The Idea (Why)

Part 1 of 3 in “The Story of Flux”

Entrepreneurs hate complaining.

It’s the beginning of every entrepreneurial story: 1) get fed up with something (anything really) 2) decide to stop complaining 3) go do something about it.

As a student-entrepreneur myself, I soon learned about this entrepreneurial life cycle.

I first complained about transportation. At the time, I had my imagination captured by futuristic novels and their conceptions of smart cities in the future. I was frustrated that cities seemed to be making no progress toward that future. And then I decided to stop complaining. I joined an MIT Sloan alumni, Riju Pahwa, who too had become fed up with the same problem. Riju had worked 10+ years managing IBM’s Smarter Cities + Machine Vision portfolios and saw the opportunity to combine IoT and transportation to make the transportation network smarter. Driven by a desire to build cities of the future — smarter cities full of intelligent sensors watching out for pedestrians + cyclists and talking to self-driving cars on the road — we started Nodal (

It didn’t stop there. I next became fed up with open data in politics. So with my friend Daniel Smith, I started Polimorphic ( as an effort to make tracking and finding “stats” on your local politician as easy as doing the same for your favorite athlete.

And while working on these two projects, I found myself complaining again, but this time in a more meta way. Working on startups while being a student at MIT is exhausting. I felt constantly tired, even though I loved what I was doing. I soon found good advisors and the teams grew larger at Nodal and Polimorphic (and we continue to grow…), but I couldn’t help myself from complaining about the unbelievable shortage of time I had to do everything I wanted.

That’s when the original idea for Flux came to me.

Over the past 2 years at MIT, I have been dually blown away and inspired by my peers and their work. And I have noticed that I am not the only one who feels as if time is scarce; in fact I’m far from the only one at MIT who feels time is scarce. The idea behind flux is to give back student-entrepreneurs time by providing them with a team to work on the “auxiliary” verticals: marketing, design, branding, financials, funding, legalities, … A team thats ready to get their hands dirty, so student-entrepreneurs can make ends meet.

I had the idea…now it was time to go do something about it.

Enter Udgam.

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