Student Entrepreneurs: “The most important thing is you can afford to fail.” – Sumit Sinha, Co-Founder, Collegewires


Briefly describe Collegewires

Collegewires was initially a blog by Hrishikesh Kumar, Co-Founder, Collegewires where he documented his learnings about programming started about the same time when I (Sumit Sinha, Co-Founder, Collegewires) started learning to code. Since the beginning, we both were intellectual soul mates and have had experience of building quite a few things together. As and when we started building more serious stuffs, we chose to call ourselves “Collegewires Team” which basically was a formal name for our endeavours that involved building apps that solves real problems.

How did you get this idea?The idea for our first app came from a problem that I faced myself. During my summer vacation I didn’t have a fixed time when I went to sleep. Sometimes it was too late and sometimes it was too early. As I didn’t have any college the day after, I had to turn the clock wheel time and time again to set the alarm (so that I don’t oversleep myself) which was quite bothersome. We just tried to solve that problem by replacing the ritual of setting alarm every night with just a tap and the idea for Sleep Optimal was born.


Did you get any mentoring support? Tell us more if you did.

Till now, we haven’t got any mentoring support. Although we would like to think that you can do a lot of things right by following examples of successful entrepreneurs, the truth is every entrepreneur’s journey is unique and filled with unique challenges and therefore, mentoring support is really a boon for those who can afford it. For now, we are doing it all by ourselves, however, we are actively seeking advice from everyone who we believe is better than us or have been there and done that.

What were the challenges that you face as student entrepreneurs?The very first challenge for any student doing a startup is managing time. You almost have to rotate back and forth between academic and startup world. And the constraint is you can’t screw any of them. Apart from that, We are from different colleges and we live in different part of the country (I am in Hyderabad and Hrishikesh is in Guwahati), so that was an additional barrier as we cannot afford to discuss things face to face like most startup founders have privilege to. Lack of mentor support was another thing due to which we have committed tons of mistakes. But we learnt from each of the mistakes and are still learning.

How did you overcome the challenges?

We both love doing what we do. And therefore it is easy for us to cut through all the noise and say no to everything else that is unimportant. Yes we have sacrificed a few things that we otherwise would be doing, things like sports, but ultimately it doesn’t bother us much as we both are passionate about building things. We are able to spend 6 to 7 hours on normal weekdays and 12 to 13 hours on a weekend which pretty much is enough for us at least at this early stage. We deviced a new method for collaborative programming by syncing our Dropbox folder together which kept us updated about each other’s progress in almost real time and regular communication over phones or Facebook almost made up for the lack of face to face discussions. And as far as lack of mentoring is concerned, though we still commit many mistakes on regular basis, we try to fill the gap by reading about and learning from other technology entrepreneurs. We are both avid learners.

What are the best parts about being a student entrepreneur?

The most important thing is you can afford to fail. We believe it is best to start building/trying new things while you are still a student because it is okay for you to fail. People won’t blame you if you didn’t succeed as you didn’t fail at what you do i.e. studying. Whereas when you are out, you are supposed to earn right away and that makes it incredibly hard to try new things and see how it goes, as you are living on a borrowed time.

The second best thing is you get work with some of best minds who aren’t doing a job yet. These people are your classmates/schoolmates. People who are out in the real world know how hard it is to convince some friend who already has a job to hack together a prototype for a startup.

How do market yourself?

As of now, we are just testing things and taking user’s feedback and building upon those feedbacks.

Do you think more students should startup?

We think they definitely should even if their ultimate goal is to do a job. A startup isn’t just about being an entrepreneur and risking your future. A startup teaches you things that no other thing can ever teach you. A person who does a startup almost always emerges out of it as someone who is both far more resilient and a better individual, regardless of whether he succeeds or fails. And those who want to be entrepreneurs, it is far more advisable to them to start while they are still studying. The only way to learn about doing a startup is by doing a startup. No MBA or any other education comes even close to help you in your startup journey as much as your past startup experiences.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Collegewires have released v2.0 of Sleep Optimal. And that progressively builds upon the current version and includes some features that and other users pointed out. Apart from that, we have some more apps in the pipeline, for example we are going to build a peer to peer reminder app for Android.

We at wish Collegewires all the very best for their future endeavors.


Updates from around the world