Started on 14 June 2010 in New Delhi, India, Dare2Compete is an innovative startup with a vision to create a platform where colleges, students and corporates could engage and compete through competitions. Here are excerpts of an interview with the founder, Mr. Ankit Aggarwal.
1. Tell us about your background before Dare2Compete. Share with us briefly about your entrepreneurial journey and then inception of Dare2Compete.
A usual suspect with Engineering and MBA degree from IMT Ghaziabad and then a management certification from Harvard Business School on 100% scholarship, Dare2Compete.com started with me opting out of my summer placements at IMT. When I realized that we aren’t getting information about competitions real time, I jumped in to solving that problem through Dare2Compete.com.
2. What is Dare2Compete all about? Tell us in detail about the product offering and the target segment?
Dare2Compete.com is a creation that will lead to a new era of competitions and ignite the spirit of competitiveness. Our aim is to provide timely, authentic and relevant information about the latest competitions happening across the globe; and to conceptualize, organize and market various competitions, quizzes and simulation games for organizations to enable new dimensions of employer branding in campuses, competitions led recruitments of future leaders, and employee engagement programs.
We target corporates, B-schools, E-Schools and G-schools both as customers and as clients. We are one-of-its-kind online platform for quizzes and simulation games that are used for competitions as well as academic and corporate training, in addition to the services where we help our clients in conceptualizing, marketing and executing their competitions.
3. What is the revenue model of Dare2Compete? Can you briefly summarize the growth achieved in both volume and value from the day1 till now?
We have three revenue models:-
– Advertising fee to market competitions on Dare2Compete.com
– License fee for our platforms – quizzes and simulation games
– Fee for our services that include helping our clients in the complete value chain of competitions – Conceptualization, Promotion and Execution
We have come a long way since the beginning. We stand leaders in this space and have penetration to all the top colleges of India with 90%+ clients giving us repeat business.
4. What is your competition in the market? What is it that sets you apart from your competition?
Our service and value that we create for our clients set us apart. Our competition is every website which is targeting students at any level.
5. How has been your beginner’s journey? What were the challenges you faced in setting up and scaling up your enterprise? Any hurdle that you have faced or you are still facing?
In every journey you learn while you drive. Same has been for me. I still remember my first elevator pitch of 30 seconds with Coke VP, Marketing. It was disastrous. I was not expecting it and it was the first thing thrown at me on a call after saying Hello – “Ankit, you have my attention for next 30 seconds, go on and make your point”. That didn’t go well, but since then I haven’t let any such opportunity to slip by.
6. How is the organization funded? Any early stage money/seed stage experience worth mentioning?
I started Dare2Compete.com with my savings and have been pumping in the profits to grow and expand it. We haven’t looked for funding as of now.
7. Where do you see Dare2Compete in 10 years from now? All perspectives – people, business, revenues, team, size or anything you foresee for the venture.
I see us dominate a new dimension of employer branding and engagement. This domain is huge but engagements aren’t happening at a deeper level – Corporate with students, Students with Students, or Employees with Employees. We are here to change that with our offerings by creating out-of-the-box competitions.
8. Are there any other initiatives apart from Dare2Compete that you are pursuing/plan to pursue in the near future?
Nope. I am currently completely dedicated to Dare2Compete.com.
9. Are there any school/ campus-outreach plans that you are taking up?
We take multiple initiatives and campaigns. Last year we launched our first Online Quizzing Festival that spanned across 40 days with one online quiz a day in collaboration with a college. Net result was 40 quizzes with 40 organizers in 40 days with 42,000+ student participation from 1000+ colleges across India. We’ll be doing it again this year at a grand scale.
10. Any experience or advice you would like to share with soon to be start-up founders out there?
Just go all-in. Whenever you are in doubt, do what your heart tells you to do and give it everything you have.
We thank Mr. Ankit Aggarwal for sharing his experiences with us. We also wish Dare2Compete all the best for its future endeavors. The new shape of engagements and competitions is here!