It has been rightly said that an idea can transform lives. For Parag Jain (24), Hitanshu Bhalla (21) and Felipe Pires (23), it was a viable idea combined with an innovative approach and funding from an incubator that helped them start their own business ventures.
As a freshly minted IIT graduate, Jain had no idea that establishing a start-up needed millions of dollars in seed funding, which he did not have. Impressed by the stupendous demand for mobile gaming applications, he saw a business opportunity in this field, although it is dominated by established players. However, fund constraints proved a stumbling block.
That was when Jain came in contact with Chandigarh-based Click Labs (P) Ltd, which had expertise in enterprise mobility and was keen to fund start-ups. Jain shared the idea with Click Labs executives, who were enthusiastic and decided to support him financially. As a result, six months ago his company Gamifyd was born, using Click Labs' development resources instead of investor cash.
Today, Gamifyd's revenues are Rs 2 lakh per month, and it employs some 15 people. Within a short span of four months the company has developed four games for Apple (iOS) and Android phones.
Jain said, "There is huge scope for gaming applications, which helped me to nurture my dream. Our company is a gaming studio that creates quality games for all mobile platforms. We polish and update our application each week to develop an edge in this field, which is very competitive."
Gamifyd is among three companies that have recently been nurtured in an incubator at Click Labs. The second, PostMyGreetings.com, an online store, provides a platform that offers customers a wide range of personalised greeting cards, gifts, bouquets and confectionery items to send friends and relations.
Hitanshu Bhalla, a mass communication graduate who is CEO of PostMyGreetings.com, said, "I started this venture because there is not even a single platform for personalised cards, gifts, bouquets, etc. There is immense opportunity in this field and we are growing with the passage of time."
Started around five months ago, PostMyGreetings.com earns revenues of Rs 3 lakh per month and employs over 25 people. Once it scales up, Bhalla plans his own warehouse for inventory.
The third incubatee at Click Labs started by a youngster is VoteChat, which is slated to be launched very soon on i0S and the Android platform. VoteChat is a mobile brainstorming app that lets groups of friends select the best plans and ideas using a unique voting mechanism. VoteChat is currently looking for influencers and early adopters to participate in its Beta group. Co-founders Stewart Alsop (from the US) and Felipe Pires (a Brazilian) recently wrote a blog post about their unique arrangement with Click Labs that was read by over 30,000 people.
Alsop was working on an e-commerce project that was heading nowhere. He happened to meet Samar Singla, CEO of Click Labs, in San Francisco and shared his business idea with him, confiding that he lacked the funds to execute the new concept. Singh told Alsop about his incubator and invited him to India to develop the application (VoteChat) meant for Android and iPhones.
In exchange for equity, Clicks Labs provides professional development and design resources to incubatees. Click labs CEO Samar Singla said, "Working with new start-ups is a rewarding experience - so much so, that we've started our own in-house incubator. We were a start-up ourselves not so long ago, and because we have three in-house start-ups, we understand that start-ups are always stressed for funds, and that not having enough cash can cause lost leverage in the marketplace. So we have started a start-up programme for motivated entrepreneurs, which we and some private equity funds support."
Click Labs (P) Ltd was started in 2011, as a mobile-first app development company. At present the company employs over 120 employees and has offices in Chandigarh and the United States.
Thapar University's STEP provides handholding services through commercialisation