Meet the startup bringing in a new wave of innovation to online shopping

22 Feb, 2021

From a Mercedes-Benz engineer to Founder & CEO of Designhubz, we caught up with Nadim Habr, who is transforming shopping with an augmented reality (AR) enabled try-on experience and powerful AI personalization engine that boosts buying confidence, drastically reducing returns.

What did you do before becoming an entrepreneur? What inspired you to switch? 
I started my career as an engineer for Mercedes-Benz before founding Designhubz. I was always passionate about learning and exploring the tech ecosystem, using innovative solutions to solve real-world problems – which eventually inspired me to become an entrepreneur.

What inspired the idea behind Designhubz?
Designhubz started as a web-based 3D visualization and collaboration engine for real estate. We soon pivoted our focus toward providing a 3D engine for eCommerce brands and retailers. We built our product with a mission to solve the problem of the high number of product returns, helping our partners sell more items.

Today, Designhubz empowers both eCommerce websites and apps with 3D & Virtual Try-On AR with an AI Recommendations Engine, that enables a hyper-personalized shopping experience.

How did you find your way to Hub71? What attracted you to the global tech ecosystem?
Designhubz was part of the 2020 Techstars Hub71 Accelerator program. After Techstars, we applied to join the Hub71 community and got accepted onto its Incentive Program.

Our vision is to scale our technology internationally from Hub71, and we believe that it will become one of the leading tech ecosystems and emerge as a foundation for global tech growth in the future. 

How has your experience been at Hub71?
So far it has been a positive experience, without a doubt! Hub71 is one of the largest tech ecosystems in the region. It is the perfect platform for startups, VCs and technology-focused corporates who want to be at the forefront of innovation. Hub71 empowers its community and provides startups with the right resources to scale globally.  

What markets do you hope to enter in the next 12 months?
Designhubz is currently operational in the GCC, India and the US. In the next 12 months, we are planning to strengthen our position in the US and enter the UK market.

What sets you apart from other startups in your sector?
Designhubz is part of 500 Startups’ Global Launch Program. Backed by Techstars, we are working with some of the largest global brands such as Microsoft, Google, and Oracle. This reinforces that our technology is one of the most advanced in the industry, and our mission is to be at the forefront of innovation.

Can you share some key learnings you’ve gained during your journey as an entrepreneur?
In the beginning, when building on our Minimum Viable Product (MVP), we used to brainstorm and create solutions focusing on the problems we thought customers had rather than the problems they actually had. We then scrapped most of the features we had built and started over with a completely different approach that was tailored to our customers. One of my key learnings is to always listen to your customer and take their feedback.

It’s also not easy to get something right the first time. We had to change our solution many times and pivot to other directions before things started to work for us. Therefore, it's important to note that in any business venture, perseverance is key.

What advice would you give anyone who’s considering starting up for themselves?
Always start with a problem, not with an idea. Make sure you are solving a real problem. Talk to customers, listen to their feedback, and iterate your solution based on that. Customers are the starting point and the destination. Also, make sure you have a great team as they will be responsible for your success or failure. Be passionate about the problem you are solving and never give up. Focus, have a sense of urgency and do everything with the will to succeed.

To find out more about Designhubz
To join the Hub71 Incentive Program