Colangels has developed a platform for startup ecosystem fostering mentors, investors, hiring talent, alliances, etc.
About the founders
a) Shruti Kaur (Director – Growth): Shruti hails from Ranchi and has been predominantly into teaching. It is rightly said “A teacher is like a candle-it consumes itself to light the way for others”; and that’s what the co-founder of Colangels -Shruti believes in and thus came up with the idea of Colangels. Shruti has done her MBA & B.ed. from Ranchi University.
b) Simran Chhabra(Director – Recruitments): The idea was initiated by Simran during her stint with her first job at Beam Commerce where-in she was looking to do an alliance with Flipkart but did not know whom to reach out to. She connected with a couple of category managers but that did not help. Reaching out to the right person became a big problem. Simran has done her MBA from Amity University & was into recruitments before starting Colangels.
a) Aman Singh(COO) – Did his graduation from BIT, Mesra & a post graduate diploma from Stanford University, United States. Have been working in the ecommerce/retail/recruitment industry since last 7+ years.
b) Prateek Lamechwal(CSO) – Did his graduation from Jain College, Bangalore & has been handling family business since then. He us a fitness enthusiast and is a certified sports nutritionist apart from being a part of Colangels.
The idea came in from problems we were facing in our corporate life. The idea was initiated by Simran during her stint with her first job at Beam Commerce where-in she was looking to do an alliance with Flipkart but did not know whom to reach out to. She connected with a couple of category managers but that did not help. Reaching out to the right person became a big problem.
At Colangels, this problem is addressed by reaching out directly to the Alliances head/Co-founder of the respective company by sending a message to help synergise & grow exponentially. Colangels does a 5-step verification at the background to make sure the message reaches out to the right person.
We always came across multiple websites which showcase the name of mentors but it has always been at the jurisdiction of that website if they would be connecting us to a mentor which ideally flushes out some of the great ideas which start-up founders have.
Colangels provides the ease to reach out to the best of Mentors & Investors globally across Industries to help Start-up entrepreneurs validate/scale up their idea. And this can be done just by sending them the elevator pitch at a press of a button.
Aman met Prateek through a friend – Priyank in Bangalore (Priyank was with Aman in MBA).
Aman and Prateek joined the venture last year after Aman got married to Shruti.
Q.: About the investors
Ans: The venture is bootstrapped but we might be looking to raise funds around Mid-2019 when we look at entering SEA market.
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: The start-up industry specifically in India is moving from a nascent stage to a more mature stage & thus needs mentorship so that they can move in the right direction without burning a lot of cash and resources.getting funded in the county was much easier 4-5 years back than what it is now.Thus, this is the best time to create a platform from where entrepreneurs can learn from others’ mistakes, do alliances with other ventures to grow exponentially and get connected to veterans from their industry to have a detailed idea on the same.
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Colangels is a tech platform to simplify and bolster the footings across all verticals for startups, to synergies with mentors, budding talent, aggregating co-working spaces and investors for angels and crowd funding investments.
We started around 2.5 years back as a Recruitment consultancy. But then we saw a lot of startups coming up but no such platform that would actually give them a chance to connect with investors or mentors which can actually help scale things up.
So we created a tech platform in which you can directly reach out to Mentors from different domains through our platform without any hassle & intervention. To ensure that the Mentors & Investors do not get bombarded with Spam messages we have gratified the platform with a measuring unit called ‘ANGELS’. You earn 150 Angels when you register on the platform, You earn 100 Angels when you complete your entire profile, You earn Angels when you send recommendation to your connections.
You burn Angels when you try to do an Alliance, when you connect with a Mentor or Investor. And the burn of Angels while we connect to a featured mentor or investor is high so that start-up founders use the Angels wisely.
In coming months, we would be doing crowd-funding campaigns for social start-ups which have a clear monetisation model in place. For now, we earn out of hiring done through our platform for Internships & Jobs. We help companies like ShopX, Chaayos, Instamojo, Unicommerce, Alibaba, Flipkart, Milkbasket, etc. hire people. We do not charge anything for connecting entrepreneurs with Mentors or Investors.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learnings that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have atleast one of them signed up?
Our target audience (Ideal Customer) is :
a) Working Professionals looking for Jobs & Networking.
b) College students looking for Jobs, Internships & to connect with Mentors.
c) Mentors/ Investors.
d) Start-ups looking to connect with Mentors/Investors.
e) Start-ups looking to hire professionals for Job & internship.
We have a user base of 10,000+ users since the launch of the online platform.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans: The platform is free of cost. Any respective stakeholder can get registered on the platform and connect with evangelists across geographies & industries. The objective behind that is to create an eco-system of start-ups to connect with each other and grow exponentially.
Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Ans: Getting the first customer for you startup is a bliss! Nobody can forget that. Getting initial customers was through references & prior work experience. We always believed in starting small, but making sure that we do something which is scalable & provides an extra-ordinary experience to our clients. Our initial clients were ShopX, GoFynd, Unicommerce, PayTM, etc.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: Our vision is to become an epitome of the startup industry helping start-ups scale up exponentially by connecting them with Mentors, hiring talent, doing alliances, etc.
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: This market is bound to grow exponentially as start-ups are growing not only in India but in countries like Israel, Philippines, Brazil, etc. The uniqueness about our platform is that we are trying to help start-ups end-to-end and this getting enabled through technology helps us to scale this up big-time.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Ans: There’s no single competitor which we can mention. There can be multiple platforms for hiring like Linkedin, iimjobs, Naukri, etc. but the closest one for us would be AngelList.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: Till last month we had 10000+ users in 5 months since launch of the platform. We are looking at a lac. users in the coming months and by the end of 2020 we are looking at a user base of a million users.
We are looking to go Global in mid-2019 when we enter SEA & that’s when we will take Indian talent from tier-1 colleges to SEA for Internships & Full-time placements as there is a massive increase in demand for Indian talent.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: Having a clear understanding of the domain & figuring out the problem you are looking to solve is something which one must be very clear about. One should do a pilot before venturing out to a new business. Also, figure out that if the market is big enough for a new entrant . Also, one should also understand if the venture is capital-intensive or not & move accordingly.
Q.: Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: Colangels has officially been affiliated to the Jharkhand government and would be helping start-ups in the state grow exponentially. Infact, IAS Sunil Burnwal (Industries Secretary, Jharkhand Govt.) quoted, “This is one of the finest & promising tech platforms I have come across in the country”.
A) Mentors/Investors we have on board with us :
Ankit Khandelwal(COO, Unicommerce)
Vijay Shekhar Sharma(|Founder, PayTM)
Nitin Jain(Co-founder, OfBusiness)
Bhavna Agarwal(|CEO, NDTV Gadgets360)
Sahil Barua(CEO, Delhivery)
Narinder Singh(|MD, Numero Uno)
B) Clients (Corporate Partners) :
Alibaba, Amazon, Chaayos, Flipkart, ShopX, Unicommerce, Roposo, Urban Ladder, Instamojo, etc.
We also have an official partnership with Internshala which enables us to inculcate growing start-ups hire the best of interns across different verticals.