Runner Interview

Rohan Kotecha

Founder, Curv

Wearable for back pain

Can you give a brief introduction about yourself?
I’'m Rohan. I'm the founder of Curve. We're building wearable tech to provide preventative care, and personalised care for back pain.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur/startup founder?
The first job I ever wanted really, as a kid was that I said, I want to be an inventor. So I guess it wasn't really being an entrepreneur or doing startups, and it was more I wanted to build cool things.
What problem does your startup aim to solve?
Back pain
Can you describe your startup in a single sentence?
A device for backpain
How did the idea for your startup come about?
I’ve had back pain for the last 10 years. I've tried everything on offer short of surgery and opioids, which are the most extreme choices. I found essentially a broken model of care, where you see someone for half an hour, and they don't actually have any visibility in your real life where back pain actually manifests. So I wanted to build a tool that actually tracks the data on the metrics that matter for back pain to help you to really help people make their care personal.
What's the most unique aspect of your solution or business model?
We are the first bit of tech that actually follows all of the clinical guidance. It’s a surprisingly low bar, but I feel like nobody is properly doing that.
What’s the most challenging aspect of building your startup?
The amount of context swuitching I do. I am the CEO but I am also the hardware engineer. I go from building the hardware, doing a sprint for about a week and not really sleeping until that is done. Then switching to dealing with our manufacturer in China, and the switching again to talking to customers, and the switching again to talking to researchers.
What's the most valuable lesson you've learned as a founder?
Learning how to learn something really quickly.
How do you manage work-life balance, especially with the demands of a startup?
I'm 23, I don't care. It doesn't matter.
What’s the next big milestone for your startup?
Getting our first customers. We have a cohort of 5 users we are testing with.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs or startups?
Just do it. There is no advice. Just do it. That’s the way to learn. Also, things are way less risky than you think they are. Being British we are naturally risk adverse.
Any ideas on how we could improve Seed Run?
No, I think it’s great. It’s close to UCL where we use their lab space.
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