At SV.CO, we love entrepreneurs. We love how they come from all age groups and with various product ideas. When we started off in 2012, we kept our doors open to anyone and everyone who was tinkering around with the idea of starting up.
However, we definitely had a soft-corner for students who were starting up while in college because, not too long ago, we ourselves were students who were keen on building a technology startup from college. We understood them better and were able to relate to them better.
Every challenge that they'd face as first-time entrepreneurs, we'd already faced them while in college.
In 2015, we decided to focus exclusively on students so that we serve them really well and build the SV.CO platform keeping the students in mind.
Decision to go software product startups only
As soon as we decided to go students only, we started putting thought into what kind of startups students are able to build best. We'd seen students try out multiple streams and find it really difficult to survive in some. Students excel in building products of all kinds, however, fail miserably when it comes to manufacturing and distribution at scale. We realised that it takes some level of connections and experience before students really learn how to crack manufacturing and distribution at scale.
However, all the student teams that went for software only ideas, faced no such challenges. The phenomenon called the Internet had truly democratized software distribution and reduced the action to just the click of a button.
App Store, PlayStore, Product Hunt, SaaS business models and what not. Finding your first users and having them pay for the service your product offers was now a cake-walk.
Software startups also provided few key advantages, especially for college students
- All it took was a team with some programming talent, a laptop and an internet connection to build a fully functional product.
- It practically cost nothing since AWS credits and other freebies were available for students to really experiment and build products.
- It could practically be build within the 4 walls of colleges, students didnt' have to travel anywhere, acquire land and setup factories, hire a workforce etc. like in the old times
- There were plenty of students in every college who were familiar with internet products and knew how to write and make them.
- Choosing to build a software product startup opened up global opportunities for students anywhere. They were no longer restricted to solving local and national problems. As long as they were able to solve a problem well, they'd find customers across the globe.
Last, but not the least, we had strong internal expertise on how to build a SaaS model startup. Vishnu Gopal, our beloved CTO was one of the first engineers to work on Slideshare. Vishnu started off writing the first lines of code for Slideshare leaving the company only when it'd hit over 100,000 users. This helps Vishnu offer actionable, relevant and experience based advice on building and rapidly scaling a software product startups.
All of the above factors made us a platform that primarily help students who wish to build software product startups while in college.
P.S. We still non-software product startups can benefit from SV.CO. Here's our thinking around it.
We are of the opinion that learning to build a startup is hard, and building hardware / agri-tech / IoT startup is harder. So we start with an easy domain (like software products) and then teach first-time founders the ropes of how to build a good startup.
Once founders learn the basic steps (Idea Discovery, Prototyping, Customer Validation), it's easy for them to apply to a hardware or mechanical engineering product.
You can apply to our program here: www.sv.co/join