Aksels Zingulis and Reinis Ņikuļcevs were 11th grade students in 2015. Aksels spent his free time playing hockey. This fact, along with sheer laziness, were the reasons for developing an alternative tape for hockey sticks that’s suitable for hockey and lacrosse sticks of any size. Compared to standard tape, “RocketGrip” improves grip on the stick, doesn’t rip gloves as it doesn’t contain glue, and is easily applied. Additionally, it’s possible to customize it. “There were alternatives on the market, but not the kind that every hockey player would like to have. Hockey players like customized solutions.” says Aksels. With this idea, the boys won 3rd place in the “Junior Achievement” student business competition in Latvia.
When it came time to apply for university, the boys returned to the idea, because the idea of developing a real business had always been in the air. Aksels decided to study law, but Reinis – robotic computer systems. And why didn’t either of them study business? “I think that law is an integral part of entrepreneurship, just as programming and the digital environment. I’ve already come across many patent disputes. So I’m sure that this knowledge will come to good use.” comments Aksels.
The next decision made after applying to universities was joining PINK, and afterwards, INK (the incubation program). “At an early age and directly from high school, our working experience wasn’t large. That’s why the PINK community was very helpful. For example, we had a question – how do you get barcodes? We searched for a long time, but eventually we were helped by a colleague in the incubator. There are also many other areas where specific knowledge is required, for example, digital marketing and sales. Here, the lessons provided by INK were very useful. The availability of financial support was also important, which for us meant more available capital and more opportunities to invest it into development.” Aksels explains.
Their company ended 2018 with approximately 40 000 EUR revenue and a hope to develop and address other industries in 2019, both in export markets here in Europe, as well as on the other side of the ocean.
Contacts and people you meet along the way will bring you to your goals faster.
In the 21st century it’s necessary to be able to quickly and flexibly adapt to changing circumstances. That’s why you need knowledge.
The team and support from the side is a safety pillow and foundation, so that you don’t lose motivation midway.