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 (nodal.co).

It didn’t stop there. I next became fed up with open data in politics. So with my friend Daniel Smith, I started Polimorphic (polimorphic.com) 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.