OwlSpark | Rice University Startup Accelerator | TeamWise: WellWorth
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TeamWise: WellWorth

Before OwlSpark I had a certain way of thinking about what it takes to build a company. It’s not that simple. There’s a process and that’s why I am here. I want to do the process. No matter how much discipline you have you need to follow the process.

WellWorth is comprised of Rice University MBA candidate, Vinay Acharya, and Connie Zhang, recent Rice University alumni. They are building a web-based modeling platform for financial institutions operating within the oil and gas industries to create economic projections, create financial options, and create visualized scenarios. The team believes their solution will reduce time and costs for financial analysts, vice presidents, and managing directors in the oil and gas sector.

Vinay is working on his second MBA specifically to concentrate on creating his startup. He was inspired by the idea from his wife, who works in a large financial institution in the oil and gas industry. Prior to WellWorth, Vinay never imagined creating his own startup. In fact, he avoided entrepreneurial ventures altogether. His first MBA focused on data analytics and entrepreneurship never crossed his mind. Starting a company was a new adventure for Vinay. He admits that he was skeptical at the beginning of trusting a person other than his family to assist in the growth of WellWorth, but after pitching his idea and meeting Connie, she checked every box that Vinay was searching for in a teammate: experience in the oil and gas industry and consulting, and was pursuing a masters degree in statistics. She showed interest right away, approaching Vinay after his pitch and the ball began rolling from there. Connie was interested in the counterintuitiveness of creating a company, and her skills and experience made her a key addition to the WellWorth team. She credits Vinay with helping her learn the ins and outs of creating a business and working as a team, calling him a role model.

So far, the most exciting thing for WellWorth is gaining more confidence in their initial assumptions. Connie says that at the beginning of WellWorth’s journey, her colleagues doubted that WellWorth would penetrate the tough market. However, through customer discovery, the team has learned quite the opposite. To her, gaining confidence in the market need is really exciting. Vinay shares the same sentiment, and adds that hearing other entrepreneurs’ journeys through sessions and Startup Founders Series has been the most inspiring part. To him, it is a sigh of relief to know that successful people often go through the same struggles that they are experiencing right now.

Learning from their experiences and mistakes validates that you aren’t crazy to take these sorts of risks. That’s fun.

Outside of OwlSpark, Vinay and Connie are enjoying their summer, despite the Texas heat. Connie spends her time off dogsitting a miniature schnauzer who keeps her on her toes. Vinay has been especially enjoying his summer with the World Cup, a trending topic amongst the founders. Over the next few weeks, WellWorth will be continuing their customer discovery and expanding their network. We’re excited to see far they can go during and beyond OwlSpark!

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