Raj Sark is a Partner at InnovateFromZero, Founder of Connect-In Ltd. and former CEO of Xupo technologies. Raj is an active innovation-driven entrepreneur who likes to make use of technology to solve practical problems that can be spotted in our society. He is a graduate in Electronics & Communications Engineering and has an Erasmus Mundus Masters education in Global Innovation Management.
Tell us a bit about what your startup does?
InnovateFromZero is dedicated to augmenting innovations in web, mobile & IoT with technical development, digital strategies and funding. In 2019 we are launching the first cloud-based, AI-powered platform to help product innovators - devToM.
What was the inspiration behind your startup?
The inspiration came from our cumulative four decades of hands-on experience of bringing innovative tech products to market some with great success, winning multiple innovation awards, and some massive failures. We have bundled and packaged this expertise in product development in a free and open software solution to build the next great product(s).
Did you always see yourself running your own company?
No, not at all. In fact, I did not properly know what the word 'entrepreneur' really meant till ca. 10 years ago. I started my career employed as an engineer in as much a 'non-entrepreneurial' job as you could be (safe but definitely not adventurous). I learned what it really meant beyond the dictionary definition when I had a chance to get hands-on with it.
What are the biggest challenges you face having your own business?
Running your own business first and foremost take a completely different mindset. Most innovation happens outside of the comfort zone, you almost have to learn to be comfortable while not being comfortable.
If you could tell your past self one thing, what would it be?
When we started out on the first entrepreneurial venture, I hope I had set the mindset, read more books, had met more experienced people and had them around me and currently I would say, had the devToM software - hands down that would have helped!
Do you have one piece of advice you’d give to people looking to make the jump to self-employed?
It is not an easy decision to make. Have the right motivation. Money could be one, but not all of it. When you are employed - you have a job (it's easy). But remember JOB = Just Over Broke. You will never have true financial freedom exchanging your time for money. Being self-employed is hard work and more work but could become more meaningful work.