By The Startups: Community & Platform for Startups and SMEs
Any community or platform nurtured by values, commitment, trust and knowledge becomes an asset to the nation and, in general, to the humanity. And this week, Shweta, Founder -Team Exploring Startups interviews Mrs.Gayathri Rajesh of Coimbatore, TamilNadu (South India), founder – SearchnScore and By The Startups, a platform for Startups and SMEs.
Tell us about yourself.
GR: I am the founder of an IT firm SearchnScore (www.searchnscore.com) and I also developed By The Startups, a platform for Startups, both of which is based in Coimbatore. I am a mom of two pretty daughters and gifted with a loving and intelligent (If I may say) husband Mr.Rajesh, an MBA Graduate and an entrepreneur. Mr. Rajesh offered me the much required thrust and impetus, early on, to start SearchnScore in 2011, an uphill task for me being a homemaker and today, it has come a long way with the dedicated support of my Tech team comprising Sabitha, Usha, Preethi, Sheeba, John, Sundar, et al, all standing beside me like a ‘beacon of light’.
Tell us about your IT Development firm ‘SearchNScore’ and its growth over the years.
GR: I have about 8+ years of experience in Organic SEO, SEM, Content Development & Editing, ORM, PPC and Digital Marketing. Thanks to a UK based employer that implanted the desire and will in me to start my own IT development firm, based out of Coimbatore, called SearchnScore in 2011. SearchnScore today boasts of a wide range of local, national and global clients including several Startups & SMEs. SearchnScore is totally bootstrapped and comprises a team of proficient and talented Web Designers, Testers, Software Developers, Copy writers, SEO, SEM Analysts, Print, Creatives and Video production team.
Tell us about ‘By The Startups’ platform and how it’s been able to make an impact on the Startup ecosystem.
GR: It turned out, out of experience, that I wanted to help Startups in the region; I developed the platform ‘By The Startups’ last year, with the help of my long-term mentee Shameer, with a dream to translate all my efforts into a collaborative platform for Startups, Small Businesses and related Initiatives.
What problem does ‘By The Startups’ solve?
GR: I always felt that an integrated platform for Startups providing all the services right from the process of registration through to mentoring, education and funding is the need of the hour. At the end of the day, any business should serve as a platform for solving problems, and that was the idea behind ‘By The Startups’, garnering the entire Startup ecosystem under a single viable platform so as to augment value to the Startup, SME & Early stage venture community across the region, marked by a pan India presence.
Startups present themselves with problems like lack of access to quality mentors and like-minded professionals to validate their ideas and support their core activities early on. Lack of availability of funding or investment is ‘a pain in the neck’ for early stage Startups. By The Startups strives to fill the gap so that even the startup newbies get to play the game on a level field alongside established players.
Can you throw more light on how you actually help the Startup ecosystem?
GR: I am glad, today, to see that By The Startups has transformed itself to be a close-knit community of Startups, SME, SMBs, Early stage ventures, connecting them and even aspiring Student Startups with Mentors, Angel Investors, VCs, Startup, Business Consultants, Early Adopters, Seed Funds, Incubators, Accelerators, Trainers, Academicians and Startup Communities. We have covered a lot of initiatives related to Startup entrepreneurship development and Startup Community building, hangout and meets on our platform, sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. As a community & platform, we have been able to connect the vast pool of student’s and academic community with the knowledge and expertise of Startup entrepreneurs, Consultants and Professionals from a range of areas through organized cells and regular Startups meets.
Tell us about your eco-partners.
We are tied up with a range of eco-partners including Startups Club, The Mentorpreneurs, Shine ADA (Singapore), Be a Change, Finance Mentor, Startup CFOs and KS Legal & Associates, with more associates on the anvil.
How has been the journey so far?
We are tied up with 8 mentor firms on a strategic basis, thereby promoting and hosting Eco-partners’ meets locally in the region and helping the ecosystem develop both in terms of quantity and quality with a local Startup pool. We have formed a dynamic community, both offline and online, and ‘All women Entrepreneurship cell (AWEC) with a working plan. We have co-hosted several startup events as ‘Event outreach and community partners’ including Women Power 2016, Conclave & Demo Day, IPR Symposium hosted by The Mentropreneur, Karpagam College of Engineering, Startups Club & IIPRD respectively.
More recently, By The Startups was invited by the Nehru Group of Intuitions in Coimbatore for hosting an intense workshop for startup entrepreneurship for the student community in the premises for the first time, and by this, an interface between the Startup industry and academia was realized. By The Startups has been lauded by the regional startups and community associates including Yourstory Tamil for our efforts in building the community in networking platforms including Whatsap and a strong Facebook community of close to 13,000 members online (at the time of story release).
The integrated effort of a quality PR site for Startups & SMEs and a community, platform is a cut above the rest when it comes to packaging and value and this also presents itself as a real challenge for a sustainable model in the future.
What are your future plans?
By The Startups would look towards connecting all potential funding, mentoring and Startup consulting sources with unique Startup pool available in the region, with a pan India presence. We are also working to organize startup job fair events and create job opportunities for talented and skilled homemakers and differentially abled individuals through tailor-made job fair events.
One of my most favorite quotes on ‘Change’ by Buckminster Fuller, the great futurist, is
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller