Chennai-based software engineers Srinivasan Rangarajan and Sudarshan Sreenivasan are primed up for their funded project in Chile

When Srinivasan Rangarajan (25) and Sudarshan Sreenivasan (23) signed up last July to take part in a developer event conducted by Yahoo, little did they know their life was about to change. The event challenged developers to create a new product within 24 hours. Their submission — a personalised search engine — was selected as one of the top 50 products from out of over 1,000 at the event.

Life-changing

Sudarshan recalls: “We were happy to be among the top, but didn't realise we'd soon be quitting our jobs. After the event, we read about the StartUp Chile programme initiated by the Chilean government. We decided to submit our product idea, and we were selected. We formed a team called Cruns.”

StartUp Chile makes US $ 40,000 available for selected companies to start up in Chile, but there is a catch. Srinivasan, a software engineer who always wanted to be in the start-up space, says: “We will have to stay there for at least six months. We have to sharing our knowledge with others and attend local events.”

They owe a lot to their earlier work place — a software product start-up — where they learnt most of the tricks of the trade. Srinivasan, who has been working for five years, says: “It was a small company, so we had to play multiple roles. We learnt the whole process — from building a product to selling it. We are active on online start-up forums, and learn from others' experience. But we need to learn more about finance.”

When it comes to their product idea, they are confident it has a market. Sudarshan says: “Our product idea was reviewed and accepted by a panel of entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and Latin America, which is a validation of what we are trying to build.”

What is their plan of action? Srinivasan says: “Scaling is definitely not on our minds. We will focus on building our tool and marketing it, and try to make profit within the given time frame.”

They are eager to meet start-up founders from other countries. Says Sudarshan: “We look forward to meeting like-minded people from diverse backgrounds. There is a lot we can learn from each other. “We are excited. It is going to be fun.”

Keywords: StartUp Chile

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012