Born and raised in Porto, Vitor is 24 years old and the co-founder and CEO of Vantta. Simply put, Vantta is customer feedback made easy and fun. Forget the boring reviews you’re asked to submit (5-star systems), Vantta is a customer feedback system that people will actually want to use which they have called ‘one-swipe’. Vantta was one of the 30% of start-ups in Portugal selected to win a government prize, start-up voucher, which awarded Vitor and his co-founder a grant to be full-time employees of their company. Now a team of five, Vantta has seen enormous growth since their founding in September. Vantta has filed for a patent which should be received by July 2019.
I’d be remiss if I did not also address his past job. For fourteen months Vitor worked for Web Summit, where he interviewed start-ups globally… sounds like something I’ve heard of before! When asked how the experience affected him and shaped his future he said ‘it gave me exponential leverage and a ton of knowledge. I have talked with over 1,800 start-ups over 14-months and that has allowed me to absorb a lot of knowledge. For an example, I just hired an advisor to our team who is a serial entrepreneur who I met through this job.’
As a young CEO, how do you co-relate leadership in your life and your business?
‘Self awareness. Knowing yourself and looking to keep improving every single day is the place to start. After that comes communication. Listening to people and their problems and actually trying to care for them. I think leadership comes through empathy, caring, and leading by example.’
Vitor added that you have to show vulnerability. He says showing that you can make mistakes and understanding and facing them head on is important. Knowing to bring in people who are stronger than yourself in certain areas, showing that you are humble enough to put the company in front of self image and ego was his last piece to the puzzle.
After seeing the initial growth of your company, has anything surprised you? Did you expect to grow slower or quicker?
‘I was not expecting such an overwhelming unanimous reaction to our product. Everyone who used ‘one-swipe’ was on board.’
Vitor says they were approached by many big companies, for example Accenture, that were asking what they had to do to get a meeting with them. Vantta went to Web Summit (how I found them) looking for market feedback, not expecting to conduct meetings and listen to offers. ‘So many companies came up to us asking if they could integrate our product in their company.’
Is this your first attempt as a start-up, have you had any past failures? If so, what was the biggest thing you learnt from failure?
‘No. We previously tried to do a peer-to-peer renting marketplace. We applied for the same start-up voucher and got denied. We then tried to shift to a clothing and street wear brand strictly to fund our next idea, which was a platform for people to sort and do sweepstakes for ticket sales. This also failed and then we moved on to Vantta.’
Vitor says the biggest thing he learned through failure is to make sure there is a market for your product. Once you’ve checked and made sure, the next thing to do is to ask yourself ‘is it a red ocean, or are you eventually creating something completely new that is not competing with others.’ To put all this into one word, it would be focus.
Vantta is the first system of its kind. Vitor states that anyone from 4 to 70 can use it. It is easy, fun, and these attributes will make it take off and skyrocket response ratios. Vitor said in the beginning they wanted to follow the niche market strategy focusing on the restaurant business. Since the recent demand to expand, Vantta has gone agnostic, focusing on restaurants but they will piggyback on great distribution channels as well. Time is a valuable asset and Vitor wants Vantta to expand globally and massively. Vitor helped me in my process and journey, giving me some insights, and I hope through our continued relationship I will be able to help him down the road. It was an absolute pleasure, Vitor.