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Zacharias Holm - Bylife


Zacharias Holm - Bylife #1


Describe the idea:

 Byife’s mission is to bring nature indoors. Why might you think? Because the effects that nature has on our health is enormous and by developing smart living walls we bring the greens indoor. Our vision is to revolutionize how plants are used and consumed today. 


Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.

 I am driven by setting up interesting and efficient digital systems. Ooh all the possibilities! This passion made me CTO of the tech-startup Bylife. I have studied Informatics at Lund University and co-founded an IT-consultancy firm with a few friends. After 2 years, I decided to change path and found Bylife. Joining early gave me the opportunity to become co-founder, and one year later I am here. 


What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?

Bylife’s mission is to deliver test-products to customers before the summer is over. My role is to set up an MVP-system, minimal value product that allows us to test all of the IoT functions the customers have suggested. Doing early customer tests are important and test will yield answers related to experience, function, and if the business model works. 


What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs? 

Within these three months I want to strengthen Bylife's business case, in regards of finding out more about our customers, pricing etc. I also expect to have a bare minimum of a complete IT-architecture up and running, to be able to showcase a working product. 



Tell us what you have done on your projects so far during the Leapfrogs time:

My main focus these last weeks has circled around software development. The goal for me this summer was to set up a “software-MVP” and to strengthen myself and team for real world business situations. The latter one kinda fell short on part since some software development exceeded the time scope, what's good though is that other members of our team took charge of that instead. I have also researched and found possible software platform solutions and started building some of the parts of that solution.


Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected? 

As always it's difficult to estimate how much time a certain task will take, which has led to some delays with the original project timeline. One of the tasks that exceeded initial project timeline was the software development to set up a new and robust communication between our IoT device and platform. What's good though is that we managed isolate and solve some hardware obstacles with the product in lesser time than expected. So all in all its difficult to estimate how much time a task will take.


What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?

Im mostly going to focus on our software platform. I have started to work on some parts/modules, but in general needs all parts more work and testing. We realised the importance of building a robust and scalable platform rather than rushing things. So that it will be easier to make changes and integrate new modules later on. This will lead to more focus on the development of the platform and cause delay for some internal front-end clients.


How did you experience the three months?

Overall good. Its fun and exciting to get the opportunity to work on a project you really care about, although it comes with a lot of work! I think we did good according to the “expectations / scope” we initially set for the summer. We have managed to come close / achieve some of our goals within these three months. Although slipping short on some of the goals.


What has been hardest/most enjoyable?

Most enjoyable is making progress and be able to celebrate it together with my teammates. One of the most challenging things is to estimate how much time a certain task will need. And sometimes realise you are not going to finish it within time, and the consequences with that.


Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?

Yes! I am going to continue my work with Bylife!


What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?

Its not exactly connected to my project, but I would have to say to validate and test your idea with your targeted customers/ussers. Try to plan your time well, you will be having lots of things to do. Be agile and adjustable (we had to push back some of our deadlines or due to our manufacturer was on vacation). Opportunities will present themselves a times, try and make the most out of them!


Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?

Try to enjoy it! :) Its a lot of work to do, and sometimes things will feel out of reach and at those moments it helps so much to have amazing team members to get you through those moments. So I guess my tip would be to find some amazing people you can do this with!