The Journey of an EIT Digital Master School Alumnus: Chartbrew's Path to Success

Răzvan Ilin, an EIT Digital Master School graduate, shares his entrepreneurial journey with Chartbrew, an open-source business intelligence platform.

Răzvan Ilin, a graduate from the EIT Digital Master School's 2018-2020 cohort, has successfully turned his passion for building digital products into a thriving business. Chartbrew, an open-source business intelligence platform, was born from Răzvan's personal need for a simple-to-use solution to monitor the stats of his other digital products. In this article, we explore Răzvan's journey to entrepreneurship, how EIT Digital Master School played a role in his success, and his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Chartbrew: Filling a Market Gap

Founded in 2020 under the trading name Depomo Ltd, Chartbrew is an open-source business intelligence platform that empowers small-to-medium digital companies to make informed business decisions. By providing customers with a single dashboard to gather, visualize, and share data, Chartbrew is addressing a market gap for Firebase and Strapi CMS users who currently lack adequate tools for visualising and sharing their data.

The company operates in a rapidly growing market, which is projected to reach USD 43.03 billion by 2028. Chartbrew's subscription revenue surpasses $1,300 USD per month, with an average growth rate of over 10% month over month. The company has also earned more than $5,000 in open-source services through custom features and technical support.

EIT Digital Master School's Influence

Although Răzvan was already involved in the entrepreneurial environment before joining EIT Digital Master School, his experience there helped strengthen his understanding of various concepts related to starting and running a business. The supportive community and extensive network of individuals interested in technology and startups also proved invaluable in maintaining motivation and fostering valuable connections.

The Best Part: Freedom

For Răzvan, the best part of running his own company is the freedom it offers. Chartbrew allows him to work on what he wants, when he wants, and where he wants. This flexibility complements Răzvan's lifestyle, as he spends most of his time in Southeast Asia, enjoying the balance of work and leisure in idyllic settings.

Despite the many advantages, running a business also comes with its fair share of challenges, such as uncertainty and decision-making difficulties.

Răzvan Ilin "Full freedom also comes with negatives. Often-times I end up in analysis-paralysis moments when I don't know how to take the business forward," Răzvan says.

Running your own business also introduces a higher degree of uncertainty for the future, compared to a job.

"The revenue each month is always fluctuating, especially when running a product business. It requires a high degree of perseverance to reach a point where the company can sustain itself."

Focus on execution

Răzvan also emphasizes the need for perseverance and the readiness to take on multiple roles in a startup.

For students considering starting their own business, Răzvan advises focusing on execution and building a minimum viable product (MVP) to launch as soon as possible.

He also encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to avoid seeking investment before having a product, as he believes most products do not need investment to get started.

“The most valuable resource is time, not money. If you feel like you have plenty of time, but no money, use some of that time for consulting on the side and build your startup on the side,” he says.

Lastly, he recommends not going full-time to a startup if it is not financially viable.

“Financial stress is real, and you definitely don’t want to deal with that while building a business,” Răzvan says.

Visit the Master School page to learn more about our entrepreneurial master’s degrees.

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