Going beyond the classroom

Going beyond the classroom

Startup saga

Going beyond the classroom

It can be quite a challenging experience for a student to settle into any campus.  ‘Connective Plus’ was formed on these lines three years back by Riddhinil Roy.

He started off in an internet cafe in the city, while he discussed about the future of campus platforms — and ended up forming one himself. In 2012, when the startup buzz was at its peak, this youngster from Guwahati, who had come to study at Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, thought of the idea of connecting students on a larger platform than social applications like WhatsApp. “I saw that there were many limitations to such groups and applications and found it a requisite for students like myself, who came from elsewhere, to connect. Thus the name and the platform,” says Riddhinil, the founder and CEO.

Having started as a space to connect students on the same campus that Riddhinil studied at, this platform has around 30 names like RV College of Engineering, Gopalan College of Engineering and Management and Christ University on board now. “This works as a community connect. We offer options to connect on different activities, from shopping destinations to academics, through the platform. The user-friendly page asks one to register with specific details and one has to select a ‘preferred mood/campus’. The options vary accordingly after that. If you are from a particular branch of studies, taking up courses of interest or learning subjects that are one’s passion can also be figured out through ‘Connective Plus’,” details Riddhinil.

He says that even though he made quite a few friends and acquaintances at the DSI campus, he felt the need to connect to others for many needs. “I realised that there were so many clubs in our campus, yet not many common grounds to showcase one’s talent. This was when the online platform started bringing people from different branches together and encouraged interaction among them,” says Riddhinil.

Though initial glitches like shortage of technical resources and financial backup happened, things slowly and steadily got better. “I remembered the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’. I knew that if I wanted the platform to stay, I would have to go ahead and save it,” he says. Though initially the startup was location specific, they grew and expanded to campuses beyond DSI. “We realised quickly that there would be people with similar interests at different campuses. Thus came the need for broader selection parameters to cater to academics and beyond.”

The platform offers options ranging from finding common interests to even taking a virtual walk through one’s campus. “This is very similar to the ‘Google Now’ app, but a product for students,” says Riddhinil. His team consists of Akash Dutta, Sourav Shah and Anisha Das. “While I oversee everything, Akash helps me with the operations here. Seeing that the South of India had varied platforms on these lines, we thought that expanding to the North and North East would be a good idea. Sourav helps us from Delhi and Anisha is assisting us from Guwahati,” he adds.

What is the next step? “I am always looking ahead to challenges and adventures in life. There are more projects and startup ventures lined up,” he sums up with a smile.

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