Sama Jashnani & Anuja ShahFounding team of DownToDash Published On: Saturday, August 06, 2016 Views 3837


"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

Sama Jashnani has always been passionate about marketing and entrepreneurship. She has masters in marketing and strategy from University of Warwick. After that, she worked at a global marketing agency called Lowe Lintas and Partners. Anuja Shah also has a Master’s of science in marketing and strategy from the same University. After completing her studies, she was keen to work with start-ups and learn how companies scale up. She interned at an e-commerce fashion startup called Strand of Silk in London for 4 months where she worked on search engine optimization, handling social media platforms, content creation and management for the website’s blog.

They both launched their own startup called downtodash. It is an app for meeting students around you who are down to do what you want to do whether its workouts, sports, movies or travelling. It is a completely secure network and you need to sign up with your college email address.

Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.

DownToDash is a social networking app for students to connect, based on similar activities, interests and hobbies. Students can sign up with their university e-mail addresses and connect with other students who are ‘down’ for the same whether its sports, movies, adventure sports, gaming or workouts.

What inspired you to build the above product/ service?

When we were at university we realised that you usually end up meeting students that are only in your dorm or classes. We thought about developing an app that was purposeful and easy to use as a way of connecting the whole campus. Something that is spontaneous and gives students a chance to explore their interests and make the most of their time.

Whether its sports like Tennis, Football, Basketball or Badminton, you are always looking for other players to play these games with. Usually sports clubs and societies have teams and other students have to be of a certain level to play with them. These games run on timings decided by societies and clubs. What if you want to play at another time? What if your friends are caught up? DownToDash helps you solve this problem and connects you to other students to ‘get social-get active- get going’.    

What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?

We face challenges regularly, especially tech related ones. The most challenging part is not having a background in programming and having to understand algorithms, app frameworks and other tech-related issues.

How did you overcome those challenges?

We are very patient and positive while dealing with every problem. We do a lot of in-depth research regularly to understand these tech-related issues and pay attention to detail.

Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.

Till now we have pooled in our resources to get the app running. We are in talks with investors for our first round of funding.

According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?

  • Work hard
  • Think positively
  • Being able to think big

Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?

Google analytics, App Annie, AWS, Google Trends, Facebook, LinkedIn

Answer in less than 50 words

  • One tip to success:

Follow your passion! Work on something that you love and keeps you motivated to work hard for it.

  • One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:

Losing faith in yourself and your idea/company.

  • One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:

To be patient. When you are working on a start-up, it can get frustrating and it is very easy to lose hope. You have to be very patient and keep working hard till you succeed.

What are your plans for next 3 years?

We have just completed our ‘Test phase’ in some Indian colleges. We took feedback from them and have integrated ‘Plans’ in the app, where students can post weekly plans (Example: Play Football on Thursday at 5 pm), which other students can join. We have now collaborated with fraternities and sororities in New York and California and are having events with them in September. We want to spread the app all over universities in USA, Europe, India, Australia, Singapore and Dubai.

If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?

Nothing. No regrets so far.

Share a quote that inspires you the most.

Steve Jobs — “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Inspiring Entrepreneurs

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