The School of Meaningful Experiences took its first baby steps and is now 6 months old. We successfully wrapped-up our 9-day summer camp last week. 21 awesome teens from all over Bangalore joined the camp, some coming from as far as Nagarbhavi, Malleshwaram, Hebbal, JP Nagar, Koramangala, HSR Layout and Indiranagar. I am very grateful to their parents who braved the notorious Bengaluru traffic every day and entrusted their teens to us. The cover photo of this piece captures all my teens and their parents along with my team on the last day of the camp. We had six workshops taught by our amazing faculty and a day-long field-trip. Each faculty member curated their content, which was compiled into a workbook for the teens. This will be a feature of all of SoME programs. Special thanks to Veera Prathap, Chetana Bhutada, Manasi Prasad, Rahil Mohsin and Kiran Keswani. Check out this video made by my team that captures a few glimpses of the workshops and the experiences.
Here are some other updates and insights from our experiences that might help you in your startup journey :
- Good people are everything in a startup. Monica Shah joined us as a part-time consultant in our content strategy and Nayanthara Pratap has joined us as our intern. Kushmita finished her internship stint with us and we wish her all the best. So far, all the hiring is happening through personal recommendations and networks. We are always looking for good people who understand education and want to bring fresh thinking into it. If you happen to know them or any professional hiring agencies, please recommend them to us.
- Don’t ignore the stuff you don’t like – I realized how terrible our accounts were when we closed our books for Financial Year 2018-19. The problem is with me. I ignore what I don’t like to do or postpone it till the last possible moment. But finally, karma caught up and I got a solid rap on my knuckles. I had to pay fines for the delayed payments of GST, PT etc. So, if you are starting your venture, please give time to your accounts and compliances as well.
- Be careful where you spend your precious money – Avoid printing brochures. No one reads them anymore. We know this because we spent a fortune on them with zero outcomes in sales. Instead, we got our maximum mileage through digital media – WhatsApp groups and LinkedIn. Another important lesson – Facebook advertising is overhyped and a total waste for a startup. I have checked this hypothesis with many other start-ups as well.
We are now working on getting our next program launched soon. We are also ready to talk to strategic partners for investments in SoME. So do connect us to them if you can. Besides this, call us to engage with parents and their teens in your neighborhoods. We did a few such events in and around E-city, Anekal, Bellandur and Sarjapur and we learned a lot from these interactions. Stay tuned to our posts and keep sending us your good thoughts.
-Rakesh Godhwani, Founder & CEO, SoME