Bianca Gfrei
Co-Founder and CEO of kiweno

© Marko Mestrovic

Q: What is the first thing you do after waking up?

A: I go for a daily fresh vegetable juice instead of coffee. Preferably homemade for sure!

Keep moving forward, even without guarantees

Founding was not my initial plan. I wanted to solve a personal problem, as I have been suffering from severe food intolerances and found it very tiring to invest so much time, money and energy into finally receiving a diagnosis. I started looking into the process and realized there was a lot of room for innovation. With my two co-founders on board, I began a project that soon developed into a real business. We encountered a lot of difficulties between the initial idea and the launch, which was almost three years later. The hardest part was to always keep on believing in ourselves.

Founding a startup is an emotional rollercoaster ride and you will not get far if you let hard days drag you down. That’s when you really get to appreciate your team, learn how to find creative solutions and, most importantly, encounter your own limits and learn how to outgrow them. Today, I can’t imagine anything I’d rather do than run my own company. I learn something new every day, make decisions and act fast – even if I don’t have any guarantees that it will all work out.

Bianca Gfrei, 26, is the co-founder and CEO of kiweno. She started her enterpreneurial career in 2014 and was elected Enterpreneur of the Year by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce in 2016. kiweno’s mission is to empower personal healthcare via at-home blood tests and appealing visualizations of medical data. Prior to founding kiweno, which employs 25 professionals, Bianca worked for Swarovski and was Managing Director of icons, a junior enterprise.

This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.