How many of us are in touch with that amazing group of students with whom you completed that A-grade assessment? If you worked together so well when you were young and inexperienced, wouldn't it be great to touch base with them again and see if you can be of help to each other? Probably. But, where is the tool to do something like that? LinkedIn is too professional and makes you feel ‘desperate for connections’ while searching for them on
Facebook uncomfortably reminds you of a stalker. Well, here is where startup, AlmaConnect, an online socio-professional network comes in.There is huge value in having and being able to connect with an active alumni community. The bonds we form based on a common AlmaMater are strong and the vision at AlmaConnect is to create a platform through which one can enjoy the benefits of a strong alumni community. “Institutes in the past have been largely unsuccessful at engaging their alumni community primarily because the way institutes want to connect to alumni and the way alumni want it to happen is poles apart”, says Swapnil Khandelwal, CEO of AlmaConnect.
AlmaConnect enables colleges to address this gap by providing a platform for colleges to engage with their alumni and for alumni to interact with each other thereby creating an active community of people to whom you can reach out for your next big startup idea or for various other opportunities. By
following a door to door sales model and by offering colleges the opportunity to try the AlmaConnect platform for free for a couple of months, the company has managed to get over 40 colleges to use their platform with all of them moving on to a paid model. Swapnil adds, “The research and understanding behind the product and our focus in bringing out results for the colleges is a key strength for us. Currently we are just focusing on baking our product and making it more efficient with the plan being to continue with personal selling until we reach a critical mass and are able to launch a freemium version”.Currently in the final stages of closing their angel round of investments AlmaConnect is an iAccelator, CIIE IIM Ahmedabad incubated company. The incubation experience was great for AlmaConnect Swapnil feels as “the same investor that we had to reach out and follow up with at least three times before meeting was now available at our doorstep and the same workshops & talks for which we used to have to travel far were now delivered while working at our desks”.
The focus in the next few months is to expand the product development team and AlmaConnect will soon be bringing out a freemium version whereby anyone can get connected to his or her AlmaMater. Not long now before you can re-connect again with teachers that were mentors to you and fellow students that completely ‘got’ your thinking to create yet another meaningful network that you can rely on.
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Author Credit: Perzen Darukhanawalla