The Startup changing the Rules of Employee Experience — Interview with Bilva

Looking to transform employee experience in the workplace, startup Bilva, incubated through Bridge's collaboration with LEINN MTA, is focused on finding innovative workplace solutions to meet their market's needs.

Meet Bilva

Bilva are strong believers in the notion that an empowered employee experience can generate great changes in worker satisfaction, productivity and loyalty.

The empowerment of employees is the philosophy of giving autonomy, resources and support to the company’s team members to act independently and with the capacity to make decisions.

 The objective of giving greater freedom and responsibility generates a considerable improvement in the results of the company, the team members and the clients.

Starting up: “We’d fallen in love with the problem, not the solution”

The idea for Bilva came about when Co-founders and CEO’s David Larrinaga and Iñigo Matesanz spotted a gap in the market which they felt needed to be solved. Almost 2 years ago, they started a process within their university degree called specialization, which involved selecting one of the UN’s sustainable development objectives, investigating this problem, and proposing different solutions. For Bilva, they selected the third ODS, “Health and Well-being”, more specifically the problem of sedentary people – they wanted to encourage the population to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle:

“Different solutions came out of this process, but none of them were very original. But we didn’t care, we had found our motivation and we’d fallen in love with the problem, not with the solution. We really saw that we wanted to make a change within that area, so we continued working to come up with a more viable solution.”

Months later, they found the employee’s experience. They saw that people spend much of their time at work, so decided if they could improve the experience of the workers they could improve their standard of living, while improving the results of the company.

The Bilva Model to facilitate improved employee experience

The Bilva team aims to increase the performance of companies by improving the experience of employees through two different services.

The first is a consulting service, where they carry out a precise diagnosis of the employee’s experience, detect the challenges and design solutions. Once this process has been completed, they implement the action plan, relying on their network of collaborators, including partners specialized in the health and welfare sector. 

On the other hand, they’re developing a software, the Bilva Index, which allows them to constantly monitor employee experience within companies to collect data to create predictive and prescriptive models. 

Click here to watch a video on how Bilva is transforming employee experience

Overcoming Challenges: “we try to show them that being young is not a weakness”

When  the Bilva team started out, they  had to face some difficult challenges. The first one, as mentioned, was that they’d taken a good look at the problem, but couldn’t manage to find an original solution to overcome it.  They had to constantly explore the market to better understand what kind of solution could fit their potential customers. 

According to the team, another challenge they faced was their age.  Working in the HR sector,  they need to get into the “heart” of each business they work with quickly. They say at first, many were reluctant to trust such young entrepreneurs. To tackle this, they  try to show them that being young is not a weakness but a strength. By 2025, 75% of workers will be “millennials”, and who better to understand this generation than millennials themselves.

They say their biggest fear was not being able to come up with a solution that would really bring value to the market. They have carried out many projects during their 4 years at LEINN, but many times felt that these projects were not what the clients needed so they took actionable steps to ensure this wasn’t the case with Bilva:

“At Bilva, we’ve  focused a lot on listening to the client and empathizing with the client’s situation. We didn’t want to carry out another project that would be finished in 2 months, but to really work on a problem and play our part.”

Highlights so far 

However, it’s not all been challenges, the team have already experienced some incredible highlights on their journey so far including these over the past year:

  • Achieving two new clients
  • Collaborating with a local company on the cultural transformation of businesses 
  •  Working with HR and computer engineer profiles
  •  Diffusion in local newspapers and radio 
  • Winners of the ExplorerbyX incubation program at the San Sebastian headquarters, promoted by Santander

A future of “People Analytics”

Looking to the future, the team say that in the next few months they want to work on developing the company set up to really make the project a reality. On the other hand, they want to focus more and more on the concept of “People Analytics” which they believe is where the true value proposition of Bilva Index will lie. They’re aiming to launch this in January 2021. Finally, in order to keep moving forward, they’re hoping to reach new clients and enter into an accelerator ecosystem. 

They believe that in the next few years, Bilva can become a go to company as an employee experience platform. 

Join Us.

If you didn’t know, we’re on a mission to democratize access to entrepreneurship education. We support early-stage entrepreneurs in developing the businesses our society needs through our 3 month, online program, The Leap.

If, like these founders, you want to develop your project with us and join the purpose-driven movement, click  here.

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