Empathetic towards the hurdles faced by students in the country, Madhavi Shankar, a 27-year-old Bengalurean’s debut venture, SpaceBasic Corporation, was inspired out of an innate desire to make life simpler for students. The venture, which is a native mobile app, solves problems like student safety management, personalised interactions with students and parents, corrective and preventive complaint management in a hassle free manner through the app. The venture also aims to offer their software for free to charitable hostels, where students can have access to its global corporation partners, who engage with students for skill development programmes.
In a candid chat, the city girl tells us more, just as the team plans on working with the Indian government — education department and social welfare department, to provide SpaceBasic to rural Indian students, to manage their hostels by increasing efficiency and transparency, where they can get access to internships, skill development and other workshops for free... “As a kid, I would always get into trouble; mostly for low grades, while my younger sister would stand first in class. As I grew up, I realised I enjoyed public speaking, organising/leading student teams/event and I did a-lot of that during my college days. Yes, you can say I was an extrovert,” begins Madhavi, who recently spoke at a women entrepreneurship event held by St.Joseph College of Commerce, Bengaluru. While she considers herself fortunate to have been able to be able to conjure up this venture along with two other co-founders (Indu Navar and Aiden Bingham) whom she considers her mentors, it was her will to only work a job close to her area of study that pivoted her career path.
“The constant change and skill acquisition along with hard work, which lead to seeing things happen made me fall in love with the startup life cycle and by 25, I knew I wanted to start my company. Last year I visited the US and I met this amazingly successful women entrepreneur, Indu Navar, who was born and raised in Bengaluru and ended up starting various companies in the US. I loved her story where she had to fight all the social norms to make this happen 20 years ago and I had to meet her. Finally we met more than a few times and then decided to start a company together. She has since been a great inspiration, co-founder and mentor. I jumped on that opportunity and moved to India to study the market and this is how SpaceBasic was born.”
Travel and empowering individuals through the right education has always been her passion and Madhavi is glad to be doing something along those. “I love to travel. Traveling alone is such a great experience where you learn to enjoy your own company and learn to be comfortable with yourself in uncomfortable situation. Off-late, I’ve realised it helps me focus and think clearly about work in addition to it being a stress buster. Personally, we volunteer to teach girl students at govt schools and with SpaceBasic. We also provide our software for free where students can have access to our global corporation partners who engage with students for skill development programs, job opportunities, internships, study abroad scholarships, etc on our platform,”she reveals.
Speaking about what’s next on the anvil, Madhavi concludes by stating, “2018 looks great. We plan to engage over 30,000 new students across universities and colleges in urban India. We are also looking forward to working with the Indian government — education department and social welfare department to provide SpaceBasic to rural Indian students where they can get access to internships, skill development and other workshops. With this process our goal is to create a sense of equal opportunities for private educated and government educated students.”