Startup interview

Žiga Drev
/8.1.2015, Author: Stanislava Vabšek
Žiga Drev, CEO and leader of the Origin Trail team, is known for his analytical approach to solving complex problems.
Žiga Drev, CEO and leader of the Origin Trail team. Student of International Master of Business – track Finances at the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana, has been marketing the brand Ekodar since 2011. He strengthened his knowledge of marketing during his studies and additionally dove into the financial and management part of business sciences. In 2013, he participated in the analysis of the fresh vegetables market in Slovenia and preparation of the marketing strategy for the Mercator business system. He is known for his analytical approach to solving complex problems.
What is your startup life currently most marked by?
We just finished developing the product we believe is our MVP and barely took a breath after the stressful development cycle. Because we are based in two locations, we are quite often on the Ljubljana-Beograd route, but we communicate even more through various online communication tools.
The next important step will be looking for early adopter partners abroad who will quickly recognize the value of our system and reveal the origin of their products with help of OriginTrail.
Who is who in your team?
The core of the OriginTrail team consists of company cofounders – Tomaž Levak, Žiga Drev and Branimir Rakić. In June 2014, the team was joined by Aleksandar Veljković and Luka Ivanović.
The best and worst advice you got on your startup path?
There was a lot of great advice we got from our mentor Andrej Muževič, LUI director dr. Lidija Honzak, experienced entrepreneur Sava Marinkovich, and others who pointed us in the right direction at the right time.
But it would be difficult to find the worst advice because we can’t highlight any that we followed and that turned out to be extremely wrong. There was only advice for which we decided that it isn’t suitable for us at the given moment. At the end, you are always responsible for the decision you make.
Biggest mistake or worst decision you made? What about the best business decision so far?
Our starting hypothesis that we would need to develop hardware, our own product marker, for implementing the system turned out to be wrong. Contact with the market showed us that the intrusion into the production line and packaging of a food product significantly extends the time of implementation, which is why we also quickly found an alternative solution.
The best decision was definitely that we decided we won’t develop the system in a vacuum but rather immediately find the first customer, who was also a kind of a development partner.
Your formula/recipe for success?
Considering our former definition of success, it will probably take some time before we can judge which formula was actually best. But we did discover two truths that we think are rather important – it is never as bad as it seems. And it is never as good as it seems.
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Author of content: Stanislava Vabšek,
Communications and PR Start:up Slovenija
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