It all began three years ago when Vinay, an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus, thought of working on a product concept as a part of his product design course work. The technology and the time were not favourable. As a result, Vinay had to work on another product concept with a much simpler mechanism.
Some 15 odd months later to his astonishment, he comes across a product with near exact features to that of his initial concept, developed by a US-based startup. This got him thinking about the missed opportunity. What lead next, sowed the seeds for the concept behind Qulp.
Qulp is a web platform where you can post your ideas; collaborate with like-minded folks in the process of getting your ideas developed into real products.
The story behind the formation of Qulp’s team is a rather interesting one. During the very initial days of conceptualization, it was only Vinay working on identifying the best solution to address the issue of ‘tapping into the potential of usually ignored product ideas’. To keep fresh ideas flowing in on a constant basis, he used to rotate teams periodically.
Simultaneously, he was also in search of potential teammates to be a part of the core team. In this process, Vinay got to know of Aarsh and Aditya, IIT Kharagpur students, who eventually came on board.
“The best thing about Qulp is the journey we have been through. We are happy one day and extremely worried the next. And this is how we know; we are on the right path,” says Vinay.
How is Qulp different from Incubator/Accelerators?
Incubators/Accelerator programs are mere catalysts. They select the startups that are promising, mentor them, help them with scaling up their businesses, and fund them at the end of the program.
On the other hand, to get started with Qulp you don't even need to have a perfectly built prototype in place. Even a napkin idea would do. “Our collaborative innovation process, and the product design and engineering teams would do the job of giving your idea the best shape possible. The rest is done by our sales and business development team,” adds Vinay. The profits earned are split with idea generator that directly goes into his/her pockets.
Being a consumer internet platform, the primary product of Qulp is its web platform where people can post their ideas, and collaborate with each other while inventing the next big thing. Through Qulp, as an end user, you actually get to conceptualize the products you always wanted, and will never have to compromise on the products with mediocre features that are available in the market.
“We had recently tried and tested our platform within a select user community, and the response we got was incredible. We currently have two developer teams based out of IIT Kharagpur and Bangalore, who are working round the clock to ensure the platform is of best quality. We will be going for a public beta next week,” reveals Vinay.
The startup has received over 52,000 page visits in the past 30 days, and is growing with over 300 new visitors every day. And this is primarily due to the positive word of mouth within founders’ limited network.
“We have lots of exciting things lining up in the next couple of months from joining Google’s startup launch program in November to representing Qulp at international conferences like GMIC (Global Mobile International Conference), and THE SUMMIT.
The startup has recently merged with a Singapore-based startup, the founders of which will be joining Qulp’s team shortly.
“At present, being bootstrapped, we have been fortunate to have received investors’ interest right from the beginning, and this has been the norm from time to time. It is a boosting factor to be approached by the likes of Sequoia Capital, and several other reputed investors.”
The company is also slated for an office shift to Bangalore in early December this year.