Something Cool is nothing more than a solution that doesn’t exist or is a considerable improvement on the current alternative for a problem being experienced by majorities. All the startups being worked upon in Something Cool are game-changing in each of their respective industries.
Kunal, Founder of Something Cool, basically conceived most of these ideas and formed a team to work on them and offer a solution to the problem. Most of these obstacles were actually faced by him or his peers.
Something Cool today acts as a virtual incubator for a dozen startups under its umbrella. Although it started as a pool of ideas to work upon and build products. When external startups approached for help, we saw the opportunity and evolved. While most of the startups are owned by Something Cool, we do have external participants who come to us for guidance and help. It is commenced with a small core team and a huge pool of volunteers that enabled us to achieve what we have without spending a single penny.
” The starts up that we are building at Something Cool has a target market, from travel to music, from writing to the advertisement and many other industries and each of those 11 start-ups has the potential to capture a reasonably large share of their respective domain.” – said Mr. Kunal Kumar, Founder Something Cool.
We had an interview with Mr. Kunal, and something is cool is an interesting startup to know.
From when did you start Something Cool?
I actually ventured into my first business back in my college days and since then I hopped into multiple ventures and then eventually started Something Cool in 2011.
Who are the people involved in Something Cool?
I have a core team of 8 people which includes my known and trustworthy friends and associates, The CTO is my college classmate and I have known him for more than a decade and he is very good at his job.
I believe you are having a story to tell, please let us also know.
In India, since childhood, we are trained to follow the path, no matter if you wanna go that direction or not you have to keep moving. The journey from School to college to placements and a job in an MNC with a nice pay package and you’re done.
When I was 20, I thought I would be a heading a tech giant when I turn 25. I abandoned a decent job an International Telecom company to run behind my dreams. Yes! I am a dreamer and do not have a big bank account or any assets that may account for something, but here I am with no regular job chasing my dreams.
When I see kids going to college or lining up in queues for admissions or crying for cutoffs, I wonder if they are really working hard enough for what exactly they really want. In my opinion, College education kills creativity; not only this it trains you to do one thing and only thing is to get a job.
Creativity in India is not socially accepted with ease. If you are creative, you have to fight for it(not referring to the trade struggle) fight with the society to pursue your passion.
I always had the perception that I would be happy and satisfied in my own ventures. As starting up always give me more thrill than any adventure brought. But during my journey and time spent in nurturing my own startup, I found that it’s not the venture I wanted, it’s that start-up I always craved for. The feeling of creating something from the scratch and see it grow — now that gives me goosebumps and also bring a sense of pride.
What was stopping you from becoming an entrepreneur?
Both my parents are working for the Govt sector and wished their son to follow the trail and serve society. That pressure from the family and also the fear of giving up on a fixed monthly salary was one of the key reasons. Apart from that, lack of an efficient team made the initial phase of the journey very tough and made me think about other options.
What habits lead to your success?
I will credit my success to meditation, constant learning, and up-gradation. Even though I do not develop the end product, I still learn the tech stack enough to understand and do urgent important changes if required. Though each member of my team is accountable for his/her own work, I prefer to be independently capable of handling a crisis at the odd hour.
What makes you unique in competitors market?
Our aim is to solve problems and we are one of the very few players in the virtual incubators in the industry, we do not charge any fee or in some cases not even any stake in the company we help, we do this because of our love for solving problems. However, a small equity stake keeps our interesting alive longer than usual. Also, we want developers and coders and builders to come and build products and own them, even if the idea is ours, we only believe in the solution and it really doesn’t bother us if someone solves the same problem quicker and better than us. We welcome such people with open arms.
We do not perceive other startups or incubators as competitors, we comparatively are trying to build a community of collaboration and support and we are looking at other startups as partners. We are a mere solution finder and if someone else is bringing a better solution to the same problem we are facing, we welcome them with open arms.
What is your future plan for this startup?
In next 12 months, we will be launching all 11 products. We also plan to acquire servers/data center in order to host our products on our own hardware.
In next 5 years, we will release more than 35 products and would have helped 25+ startups successfully. We will also be investing in real estate to open a full-time physical incubator as well, which will include hostel and kitchen facilities for founders to stay and work as per their convenience without any fee.
In next 10 years, we will have Something Cool incubation centers across all 7 continents. The first three international expansions on the cards are Amsterdam, South African and Latin American countries.
What is your inspirational quote?
We all have a stage, you can either be the artist or the audience – Kunal Kumar
Did you receive any funding from any Venture Capital?
Finances have never been a concern of us, I was never after the money. I was fully focussed on the products I wanted to build and the problems I wanted to solve. The solutions kept on piling up in the to-do list as our approach towards success was slow. The money would have fuelled us to catch up speed, but money also lets you lose track of the original idea especially if it’s from investor funding. So we decided not to get funded and build great products first, while during that phase, I paid all the expenses incurred from my own savings and pocket.
My family and my wife has been incredibly supportive of me in this journey.
What message would you like to share for the new entrepreneurs?
Starting up is tough, keeping it on the go is tougher. One must focus and channel all his/her energy/resources to build what you really desire and not what you think will sell in the market. There will be times when you will feel knocked out and wouldn’t have the courage to get back up, the best thing to do is meditate, collect yourself in that one place, take another hit if need be and then get back up. Also, there is no shame in asking for help when in trouble. Feel free to ask and lend a hand to others as well.
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