iUVeda: How Stanimira Grigorova Combined The Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda and AI to Create A Mobile Burnout Antidote
“Some six years ago I realized I was supposed to be happy, everything in my life seemed to be quite well – from personal life to career. But I was not happy. I turned to yoga, spiritual practices, and eventually discovered Ayurveda – the holistic Indian approach to life, which combines yoga, nutrition, and general rules of staying healthy and in balance,” starts her story Stanimira Grigorova.
She is a well-rounded professional with experience across many spheres in the tech sector, who started as a software engineer, went through sales, marketing, and managerial positions, and most recently was a product owner at Visteon, one of the global providers of cockpit electronics. Stanimira is also the founder and CEO of iUVeda, an AI-driven mobile application that aims to restore the balance between body and mind based on Ayurveda.
After her own long journey with finding the balance and equipping herself against burnout – something she has been doing in the past years, her idea of synthesizing this knowledge and turning it into useful and actionable insights for others, started taking shape. Seeing the global trend and shift towards alternative medicine, preventive self-care, mental health, and spiritual practices, Stanimira decided it was time to act. In 2018, the founder managed to find two more partners for the mission, one of which is the CTO of the fastest growing IT service company in Bulgaria.
On the intersection between doshas and AI
Healing and life according to Ayurveda is built around the doshas – three fundamental bodily bio-elements called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each type is characterized by a certain body figure, predisposition to certain diseases, fat distribution, mental vulnerabilities, and strengths, etc. Deepening on the dosha type, there are physical activities, foods, and lifestyle habits that balance the organism. For instance, pitta dosha is an energetic and focused type of person who needs open and bright workspaces, nature and should avoid spicy foods because they may cause imbalance. Of course, this is a very simplified example, but the essence is that Ayurvedic lifestyle is related to a certain level of personalization. And this is where the algorithms and AI play an important role.
Led by this philosophy, Stanimira and her team that has meanwhile grown to eight people has created iUVeda, a mobile app, which aims to improve a person’s wellbeing by curating meditation, yoga and nutrition, based on person’s Dosha profile. The main mission of Stanimira building the product was to avoid burnout, lower stress and address panic attacks. The first version was launched in the app stores already in 2019, and the updated one is just being published at the end of May 2020. The basic application is free and the more advanced features in it are paid.
In the near future, iUVeda is set to offer gamified ways to track progress, tools to communicate with a community, and a VR component that will allow users an easier entry into the world of meditation.
Spreading the accumulated knowledge
Regardless of the novelty and usability of a product, entering the market with a new mobile application is a hard task, especially given the high cost of customer acquisition. And iUVeda is a self-funded project. To tackle this challenge, Stanimira Grigorova and her team have decided to go a different way – b2b2c, meaning partnering with companies with big networks and exposure to potential customers. The founder is currently negotiating a partnership with Art of Living, the global organization that has built a brand around a balanced lifestyle based on Indian practices and features a community of over 300M people around the world.
“We will be targeting mainly the US market where we observe a 15-30% YoY growth of the demand for such lifestyle and mental health products. Europe and India are also interesting markets,” says Grigorova. The founder is also now negotiating partnerships with other companies and organizations similar to Art of Living, hoping to be able to reach people who are experiencing burnouts or looking for preventive methods more easily and quickly.
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