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How to bring your ideas to life : an entrepreneur’s journey from learning how to code to raising $400K

Jose joined Le Wagon Montréal’s Spring batch to accelerate Arkangel, a startup he launched in 2018 to help a family member fight a chronic disease. Jose developed his initial MVP (minimum viable product) and discovered he still needed additional technical skills to propel his company to the next level. Read his story.

Why did you decide to create Arkangel ? 

In 2019, my grandfather died after a long battle with diabetes. To help people suffering from chronic diseases, we assembled a team of people to create the first automated tool enabling people to live free of chronic conditions, starting with diabetes. We called it Arkangel AI. We envisioned this solution to be the Siri of Health, one that you could get access to anytime and from anywhere by learning from the data collected from existing devices people use like smartphones. We crafted the business and created a little “Frankenstein” version using free cloud solutions and tutorials. To our surprise, the prototype exploded, attracting more than 9000 users from 22 countries within the first two months. 

How did you end up attending Le Wagon bootcamp ? 

Unfortunately, our founders came from business, medicine and design, so the prototype had some technical issues and didn’t perform properly. Additionally, the technical founders we interviewed did not want to bear the risk of leaving their jobs to work with us. We hit a roadblock, so we decided to go all in and hired a company to work on the app. That was one of the worst decisions we ever made because we needed to move fast and the contract did not allow for any of this. It was horrible, we had a product three months behind and we didn’t know how to update it.

Our best solution was that one of the founders learned to code, and after getting the support from my team, I took the chance. I interviewed at Le Wagon Montréal six days before the batch and finished the prep work in one weekend (not recommended). The experience was remarkable and intense at the same time. 

“I learned how to bring ideas to life, I learned the mechanics and how to talk about software.”

As an entrepreneur, you think software development is easy, but it’s not; you need to learn to think like a developer and it is really hard to do on your own. 

How was your experience with the bootcamp? 

One thing you need to understand is that it requires years to become a ninja developer. And you will need to learn more stuff after the bootcamp because it's impossible to learn everything in two months.

Jose working with his buddy on the day's challenge

That being said, Le Wagon does an amazing job at cutting out the boring stuff to give you only tools you need to build web-apps, and that’s exactly what I wanted. In the end, we built an MVP of Arkangel with an awesome team - Gustaf, Joe and Thomas - and today we’ve raised $69,000 in non-equity funding and by the end of the year, we will be raising a pre-seed of $350,000 to grow our customer base. I highly recommend this program, and if you want to learn more about my experience, feel free to connect with me via LinkedIn
Check out Le Wagon Montreal batch 247’s demo Day to see Arkangel’s pitch. If you like what you see, join us on Sept 6 at 6:00 p.m. for our Summer batch Demo Day 
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