Student entrepreneurship is a juggle: Hear it from the 21-year-old founders of Umi-versity

At a restaurant, in a cab, while waiting for your turn at a clinic- how many times have you had a startup idea that got you all excited?

The real challenge lies in taking your idea beyond that first aha moment, especially when you are a student with limited resources.  

But Utpal Nadiger and Vishwas Shanbhag, two 21-year-olds of PES University in Bengaluru, have crossed that first major roadblock and are now on their way to launch their own startup while still in college.

The two final year students of Electronics and Communication Engineering are all set to pilot their app Umi-versity which aims to make life more comfortable for the average college student.

Utpal Nadiger and Vishwas Shanbhag, 21-year-old founders of Umi-versity
Utpal Nadiger and Vishwas Shanbhag, 21-year-old founders of Umi-versity

The app has four verticals, each to solve a problem that college students typically face. The first feature they are rolling out is ‘Khaane Me Kya Hai?’ using which students can order food from restaurants close to their college while still in class. That way, they won’t have to spend their short lunch breaks waiting for their meal.

The three other verticals-Bolt Pool, Pass on Accommodation, and Pass on Accessories-will take care of transportation, accommodation, and accessories, all essential for college students.

The past several months have been a balancing act for Utpal and Vishwas, attending college without losing steam on their startup. Utpal who plays first division league cricket for the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) and for his college, even finds time to attend regular practice.

It’s been a lot of hustling but the two have learned some lessons that they now want to share with other aspiring student entrepreneurs! Here it goes!

#1 Execute ASAP!

The solution to not letting your idea remain just that is to start executing as soon as you can.

“At first we thought our idea was too simple and we were not sure about executing it. We spent three to four months just discussing. But I would tell other student entrepreneurs that they should just begin working as soon as possible,” Vishwas said.

#2 Let your college know that you are working on something useful

Starting up when you’re in college means you still have to make it to your classes on time, maintain your attendance, and your grades.

“It helps if your college knows that you’re using your time well. In our case, PES has been very supportive of extra-curricular activities,” Utpal said.

#3 Start saving seriously

Of course, a business needs a lot more to take off than just your pocket money. But it helps to have some savings of your own to take care of the first few spends.

Vishwas had been saving his pocket money for several years and Utpal saved money from his cricket allowance. The two even invested in Bitcoin when the cryptocurrency was its peak. They do have plans to get funding but until then, they are staying afloat with savings and a little help from family.

#4 Find a co-founder in college

Your relationship with your co-founder matters a great deal for the success of your company. College is a great place to make friends with like-minded people.

“It helps that we both think alike. We have known each other from the beginning of college so we trust each other,” Vishwas said.

They know each other’s working style and being great friends has helped them become great co-workers as well.

Watch their website to know when the App is launched!

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