A science or engineering graduate from Stanford heading a start-up is to be expected, but a liberal arts graduate from the same university doing the same? Yet that is precisely the path Valerie Rozycki has taken, and that too not in Silicon Valley, but in Bangalore.
Founded in: 2010
Founders: Valerie Rozycki, Sanjay Swamy, Amiya Pathak
What makes it cool: Ingenious idea with great potential for scaling
Sahad's take: Very interesting business model. Since India is largely a mobile phone nation, the model can have various applications such as contests, games, surveys, mobile coupons, to name a few
Mirchandani did not rate ZipDial as he has invested in it
Rozycki teamed up with Sanjay Swamy, and Amiya Pathak to launch ZipDial Mobile Solutions in mid 2010, which uses missed calls as a marketing tool. "Many mobile users in India cannot type or send SMSs," says Rozycki. "But they all make calls. Missed calls are also free, unlike SMSs." When a customer responding to promotional material gives ZipDial a missed call, the number registers on ZipDial's platform and is turned over to the client, who can then follow up on it in a focused manner.
But developing the platform was the easy part. Finding clients was another matter. Slowly, however, more and more companies are realising ZipDial's potential. With angel investor Mumbai Angels funding the venture, ZipDial is on course to hit big time.