School of Meaningful Experiences — the first quarter.

On Feb 20th 2019, I touched the milestone of “First Quarter” of the School of Meaningful Experiences (SoME). I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude towards God and all of you. Thank you for your wonderful support and look forward to more of it as I move forward in this journey. This blog post is to share with you a quick summary of how I got here and where am I headed with SoME.

I decided to start SoME in the Summer of 2018. The core philosophy of SoME is to focus on a teenage learner and help them discover the joy of learning. Teenagers are squeezed from all sides. The school teaches them an archaic and irrelevant curriculum that they don’t like. The parents push them towards a career they don’t want. Besides this, their bodies are going through lots of changes as well, both mental and physical. Their hormones are playing havoc in their minds and many of them don’t know how to deal with the situation. In a nutshell, they are in a place where you and I would not like to be in.

The outcome of all this is a teenager who has lost interest in learning and has become a rudderless boat floating through this ocean of life. This concerns me a lot and I for one, have decided to do something about it by starting SoME.

SoME’s initial corpus was my tiny provident fund, that I had saved for my children’s education. Sorry Kian and Aarohi. You are on your own now. My wife Simran and my dear friend Murari Sharan Gupta became SoME’s first angel investors. We bought 4 chairs, used the old dining table as a desk, put lot of stationary on it and set up our office in the start-up and food epicenter of Bangalore — Koramangala.

Reuben John was the first employee of SoME who brought with him a mix of skills ranging from business development to technological know-how. He pulled in his buddy, Biswajith Manimaran, to handle the creative aspects of creating content. This photo below taken somewhere in early November, was our first day together at our office. We bought the domain name on GoDaddy and signed up for Gmail for corporate as our backbone for our email systems.

SoME was legally registered as a private limited company on November 20th 2018. My dear friend and fellow alumnus of IIMB, Guruprasad Makam, founder of Guru & Jana Associates and his team Srilakshmi, Kaseem, Pavan, Kavya, Shilpa helped to get this done. The bank account and GST number came in December and we were officially ready to do our work from a legal and commercial stand point.

SoME’s first identity was created by my daughter Aarohi on a small piece of cardboard paper. Check it out below.

I then approached the talented Santhosh PG and Rajeev Ravindranathan from People Design to help us with our overall identity. My daughter, Aarohi was not happy with this move. But I bribed her with a DIY Slime kit which was on sale on Amazon. By early January, Santhosh and Rajeev showed us our new logo and identity. The logo conveys how learning happens at crossroads of experiences. We loved it.

January 15th 2019, we launched the SoME website and a video that introduced us to the world. Biswajith did the website along with help from a dear friend Suresh Babu and his team from Web Marketing Academy.

On Jan 22nd, we launched our first program called Summer of Meaningful Experiences, our summer camp between April 18th to 26th 2019. On Feb 4th, we got our first paid customer Vishal Jeevankumar who signed up his daughter for this camp. And on Feb 16th, we did our first marketing campaign at an event. We printed our brochures, standees, flyers and distributed them to a few hundred parents in Jayanagar. If you are interested to know more about our summer camp, sign up here

Besides our Summer Camp, we will be launching some very cool programs for teens. Stay tuned to my post as I unravel them to you and help us spread the word to teens and parents around you.

Before I sign off, I must confess that I am really scared. I hope I can meet the expectations of the parents who have put their faith in me and SoME. I hope I can be a good employer to my team and my partners and finally, I hope that I am able to help the teens discover the joy of learning and have a meaningful experience.

So wish me luck and do chime in with your ideas and suggestions.

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#confidence #communication #curiousity #creativity #collaboration #competence #curriculumfor21stcentury #joyoflearning #some