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Schoolapps

http://schoolapps.org

The Venture
Schoolapps is a bunch of web applications hosted in the  cloud purely for schools. Schools can directly connect over the WEB and  use applications that suit their needs. It could be online Admissions, an  Information Database, Exam Assessments Reporting, a Parent interface for  communications, manage their fees etc., a lot of apps. The SAAS model keeps  schools away from all the IT hazels, maintenance upgrades and IT  investments. 

It was  the evolution of what the Schoolapps team experimented in the initial years of  its development, and some of their consulting work.

The People
Nihar Kalghati, the  founder of Schoolapps, learnt some technology with a degree in computer  engineering from the University of Pune in 2004. He then joined a start-up, an  IT services company, only later to understand that IT outsourcing is a done job  for start-ups with the industry being 30 years old. In 2005 Nihar had an  option to join CDAC as a research engineer or join another startup. He later  chose to join Idea Wings with the core team to build Multiplayer Mobile games.  He cheekily exclaims that he would probably be the first in the world to do so.  Nihar then got a chance to fool around with all mobile technologies and that's  where he learned the trick to start up."There  was no decision to do so", he says, and thinks it was embedded. Finally, he  answered the call in 2006 deciding it was the right time to manifest.

...On Mentoring and MentorEdge
Nihar got associated  with the MentorEdge program sometime last year (2010). However, he had been  closely watching CIIE's initiative since 2004. 

This is what he has to  say about their mentor Mr. KC Bhushan, whom he met in Pune at a MentorEdge  event in June last year - "He has been  tremendously critical in all decision making processes, which has definitely  changed the way we are projecting our track. He has been there and done that;  so it's helpful in the abstract areas of the start-up. Most importantly I look  at him as signal Guy, a third person looking at you from outside, who can exactly give  you the directions."

The Schoolapps team has  been more concerned on the Product development and the sales strategy. However,  they think that there are a lot of small aspects when it comes to selling and,  it is where entrepreneurs mostly lack.

The Road Ahead
The Schoolapps team  would like to take their venture across India. Mr. KC Bhushan has been  helping them with strategies and his network. The team is also looking forward  to formalize the relationship with Mr. Bhushan by getting into an equity mode  once the company grows and spreads across the country.

They claim that the  motivation, feedback, support from him has been tremendous and with his help  they are sure to reach greater heights in the years to come.

The Learning
When asked about the major takeaways from the MentorEdge  initiative, Nihar marks, "I love  the way it's informal. No eligibility. And yes, you meet people in the  industry who are willing to mentor you, and you also get to make the choice.  It's like you have to find the right match." 

He further adds, "Mentor is all you need to start up. It's  now that we are terming the person as a Mentor; earlier it usually was some  close friend or an associate who could give you  valuable suggestions. Be it any field, you do need a mentor. And it's  also important that the mentor is equally excited and willing to except you." 

Nihar believes that one  need not be successful to mentor somebody.   If one has enough work done on the field, he thinks one can make a good  mentor. It all depends where one wants to take the start up.

One major learning,  Nihar hereby wishes to share with all entrepreneurs is to go to the market as  quickly as possible with the mantra "First Sell, then build".