Tereza Drimalova studied BSc Business Studies with specialism in Marketing, 2016 and she’s already launching her own company, AquaQube! She skyped the Alumni Office from the Czech Republic to chat about how it happened so fast.
Tell me about your time at Cass!
I came to Cass for BSc Business Studies with specialism in Marketing but I was only at Cass for my first and third years. The middle year I spent in Spain at the IE Business School, which was also a great experience. I actually chose Cass because the style of education was different to the one at home [in the Czech Republic]. Here it’s much more practical and even more career-orientated in the sense that during your studies you meet future employers, and it’s great for practical experience and internships. I really enjoyed that – usually here [in the Czech Republic] people finish studying and then start looking for something practical so that’s quite a difference.
Do you have a favourite memory?
I would say that the favourite memory for me was the very first week I was there. I was part of the pre-sessional maths week and got to know all the people in the group very well. We were with the same group all the time and most of my friends, my best friends, are from this group! I was quite surprised by how big a difference this made.
What did you do next?
It was actually during the last term of University that I started AquaQube, my company. We started to develop and produce the product and to talk to potential customers. It was pretty cool that I had the chance to apply lots of things I learned at Cass so soon. In our new product development class we even worked on similar projects – in our AquaQube team we had people who had already developed products on the technical side but didn’t really have any insights from the consumer – that was the point of view I brought.
So what exactly is AquaQube?
It’s an innovative and efficient (we don’t know of any more efficient competing devices) water purification device for homes. It was developed based on research from industrial water purification, and there it’s become clear that, although the technology exists, hormones and pesticides are not going to be eliminated from the water any time soon. For that to happen, it would need Government investment, and nobody wants to do it – there is no immediate harm from these being in the water and so they are not pushed to do it.
But I wanted to bring consumers this better quality water, and the only way to do that is to bring AquaQube in to homes by selling directly to customers. Our product is particularly suitable for pregnant women and parents with small children, so those who really need to take more care of their lifestyle and water quality. It’s also for people following a healthy lifestyle or who are interested in ecology. It’s very much an ecological solution as it’s the only water purifier on the market that really destroys the impurities in the water rather than just filters them. So by cleaning your own water with AquaQube you’re also cleaning the environment around you.
And you’re launching your crowdfunding?
Yes, we are launching a Kickstarter campaign on the 17th November.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
I might sound quite weird but I would say the biggest challenge has been to be brave enough to go to customers and spread the word around the world. You’re working for a year and you think your product is the best it can possibly be, so it’s quite scary to really let all the people comment on it! Thankfully, I’ve had really good and positive feedback so far, but you still sometimes think about how people will react and that uncertainly is a challenge. With friends and family, even if they think it’s not good, they say things in a nice way, but people can be harsh.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
You have to find the right people to co-operate with because they need to have the same focus as you and be hardworking and expert in their area. In the beginning everything is little, the number of people is really small, and so you need everyone to be as great and as hard working as possible. It might seem like there’s not that much work at the start, but you need even a name, a logo, a website and more! So you need someone to rely on and maybe even someone you don’t have to manage, someone proactive and able to do things on their own.
Finally, it’s the quick-fire question round!
Favourite place in London: Primrose Hill
Favourite holiday destination: Philippines
Must-check every day website: Currently I check the AquaQube website and AquaQube Facebook page about 20 times a day!
Dream travel destination: Cuba
Cheese or chocolate: Difficult! But cheese!
Support AquaQube’s Kickstarter campaign here.