Transforming Idea into Monetisable App: How Ruben went from just an idea on paper to a workable MVP, winning the prestigious Mark Challenge and a monetisable app in the last 3 months?


Ruben Mena is the founder of a one stop communication platform for the yacht charter industry. He got the idea of building YACHTNOTES while completing his luxury management program in the Principality of Monaco. But it was just an idea on paper. It was frustrating for him because he didn’t know how to push this idea forward. Furthermore, he wasn’t an expert at building software.

That’s when he decided to participate in the Mark Challenge, a prestigious luxury business plan competition to push his idea forward. After he qualified for the finals of the Mark Challenge, we built a workable MVP in just 4 weeks using Glide before the finals which helped him win the Mark Challenge.

Since then, Ruben has been featured in Monégasque and American press. After two months of hard work to get branding and technology right, he has finally launched the app in the market. So from just an idea to a monetisable app, we have helped Ruben come a long way.

Tech involved: Glide, WhatsApp API automation

Industry: Business Intelligence Platforms
Use case: Beyond MVP
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
Company size: 1-10 employees
Stakeholders involved: Yacht brokerages, Yacht associations,
Charter guests, Yacht owners, Yacht owners family offices


YACHTNOTES is a concierge platform service to solve a huge communication problem in the yacht charter industry. Currently, yacht charter professionals are using a combination of text messages, emails and Whatsapp, which causes time and money to be wasted.

YACHTNOTES consolidates and standardises those communication channels to make communication easy for the world of yachting.

Is YACHTNOTES just another Whatsapp? Absolutely not, because its chats are organised by charter and the additional features are added to enhance the charter guest experience, facilitate teamwork among professionals, and promote transparency for yacht owners and/or family offices.

Client Success Story Video:

Watch the 10 minute video to see Ruben telling in his own words about YACHTNOTES and how we helped him win the Mark Challenge!


Originally from Texas, Ruben came to Monaco to get his master’s in Luxury Management from the International University of Monaco (IUM).

As a part of the master’s program, he had the opportunity to work in the yachting industry from July 2021 to Oct 2021.

He realised many communication problems there.

Yachting professionals, yacht owners and guests use a combination of WhatsApp, text messages and emails to communicate when a charter is live.

Different channels of communication are used at once and a charter manager receiving and redirecting such communications from stakeholders causes problems like:

  • potential misinformation to be relayed as it is summarised.

  • delays in communications to be received by the final recipient.

  • time wasted in the organisation of such communications.

The entrepreneurial mindset and environment he got at the IUM pushed him to pursue this idea further.

He started working on the deck, consulting different software developers, and taking feedback from his professors on his idea. While he was motivated to push forward, he came across an obstacle.

“It was frustrating because I didn’t know how to push this idea forward. I could only like make the idea better, continue working on my deck, make my business plan, and so on.”

That’s when he decided to participate in the Mark Challenge in 2023 to add legitimacy to his idea and take it forward.

It is a luxury business plan competition hosted yearly in the Principality of Monaco powered by IUM, where projects from 50+ nationalities are submitted.

He wanted to present a functional MVP of his idea in the Mark Challenge.

He was an expert in luxury management but not in building software. So, he started researching software companies that could help him build the software.


Ruben heard about us from his IUM classmate and close friend, Adarshh Kumar, who is currently a brand manager at Modernizing Processes.

Till the semi-finals in the Mark Challenge Ruben had the idea of YACHTNOTES just on the paper. He tied for 3rd place to qualify for the top 3 teams for finals.

“Modernizing Processes has done various projects and because of this, I felt confident that Modernizing Processes would more than succeed in helping us build this platform. Hence I decided to partnership with Modernizing Processes in order to create a demo of my software.”

Between finals and semi-finals, there were 4 weeks and that’s when Ruben decided to start working on building an actual MVP to present in the finals of the Mark Challenge.

Our business analyst, Shraddha, sat on a few calls with Ruben to get an understanding of the different features he wants to build. He wanted to build an MVP which was simple, clean and problem-solving.

