Philip Kasumu decided one day that he wanted six-pack abs.
This obsession developed into a strong passion for overall nutrition and healthy living, which is now the main focus of his entrepreneurial journey. On a mission to help people gain control of their health through nutrition, Philip developed an app called Scanbite. New to the tech industry, he started a podcast as a way to build relationships with industry leaders and gain influence for his app.
We got the inside scoop on the evolution of Philip’s 2 startups, and learned three of his favorite tips for succeeding as a tech startup. Keep reading to learn what it takes to build a successful business with a mission and check out Philip’s page and game-changing app.
Could you share with us a little about your company, Scanbite?
Scanbite is a nutrition app that helps people make better choices about what they eat. We want people to feel like they have a personal nutritionist in their pocket at all times. We are currently a team of 4.
You clearly have a very zealous passion for nutrition. How did you first become interested in nutrition and why is it such an obsession for you?
This is going to sound really self-indulgent, but one day I decided that I really wanted abs! I have always trained and been into lifting, but never had chiseled abs and I wanted them.
I then got really obsessed with not only wanting abs but also wanting to be a lot more healthy and fit.
And that’s when it started – I delved into nutrition and couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t doing it! Not just for abs, but for general health; to prevent diseases, to prevent cancer, for longevity of life, better skin, better hair, happiness, mental health, obesity, etc. Good nutrition has the power to really improve people’s lives, more than they think.
I felt this need to try and do something to “share the good news” so-to-speak. And once my eyes were opened, there was no going back.
Can you tell us how you came up with the idea for your app, Scanbite? Was it a moment of striking inspiration or a constant need you recognized?
Scanbite came out of pivot from our first product Bodypage. Bodypage was a health and fitness hub to encourage people to share their fitness journeys, read articles on fitness and nutrition, and get discount codes on healthy alternatives.
We did alright initially with no money, but we found that people weren’t using the app in the way we wanted them too. However, we found that people kept coming back to the app to read nutrition articles, which was interesting.
So after loads of user interviews, reading data, and a lot of pride-swallowing, Scanbite was born.
What problem are you solving with your app?
At this present moment in time there are more overweight people on earth than ever before. That reason alone highlights the magnitude of the problem we are trying to solve.
People aren’t as healthy as they should be, and a massive contributing factor to that is the lack of nutritional literacy. It shouldn’t be easier to know what Kim Kardashian is wearing today than it is to know how your body works and what you should be eating.
We want to make healthy eating and food labels transparent so people have everything they need to be healthy.
Who would benefit most from using your app? Why?
Someone who is slightly overweight, unhealthy, and wants to take full control over his or her health. I say that because we want to help those that need it the most.
Sure we want 10 million downloads and paying customers when we start to monetize. But if only 100 overweight people use this app to improve their way of living, in my opinion, we never failed. That’s 100 lives mended and 100 people who are not only happy with our product, but will be happy with their lives.
You also have a podcast called Startup Handmedowns. Did this come before or after the start of Scanbite? How has it evolved?
Startup Handemdowns came after Scanbite and has grown more quickly than we imagined it would. It’s basically a second startup, which was not our intention initially.
We started the podcast as a way to network and build a name for ourselves in the tech startup scene here in London. My co-host Ranbir (head of product at Sweatcoin) and I didn’t have a strong network and we were quite new to this world. We also didn’t have mentors and still had loads of questions. So, we thought a podcast would be a cool way to meet impressive people and learn from them, but more importantly build great relationships, which has been the best thing about it so far.
We’ve built our social media to over 10,000 followers in less than 4 months and we will be looking to take on sponsorship for season 2, so it’s going really well!
What are the top 3 lessons you’ve learned from interviewing founders, investors, and thought leaders in the tech industry?
Tough to pick a top 3 but if I had to:
- Keep going and never give up. Sounds so obvious, but it’s so important to keep going and that’s something most of our guests have said as well.
- Marketing is all about testing channels. Then, once you’ve found the 2 or 3 that work, double down on them. Triple down on them!
- As a startup, you should always do your own PR. Never pay for it in the early days.
Tapping into your main obsession, what are your personal nutrition habits or regimens that keep you at an optimal healthy state?
At the moment, I train 5 times a week — every morning at 7am, which helps a lot. I’m currently eating loads of raw vegetables. For example, you might catch me eating a big red pepper, an apple, or a big juicy tomato. I mostly drink water and generally try and get as much variety in my diet as possible.
I always have eggs in the morning no matter what, and oats with nuts, berries and almond milk. That for breakfast after a workout is everything — keeps me full for a very long time.
Throughout the day, it’s mostly lean meats or fish and something with carbs and vegetables. I’m a startup founder so I’m not too picky when it comes to food.
My advice to people when it comes to healthy living and eating is this:
It’s not about counting calories, it’s about watching the content of what you eat. People love to count calories and if that’s you, that’s fine. But what are you eating? What’s nutritional value of those calories? Because you can eat 1000 calories a day and not eat any real food, which is where most people get it wrong.