The BizSpark startup of the day is Skillendar, based in the UK. You will find below an interview with Sundar Venkitachalam, Founder and CEO of Skillendar. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I am the founder and CEO of Skillendar.
What did you do before creating your company?
I have been working as a Technical Architect and Consultant for around 15 years.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
It’s an honour to be selected as the Startup of the day by BizSpark and I am really thrilled.
What is your company’s mission?
Our mission is to provide an excellent service platform that connects service/skill providers and seekers and to make the booking processes more effective and efficient.
How did you get the idea for your company?
There have been many instances where my wife and I spent ages trying to find service providers to do the job we wanted on the date and time that was convenient for us. We were really frustrated that we had to make several phone calls before we could find a provider who was available to do the job at that particular time. It was quite surprising that there was not a single web service which gave us the details of the availability of these providers. And we came up with the idea of Skillendar – A Skill/Service Availability Calendar.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
Skillendar is currently self-funded. However, we are looking for an investment of a minimum of £500k, in order to fund further development, marketing and infrastructure.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We are currently a team of 2, just me and my business advisor. I have developed the beta version of Skillendar myself.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
We are planning on hiring a developer and a marketing resource once we manage to secure the required funding.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
The beta version of Skillendar is built using ASP.Net 4.0, AJAX, Entity Framework, LINQ, WCF,JSON, JQuery, SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows Server 2008 R2 64bit. However we are currently porting this on to Windows Azure. This will make Skillendar more resilient and scalable compared to the traditional hosting. Also we have plans to make Skillendar available on all the major mobile platforms very soon.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
These days, it’s all about social networking and building massive communities. Direct access to the end customers / consumers and their immediate feedback help any business to grow very quickly. However, personally I believe online tools and services are the best bet for any startup.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
I am really grateful to BizSpark and without this it would have been extremely difficult for me to start my business with limited funds and resources. In addition to the free software licenses, BizSpark helped me connect with other startups and the investment community as well.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
If you are passionate about an idea and you are committed to it, do not hesitate to start a business to make that idea a reality.
Who’s your role model?
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates; they have absolutely different personalities and they are the best at what they are famous for. I consider them as my role models for the exactly same reasons.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
If you are a technology person and haven’t got much commercial/business experience, don’t think that you can’t have a successful business. If you believe in yourself and work hard you can surely make your dreams come true.