Student-created application and blog aim to help entrepreneurs
Rahul Singh (SCS ’12), an instructor at the DC offices of Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts, and a group of Georgetown students are developing Appleseed Portal, an application set to come out in mid-January 2011 that will give users the ability to launch their own enterprises.
“When somebody asks me, ‘what do I use to run my blog? I say use WordPress,” he said. “I want when people ask me, ‘What do I use to run my company?’ to be able to say ‘use Appleseed Portal’.”
Appleseed Portal will allow users to interface with business applications, such as PayPal and Freshbooks, to facilitate payment and invoicing. Singh plans to offer basic editions of the product for free, drawing revenue from optional web and technical support services.
The product will complement, AsItChanges.com, a blog with information and advice meant to inspire would-be entrepreneurs.
“I have to literally go one-by-one to CEO’s and company owners and getting from them an understanding of how they built their companies,” he said. “That’s something that inspires me as an entrepreneur and as a businessperson, to see how they’ve fared the winds in a place like Georgetown.”
Singh recently recruited Austin Yoder (COL ’11) and Ivan Batischev (SFS ’08), whom he met in classes, and David Liu (MSB ’12) and Ankit Goyal (SFS ’12), whom he met while promoting his idea to the Delta Phi Epsilon foreign service fraternity, which he is a member.
Singh views Appleseed Portal and AsItChanges.com as an outgrowth of an altruistic worldview he adopted after a near-death experience a few years ago.
“My life has generally gotten more to be about what I can do for God and for other people. Georgetown has really helped me discover that,” Singh, who was baptized at Dahlgren Chapel this past year, said. “What entrepreneurship does is show a person that they have it in themselves to provide a service to someone else in their community and make a living.”