Introduce yourself – what is your background, what are you passionate about and what are your hopes and dreams?
I am Mikko Petäjä, CEO and Founder of Yoogaia. My background is in branding, marketing and innovation. As a designer I’ve accustomed to always think in terms of the value proposition and user benefit – why something matters. As far as Yoogaia goes (and I hope it does, indeed, go far), the whole premise is about creating something of true value in an area that is relevant for a massive amount of people.
How did the idea for your campaign come about? Describe what your campaign does.
Yoogaia is a yoga service for everyone. Ever since the beginning, we’ve kept in mind that my mother should be able to use it with ease. This mindset has a number of implications on technology decisions, UX, UI, pricing, communication etc. but also on how we want our users to be involved in the venture overall. We are collaborating with our users on many fronts, so it is only natural that we include everyone in the future growth of Yoogaia, too. Users and non-users have a chance to help us contribute in the crowdfunding yoga equity-based campaign, according to their needs. Not everyone will contribute, by any means, but we like to offer this option to anyone that likes what we are doing. And I have to say that seeing our users and teachers invest in us makes me extremely proud and inspired.
Why did you decide on crowdfunding? What about FundedByMe appealed to you?
The concept of crowdfunding has been suggested to us by many people along the way. So far, we have been developing Yoogaia for the Finnish audience only, but now that we are going international, it makes sense to reach for the international audience, too. Crowdfunding is a beautiful instrument to do just that. There’s a plethora of choice in crowdfunding platforms, and it can actually be quite difficult to choose the right one. I talked to several entrepreneurs with first-hand experience on crowdfunding. FundedByMe was an easy choice for me in the end as from the first moment I received extremely personal care and advice, and I undestood that Yoogaia would stand a good chance in creating a succesful campaign with FundedByMe. Also, I felt that it would be nice to run a dual campaign, combining an equity-based campaign and a reward-based campaign, and FundedByMe offered the possibility to do it all on one platform.
Talk us through your campaign on FundedByMe – what are you planning on doing to maximize the exposure and ensure success? What can our readers look forward to seeing from your campaign?
We are increasing our effort internationally on the PR and marketing front. We have one or two well-known individuals lined-up to contribute that are willing to become a spokesperson for the campaign, too. We are attending several events where we have a chance to meet people face-to-face. Less than halfway through the campaign, it appears to me there are plenty of individuals that have already made the decision to contribute but so far have not actually done it. Naturally, we’re doing all we can to spread the message and get more and more people involved.
Why should our readers get involved in your campaign?
In just over half a year, we have validated the assumption that everyday wellbeing is a real challenge for almost everyone. There is a myriad of solutions (technological and non-technological) that attempt to solve the problem, but very few that offer such beautiful simplicity that Yoogaia offers. It’s not a gadget, an app or a game. It’s not artificial and it’s not gimmicky. It’s a straight forward and simple service that is easy to use. Not for the tech geeks, mind you, but for everyone. And what makes me especially happy is that everyone sees the benefit immediately without us having to spell it out. Our net promoter score is astounding which confirms that people are really happy with what we are doing already, although it’s still early stages. As much as it is a cliché, we are making the world a better place, click by click.
Which success story on FundedByMe has inspired you most? Why?
There are many, but as a founder of a service that came about due to my personal desire for such a service, I have especially admired the FundedByMe campaign, that was inspiring and beatifully executed. There’s no argumenting that you have created something valuable if you can show its efficiency by being the guinea pig yourself. I believe that if you create something that really works for you, it works for others, too. That inspires me.