We built the following features for YACHTNOTES:

1. Add roles & sub roles:

2. Designate roles to individuals for a given charter

3. Select yacht and charter to access charter tools

4. Charter chats:

All Chat: yacht professionals (in-office & onboard) + yacht owner / family office + charter guests

Team Chat: yacht professionals (in-office & onboard) + yacht owner / family office

Crew Chat: yacht professionals (onboard only)

5. Calendar: Monthly, weekly, and daily view of activities or reservation.

6. Map: Keeps track of stops for a given charter.

7. Contact Book

“We created the platform demo in just 4 weeks because of NoCode technology and presented the demo as a finalist in the Mark Challenge.”

It resulted in the following changes:

  • Ruben got a workable MVP to show in the Mark Challenge.

  • He could show this MVP to potential clients/investors.


We built the workable MVP using Glide before the Grand Finale of the Mark Challenge, and Ruben was able to present the MVP snapshots in the finals during his presentation.

For the first time, our app built using Glide was presented on the big screen and it surely helped Ruben stand out from his competitors because instead of just presenting wireframes he presented a workable MVP.

And what was the result? Ruben won the Mark Challenge in his category.

“I am very happy that I had this partnership with Modernizing Processes because the demo took my business plan to the next level and we got first place in the Mark challenge.”

Myself with Ruben in Monaco after he won the Mark Challenge (I was on my Baarah trip to Europe and met with Ruben in Week 4)

As a result of winning the Mark Challenge, Ruben got perks like:

  • 13 hours of free consulting with a luxury consulting company, Code Luxe.
  • insights into how to secure an investment from Angels For Women.
  • a digital networking device from VBC - Virtual Business Card.
  • YACHTNOTES was featured in the Principality’s press: Monaco Info and the Monaco Tribune

When asked about what will be his next steps after winning the Mark Challenge, here is what Ruben said:

“I will be working with my tech partner, Mr Manan Mehta, and he is the owner of Modernizing Processes. We are going to put our software to the test by working with the brokerage.”

After winning the Mark Challenge on May 16, 2023, he was meeting with potential investors, the press in the US, and the New Mexico government to take YACHTNOTES to the next level in the last 2 months.

His focus was to get YACHTNOTES branding and software right before the launch, and finally, YACHTNOTES is on the market since last 2 weeks.

From just an idea on paper to a workable MVP to winning the prestigious Mark Challenge to being featured in press to launching the app in the market for sale, Ruben has come a long way since working with us.

He successfully legitimised his idea by winning the Mark Challenge and now heading towards monetising it by working with his clients and raising funding to scale it even further.

When we asked him what is his biggest win till now, this is what he said:

“The biggest win probably is finding Modernizing Processes because I can have a very good idea, but if I don’t have the software team, what good is my idea? Our biggest relief has been finding Modernizing Processes and working together because that really pushes my idea forward.”

The 3 lessons you can learn from Ruben’s case study to build your next MVP better.

:one: Focus on the top three features and build them in real depth. So when your investors or your target audience ask you questions about these, you know everything.

It’s easier to build three things extremely well than to build ten things which are just “good enough”.

:two: Conduct thorough research into these chosen 3 features by asking your target audience about their most burning challenges. Then go deep to solve these burning challenges.

:three: Link these challenges with the potential repercussions.

It could either be the hope of saving time and money or the fear of losing money.

Tie down all the features to the possible consequence or possible outcome which makes it persuasive enough for people to pay attention.

Hence we focused on doing these three things very well & made a simple demo rather than a super complex app that confuses our end consumers.

We could always iterate to add more features later, but the first iteration had to be simple.

The result? Ruben won the Mark Challenge.

When we asked him, “Why should you feel people should come to work with us?”, here is what he said:

“If there is someone out there who is not sure if Modernizing Processes can help them build a very specific software. I tell them, go for it. If they helped me with the yachting industry, they can definitely help you.”

If you are a business owner with an innovative idea like Ruben but feeling frustrated for not being able to push your idea further and looking for a trustworthy team to quickly build a workable MVP, book a discovery call with us with the following link to discuss your project.

Let us help you take your idea to the next level and turn it into reality by building a workable MVP in 4 weeks or less using NoCode.

YACHTNOTES LLC Contact Details: