Hopin

 

It takes a lot of courage and commitment to build a startup, and we strongly believe in ideas that can change the world. As we see startups grow and reach new heights in our acceleration programs, we are taking the opportunity to interview them and gain an insight into what drives them.  

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Today, we are in conversation with Mohak Juneja, the founder of ‘Hopin’. (Accelerated by UIncept in the 2019 cohort.)

What exactly is Hopin?

Hopin started as a very small project back in college when we realised that accessing the content we needed in college for our courses was difficult to find at one place. We had to run around borrowing notes, wait in lines at xerox shops, and spend hours in the library.

That is when we decided to digitise content that was being taught across our college. What followed was a realisation that there is a gap in the market for course content across universities and that we were not the only ones facing this problem. 

Over the next year, we ran some tests and incorporated our college’s course content on our website. We started getting almost 4,000 views when our university had 5,000 students.

What is the bigger problem you’re solving for the audience you are catering to?

The biggest problem we are solving is that we’re trying to integrate the offline and online markets. Today, both these markets are very segregated.

Another thing was, we wanted to bring value to the people who create that content. For example, the student that attends all the classes and shares their notes with the batch, they’re either underpaid or never paid at all. Not just this, a lot of students end up spending so much money on books that are going to be of use to them a month or two at best. 

We aimed to build a network of colleges across India so that these creators and consumers can directly transact and subscribe to content amongst each other.

How did you get in touch with UIncept?

We had interns working with us from JIMS; then we came across UIncept and got in touch with them about the whole network of JIMS and UIncept. After thoroughly speaking with the team and realising that UIncept had a good understanding of running colleges (JIMS), we applied to the acceleration cohort and it’s been great since then. 

They helped us each step of the way. From moving to Gurgaon to understanding the operations side of the business- they’ve guided us through it all. 

How do you think your business model has evolved after being part of the acceleration program? 

Hopin has evolved quite a lot over the last six months. We started with very simple pricing that was fixed and learned how to build a system where we can introduce customer retention as well so that the platform doesn’t become a seasonal offering during exam time only.

Manish sir helped us put a business model and strategy in place. He helped us put a system around the engagement and assisted us in finding out the stakeholders we should be looking at. He guided us through the financials, challenges and mentored us on almost every aspect of the business so that we build something sustainable. 

What kind of events have you been attending at UIncept?

I have attended almost all the events they have hosted- be it a keynote from an investor, an interactive session with a founder, or networking sessions with other startups.

They are very useful in terms of the quality of learning, understanding of real business problems, and gaining real-time market insights. We have been able to speak to startups, network with successful entrepreneurs, build our name in the market, and even leveraged the network we’ve created. 

It is great to talk to entrepreneurs, share experiences, learn from others’ mistakes and share our learnings along the way.

What would you recommend to other startups that want to be a part of the UIncept acceleration program?

I would tell them that UIncept has a huge network in the industry that is very crucial for startups in their early stages. They help startups accelerate faster and have experts on the panel. They are very approachable and I would recommend everyone to make the most of it. 

These people have been where you are and know what they’re doing. UIncept is there to help startups every step of the way.

I would advise everyone coming in to leverage what they have to offer because it is not very often you see so much holistic startup growth happening at one place.

What is a piece of advice you would like to give to your fellow entrepreneurs and people who are just starting up? 

I’d say you have to be really committed to it. It’s not a cakewalk or a 6-months project that you’re working on. You are responsible for a lot of other people working with you. Also, identify a problem you understand thoroughly. The best-case scenario is when you’re a user of the product yourself.

Don’t forget to build a product-centric community as hat gives you a lot of insights. You need to speak to your users and understand them because, at the end of the day, they are all that matter. Also, before it’s too late- learn to take feedback. 

UIncept is India's premier startup incubator and accelerator-based out of Gurugram, India. In our pursuit to create startups that become the disruptors for tomorrow, we provide mentorship, investment and growth opportunities to the young entrepreneurs who work with us at our campus. Learn more about us and our programshere.

 
Himanshu Bhalla