Ever wondered about what it is like to get into the Y Combinator’s Fellowship program? Well, one of our residents at The Hangar by NUS Enterprise just did! This week, we sit down with one of Dexecure’s founders, Inian Parameshwaran, as he shares his start-up journey with us, why and how he applied for Y Combinator’s Fellowship program (and got in), and his plans going forward.
Inian was a NUS School of Computing alumnus. His interest in starting up grew strong after completing the NOC iLEAD programme. When his final year project at the Systems Security lab showed signs of being useful to the industry at large, he decided to stay on as a Research Assistant to further develop the technology. Initiatives like the Lean LaunchPad Programme and the Vasco Grant helped him prototype and get some very early feedback during this phase. Inian convinced Murali, also an NUS alumnus, to join him in this venture (turns out Murali was very excited and did not need much convincing anyway) and is closely working with NUS to bring the technology they developed to market, making Dexecure as home-grown as it can get!
Further into our conversation with Inian, we found out that he is really passionate about the web in general and his motivation behind setting up and continuing with Dexecure was one of the biggest problems web developers face — providing a good user experience by developing a website that runs fast on different mobile devices and network conditions. With a growing mobile audience, having a strong mobile presence is crucial for any business. Dexecure uses cutting-edge browser features to help businesses develop incredibly fast websites and is continuously evolving its algorithms to close the gap between the mobile web and native mobile applications.
While Y Combinator (YC) offers both a core and a fellowship programme, Inian felt that the YC’s Fellowship would be a better fit for Dexecure at this stage as he would be able to secure guidance and mentorship, tap into YC’s network, and quickly achieve product-market fit. In addition, the start-up will receive US$20,000 as part of the programme. The terms of the program are very founder friendly too — if Dexecure goes public or achieves a private valuation of US$100 million, YC would then take a 1.5% equity stake in Dexecure.
For the benefit of other aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to apply for YC’s Fellowship, we urged Inian to spill the beans on the entire application process. He candidly shared with us that Dexecure had applied for the YC’s Fellowship back in July 2015 but was not selected. Undaunted by this setback, they continued to refine and narrow down their focus and applied again in March this year. They were finally shortlisted by YC in April for an interview with an YC alumnus. It was a short interview over Skype. After the alumnus interview, they were offered a place in the upcoming batch of the Fellowship programme.
Moving forward, Inian and Murali would be flying off to the Bay Area next month for the kick-off event in Mountain View. Thereafter they would spend the next two months getting more sales & customers and scaling Dexecure, while working out from our Block 71 San Francisco facility, and getting ready for Demo Day in July.
For the last bit of our interview, Inian shared with us how he feels being at The Hangar By NUS Enterprise, “Our time here has been amazing so far! The very fact that we are in the midst of other companies working hard on their start-ups has inspired us to push even further to achieve our vision. The atmosphere is very vibrant — there are events happening all the time at the Hangar and recent events like the Pricing Workshop have been very relevant to us”.
Thanks, Inian, for sharing your insights with us and all the best to Dexecure with the YC’s Fellowship!
As a token of appreciation for NUS Enterprise’s support so far, the Dexecure’s team has kindly provided startups within our community a special discount code to try out their product for free for the first month. Hurry up and sign up at https://dexecure.com/ using the coupon code “NUSHANGAR”!