WAID founders, Jonas Aakenes and Karoline Saastad, present in Lebanon to assist Team Rubicon Norway’s operation to clean up after the explosion in Beirut in August 2020. Photo: Lejla Brackovic.

Business value:

Improved process management in humanitarian missions with no-code

WAID, a Norwegian startup originating at the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship, has with Appfarm’s no-code platform built a digital platform that collects all processes of mission planning and execution in one solution. WAID realised that developing this complete SaaS offering from scratch using a traditional development process would be too expensive and time-consuming for the early-stage startup. How did WAID embrace and leverage the no-code approach?

The WAID team were located at Startuplab during the summer of 2020 (Nikolai Dokken, Jonas Aakenes, Karoline Saastad and Simen Eide Næss)

When a humanitarian aid organisation deploys delegates for a mission, time is of the essence. In a matter of minutes, they need a total overview of the situation and the delegates that they have available, both before, during and after a mission. WAID asked, “How can we optimise and improve this mission process handling using digital technology?”. To set the plan in motion they turned to Appfarm and the first minimal-viable-product was built within a couple of weeks of working together. Following this, three WAID team members participated in a three-day training seminar to learn the needed skills to evolve, adapt and expand the product on their own, resulting in WAID.

WAID designed and built the solution together with different Norwegian humanitarian organisations, streamlining and automating their processes of deployment. It provides the administration with a better overview of the organisation’s resources and an easier way of establishing contact with and choosing their delegates when a disaster occurs. WAID drastically reduces time and efforts spent on mission preparedness and execution. “With WAID, our earlier manual processes have been totally digitized. We can finally use the time on what we want - deploy our volunteers on missions!”, says Frank Sandbye-Ruud, COO of Team Rubicon Norge.

The tech team of three during an intensive course of the Appfarm plattform February 2020

No-code provides startups with an accelerated product development process

Traditionally, building a digital product can turn into a troublesome affair. Not only are you dependent on hiring expensive software developers or using even more expensive external consultants, but you also run the risk of spending too long time developing the wrong product. Not performing user testing in potential markets might lead to a poor product-market fit. To prevent this, an iterative product development process including actively testing user needs and market attractiveness is essential.

It is more legitimate and valuable to be able to quickly set up a working demo with actual interactions when we are testing the solution in the market - Karoline Saastad, WAID
Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

A no-code tool like Appfarm Create can therefore be a gamechanger for an innovative product development process. It lowers the threshold to kick-start your innovative digital offering and accelerates time-to-market. WAID had a very short runway to create a commercialised product, and a no-code approach suited their product and business model well. As Appfarm Create allows digital entrepreneurs to quickly establish a working proof-of-concept, WAID could receive feedback to conclude if their product solved the problem they believed humanitarian organisations were facing. Finally, with a working prototype and thus an efficient feedback loop WAID received the confirmation they needed to step into the market.

What’s next for WAID?

Not only did no-code enable WAID to quickly establish a functioning product but as Karoline Saastad, co-founder at WAID, describes, “with several non-technical entrepreneurs, Appfarm gives us a headstart to get our feet in the door as a digital startup”. The competence they have today includes the necessary skills to further develop and expand their software product using Appfarm Create.

Ultimately, WAID is a prime example of Appfarm’s mission of making digital innovation accessible to digital innovators and startups. For startups like WAID, a no-code platform such as Appfarm is a great way to shorten time-to-market. So, what’s next for WAID? “To extend the project by enrolling more organisations and expanding our team,” says Karoline. “We will continue to use Appfarm Create when developing the software”. We wish them the best of luck!