Shilpa Sadagopan first got here with the concept for Then, a student services app, when she found out how much extra spending money she wished as a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sadagopan, now a senior majoring in business administration and popular tune at USC, has taken her idea to market with assistance from her father.
Then creates a market for hiring and presenting pupil offerings. Thoyen’s cost proposition is “the college pupil’s easiest manner to get responsibilities carried out and maximum flexible manner to earn money,” in keeping with its website.
Then offers the handiest task requests and responses, but also a market for rentals or purchases and carpool alternatives. Potential responsibilities include cleaning, housework, packing, transferring, and automobile washing.
“It’s now not just centered on one issue, like Uber or Postmates,” Sadagopan stated. “We have rental cleansing and laundry services. Within all of these things, there are all of these intricacies, like how [to] explain for to human beings what all of these items are, however, nonetheless preserve the app looking smooth, not over-inundating human beings with statistics.”
After three years in manufacturing, the app launched on iOS in late March at USC and Texas A&M. After workshopping the idea with another pupil at Penn at some point of her freshman 12 months, Sadagopan advised her circle of relatives about it for the duration of one in every of their ongoing entrepreneurial brainstorm periods.
“My dad has usually been clearly large recommend for arising along with your own ideas,” Sadagopan stated. “My brother and I might go home, and we would just have those circle of relatives conversations … He constantly says thoughts are not anything without execution, so if you actually need to work in this, then we can.”
In Fall 2016, Sadagopan transferred to USC to observe a famous tune. She quickly introduced a enterprise administration most important, resulting in a hectic three-yr schedule — she’s currently enrolled in 24 units.
Sadagopan said her busy agenda influenced her to release the app. She didn’t qualify for work-examine and didn’t have the time to work a complete-time internship. Sadagopan stated she hopes Thoyen gives college students greater flexibility in their schedules.
“I was like, ‘Maybe we can integrate these and create an app that permits humans to sign up as either customer who wants to get those obligations executed or [as task providers],’” Sadagopan said.
Sadagopan stated she wanted to create a centralized area for venture management. With an amazing amount of alternatives, consisting of TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, Craigslist, and Facebook, she desired to streamline the service, reserving and supplying techniques for students.
The agency plans to earn revenue by taking a percentage off every transaction, starting from five to ten%, relying on the scale and problem of the project.
In the spring of Sadagopan’s junior yr, her father decided to come back on board as Thoyen’s full-time co-founder. Years of ideation ultimately started to form as the daddy-daughter duo financed the app, outsourcing improvement to engineers in India.
“So a long way, it’s been going quite correct … At this factor, my largest project would be to get it going stay as quickly as possible,” Sadagopan stated. “We handiest have another month before school closes, so the largest challenge is to roll it out … and make certain the whole thing is working.”
Alexandra Caro Chavez, a junior majoring in enterprise administration and economics, is a Thoyen emblem ambassador. Chavez and Sadagopan strategize the logo’s identity and messaging and are trying to expand their crew.
“It’s quite loose, all of the work I do,” Chavez stated. “They provide me several freedom to do loads of what I want. They permit me to put a whole lot of entries in all [of the app’s] ideas.”
The working title of the app began as “Maya,” which interprets as a service-individual. However, the crew decided to pivot away from that, as the term has a damaging connotation in its domestic usa of India.
Then is a play on the Tamil word thoren, which means pal. The call Thoyen became adopted for Western pronunciation — it also serves as an acronym for “To Help Others & Yes Exactly Now.”
While the app is reaching the quit of its development degree, the market is watching for enough user sign-u.S.To head live. The app is likewise the handiest on iOS for now, but the crew plans to launch an Android model via the cease of the semester.
Sadagopan said the most important assignment has been cultivating Thoyen’s boom and engagement.
“It’s manifestly been tough because humans can see it on Instagram, but going from impressions to click-throughs, to actual acquisitions — this is hard,” Sagadopan stated. “I guess I didn’t comprehend that just with the aid of analyzing those case studies in my commercial enterprise training.”