A first of its kind Islamic mindfulness app has won the top prize at AUT‘s entrepreneurship challenge, X Challenge. Mindful Muslim, created by former AUT student Mohd Akhtaar won over $20,000 in prize money for his idea, beating out 187 other entrants.
Mohd created the app to help his fellow Muslims better their emotional wellbeing and mental health through Islamic stories told in the form of guided talk downs at bedtime.
The app was already well established at the time of the X Challenge, growing its membership by over 10,000 users per month. It was also well received by its users, with a 4.9 (out of 5) rating on the Google Play Store.
While the idea of guided sleep talk downs was not new in general, Mohd identified the gap in the market through his own experience working long hours as Director of a digital marketing agency. “I found it difficult to wind down and tried to look for an app that could help. The mindfulness apps that already existed didn’t fit in with Islamic principles, so seeing a gap in the market, I decided to create my own,” he says.
While proving to be a tremendous commercial success, the way the app resonates with its users has been of particular importance to Mohd. “Every piece of feedback means so much to me, knowing that I might be making a small impact or contribution to the world gives me the fuel I need to keep going,’ he commented.
Mohd also gives the nod to his time at AUT as crucial in his skills for startup development and management, having as a student, been involved with AUT‘s entrepreneur programmes like Co.Starters and X Challenge. Those programmes in turn then put him into contact with partner mentors like Rudi Bublitz from Flying Kiwi Angel, and Frayne Cooke, Co-Founder of Well Revolution.
By spending time in these AUT entrepreneurship programmes, it also put Mohd and his Mindful Muslim app idea in front of real investors like entrepreneur Derek Handley. He made a considerable investment into the app’s development.
Mohd’s has now been able to work full time on the app, and is looking to expand into other markets like the Uk and the US soon.
The app is currently available on Android devices and will be coming soon to iOS.