Archive for Databases

The Offline Search Engine

Deepak Ravindran, the co-founder of “Innov”, has created the offline Google for the billions of “dumb-phone” users around the world.  Innov is an automated artificial intelligence that receives SMS (text messages) from subscribed users and then replies via text message with the information asked for.

innov

Innov plugs the gap for people who have phones, but have no internet access.  Deepak created Innov with the dream of giving people access to information in a simple and affordable way.  In developing Innov Deepak said, ” We don’t want to be another Internet company competing with Android, or any other OS.  We just want to provide a solution for all of us to bring the Internet to the people that don’t have it.”

Innov offers an affordable monthly subscription plan of 30 rupees per month, which is less than one US dollar.  This plan offers dumb-phone users full access to the offline web.  Deepak launched Innov in India, however today they are operating in seven different countries.  “More than 120 million users have tried the service around the world so far,” says Deepak. “We’re focusing on developing nations – we want to be the Google for the developing world.”

Deepak’s innovation and goals as an entrepreneur are inspiring.  He saw a problem, people having cell phones with no internet access, and found a simple yet innovative way to solve the problem.  Not only has his business been successful, but it has brought about social change for good, bringing information to groups of people who before have no access to the internet.

Mashable

Image result for pete cashmore

Mashable is a top 10 multi million dollar blog that reaches audiences of all sorts; from the tech world to sports, to news stories with hot and relevant information on the top new products and info in the market. In 2005 it’s founder Pete Cashmore started this revolutionary data generator at the tender age of 19. His clever blog design, quick tips, tech advice, and social cultural aspects have attracted over 29 million followers on the many social media platforms he posts on. Cashmore grew his business from the ground up by adding sites for consumer contact and departments in the company itself to expand the empire. On the site itself found here, http://mashable.com/, you will find a variety of posts on a variety of topics for a variety of viewers. Its humorous takes on noteworthy company failures, quick views on sports games and reviews of new tech products and software are what make the blog so successful. By 2012 Cashmore was ranked in Time Magazines Top 100 Most Influential People for his great work in the social media world. Along with Mashable’s commitment to excellence and accuracy in their posts, Cashmore has also committed it to give back to the community by finding job opportunities in the career realms of “technology and social media, marketing and business, and design and development.” It also promises to attribute to a concept of “Social Good” to “make the world a better place.” In all these senses of this company I believe Mashable and its founder are both the stuff of the future we need to continue to push us into the future.

CoatChex

Derek Pacque found the inspiration for his business, CoatChex, when he lost his coat when he was out one night because there was no coat check.  His business originally started as a simple, collapsible coat checking business that operated inside local bars, but he quickly became frustrated with the traditional model of giving customers a ticket when they check their coat, meant to be exchanged at the end of the night for their coat back.  Customers constantly lost their tickets and coats were easily confused.  So, Derek innovated a new coat checking system.  Instead of using tickets, CoatChex uses its own app, pictures, and QR codes, which not only makes the coat checking process much simpler, but has the potential to create even more revenue for the business because the venues that CoatChex works in desire information about their customers that CoatChex can get through their app and provide to the venues.

CoatChex actually worked at the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis and did over $100,000 in sales, incredible!

Derek appeared on the TV show Shark Tank, asking for $200,000 for a 10% share of CoatChex.  Mark Cuban offered him $200,000 for 33% equity, but Derek turned him down, unwilling to give up that much of his business.  He is now seeking $1 million from angel investors to use his technology in other services and develop brand partnerships.

Derek Pacque is an exemplary entrepreneur, not because he simply found a solution to a problem, but because he developed that solution even further when it had problems of its own.  He went beyond the simple solution and innovated to find a better one.

For more information, I encourage you to visit their website, http://www.coatchex.com/, (which, might I say, is very well designed).