that’s 50 valuable hours that we cherish greatly!).
We now finally feel like we’re at a point where we can share Skinlync with the world. Check out Skinlync today – https://www.skinlync.com/
Some of the highlights of Skinlync:
LEARN – Access a growing database of condition-based product reviews to discover what products others with a particular skin condition recommend (and don’t recommend).
LINK – Find and connect with people who have similar condition and experiences with lupus, receive peer to peer emotional support and advice
LOG – Track your condition and skincare routine in your personal visual diary, to see if the products you are using are effective and share your records with a medical professional
Calling for more supporters!
Skinlync’s launch wouldn’t have been possible without the overwhelming support we received from our champions and we would like to thank everyone who believed in us. Among others, a big shout out to our fellow classmates from the MBA Class of 2018/19, who have helped us along the way, from providing marketing advice to participating in our testing rounds, sharing fundraising insights to contributing valuable business strategy ideas.
When you come to the Cambridge MBA, you don’t just make new friends, you get a new ‘extended’ family.
Our journey is far from over. If you have or had a skin condition, or just want to help us out, join Skinlync today! We also welcome your feedback and ideas.
In this challenging entrepreneurial journey, even the smallest act of kindness propels us forward.
Stay safe and take care. Thank you.
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