Launching my own startup: Girfan Bazaar

My story and experience with Re:Coded & UKMENAHUB’s Tech Startup Academy.

It was one day in March, 2018 when we, three friends came up with an idea to connect the bazaar shops with an online Platform to help the buyers easily find their wished items and goods in the bazaar with a short amount of time with an app.

Our objective was only to build a prototype in order to participate in our college’s Tech Festival. We didn’t have a real intention to build a startup and launch it as a business. We didn’t have a strong knowledge and support about entrepreneurships, startups and other related stuffs , all we had was a set of ideal features about our business.

Then, in August when Re:Coded opened applications to Iraq’s first tech startup academy for anyone with a tech business idea ,we thought that we should participate.

Thankfully, our idea got accepted and we started the bootcamp on October 2nd.

The bootcamp, which was setup by Re:Coded in partnership with UKMENAHUB, was rich in content material. The 4-week program was so helpful to us. We learnt all about the business model, value proposition, identifying and validating our customers, our revenue streams, marketing strategy and finally we learnt how to deliver a solid pitch of our idea to the audience and potential investors.

From that, we got a good understanding on how our business works and how some of our features though as amazing as they are, we had to exclude it from our business for now to then implement at a later date.

We also had a chance to meet participants from different places, from Erbil, Mosul, Baghdad, Iranian Kurdish and even people from Syria.

All of these young people had amazing ideas, some even had their business running and started to make revenue. I was so happy and proud to be with a bunch of so kind and nice people with a high potential just like us.

Our trainers, Omer Hassan and Tom Strodberck, were two amazing trainers that I have ever seen in my entire life. Not only were they so smart about the materials, but also so kind and friendly with us. It was a month of learning and lots of fun moments with them.

On our last day, we held a Demo Day where we 7 teams pitched our idea to an audience full of potential investors, politicians, and others from the Erbil tech community. We were awarded as the third place winner for Girfan Bazaar.

So what’s our business?

GirfanBazaar : an app that digitalizes the process of searching through the bazaar shops by having them in a mobile application, bringing the buyers and shops closer, thus providing a better and easier bazaar shopping experience.

Shops owner (and potential other people) can open up a shop on our platform and start adding their products, manage them and sell them. So we can relive buyers from going out to the bazaar shops, spending lots of hours to find their wished products and goods.

We aim to launch our business to the public in the beginning of next year.