Vendor Benchmarker Ashwin Ramasamy Talks about his Entrepreneurial Experiences with ContractIQ


Ever had a new vendor let you down? Had trouble finding a company that does/sells X? Then ContractIQ has got your back. ContractIQ is a fresh new start-up matching the Small and Medium Enterprise space with top-of-their-class service providers.

With a continually updated list of benchmarked vendors ContractIQ advises SME business on their vendor selection — empowering them to make valuable growth-oriented decisions.

I got the chance to interview the brain behind the brainchild, Ashwin Ramasamy — founder of ContractIQ and graduate of the Founder Institute. After lead roles in several startups, and now ContractIQ, Ashwin is in a great spot to offer advice to entrepreneurs-to-be, so I asked him about ContractIQ and his entrepreneurial experiences.

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The Founder Institute Experience

Those 101 days at the Winter 2010 Bay Area semester, Founder Institute was one hell of an action-packed, fast-paced learning experience. Some of the who’s who of the Startup world, who mentored us delivered some of the best sessions, which taught us a lot more than we anticipated. Thanks a million to Adeo Ressi.

Let me tell you my story

Somewhere around July 2010, I left after working with it for a year. Designing the whole User Interface and Interaction of Paisa was a wholesome experience. I remember re-iterating about 5 times until we settled on the final UI/UX.

After Paisa, I spent about a month trying to decide what to do next. I got in touch with a good friend and decided to pursue the startup that we’ve been thinking since 2006. We felt the time was right, technology cost and availability – favorable and the usage of video communication on the rise.

Sometime around September, I stumbled upon Founder Institute and applied for the Winter 2010 Bay Area Semester. By late October, I got selected into the program after passing the IQ, aptitude, and personality test. I packed, left Pune, escorted my wife, and daughter back to my hometown in Manipur, and I flew down to the Bay area to be part of the Founder Institute experience.

The Founder Institute Experience

The very first day, I realized that it was not going to be easy at all. Well, by the second session, I was already told to leave the program unless I can prove that I should be part of the program. I did and I stayed.

The second shock came somewhere around the holiday season, 2010. I was to leave the program unless I beta launch my startup (which was impossible at that time). My team helped me and figured a way to prove that I can still kick ass. I realized, it was not just me but almost all of us had to some daunting task during the holidays to stay back in the program. By that time, if I can remember correctly, almost half of the class was out of the program.

Surviving each week was hard enough and there was no room for compromise. We slogged on the weekly assignment, special assignment, and product building of our Startups. Finally, the persistent, relentless, and hard-working ones remained. Out of the 50+ odd entrepreneurs that started with the Semester, only 14 graduated on 23rd Feb 2011.

We became good friends, helped each other, and enjoyed the time spent together. I’m sure, we’ll always remember the great time spent at the Antonio’s Nut House, Palo Alto.

The graduates from the Winter 2010 Bay Area Semester, Founder Institute:

  1. Amol Kher, Health Mobs (Facebook Page)
  2. Brajeshwar Oinam, Levoma (Facebook Page)
  3. Cyprien Noel, Object Fabric (Facebook Page)
  4. Fernando Pizarro, Cine Candy (Facebook Page)
  5. Gaurav Sharma, Right Buy (Facebook Page)
  6. Jason Seed, Ready2Sign (Facebook Page)
  7. Jayalaxmi Hangal, Family Alley (Facebook Page)
  8. Maren Kate Donovan, Zirtual (Facebook Page)
  9. Navin Bathija, Neo (Facebook Page)
  10. Rohit Nallapeta, AdNuance (Facebook Page)
  11. Sanjay Malhotra, Clevrr (Facebook Page)
  12. Seth Cohen, Screenius (Facebook Page)
  13. Steffany Boldrini, Ecobold (Facebook Page)
  14. Wesly Michel, Mosion (Facebook Page)

Founder Institute – Globalizing Silicon Valley

The Founder Institute is a technology pre-seed incubator currently on pace to launch over 600 companies per year in 17 cities worldwide. The program identifies high-potential entrepreneurs using predictive social science testing and then guides them through a series of collaborative company-building sessions featuring a network of over 400 CEO Mentors. All program stakeholders, including the participating Founders and CEO Mentors, share in the equity upside generated by companies formed in the program. In addition, participants get access to free and discounted services and are not required to quit their day job.

Some interesting FAQ and References about Founder Institute.

Join the Founder Institute

Founder Institute opens Global Admissions, expands to more cities

Founder Institute

If you’re starting a new company or planning to start one, Founder Institute, may be just the right one for you. In short, Founder Institute will help you cross your t’s and dot your i’s to help reduce the cost and increase the quality of starting an enduring and meaningful technology company.

Founder Institute announced the opening admissions for 13 locations worldwide, including three new chapters in Bogota (Colombia), Santiago (Chile) and San Francisco.

Applications are currently open for the 2011 Spring and Summer semester. Apply before the Early Admissions deadlines and you may be able to take the predictive Admissions Test for free, and also have a better chance of being accepted into the program.