The Nestlings Vision
When founders Raj Shekar and Sowmya Satish of Mountain View, California dreamed up the Nestlings concept, they set out to solve the college applications problem. College applications are inefficient, repetitious, labor-intensive and expensive. The problem is very real, but college-bound secondary students have little influence with the universities and no power to change the status quo.
Project Management for Poets
Putting together five or more college applications becomes an exercise in coordinating the delivery of content, approvals and finances from a diverse and distributed group of contributors. Is this skill set what we really want to select for in higher education? Surely, the world needs more great project managers, but we also need more great poets, mathematicians, historians and star athletes. Nestlings was created to make light work of the college application process by reducing its organizational burden on this diverse and talented audience who has little patience for – and even less training in – project management. The founders themselves are both professional PMs. They built Nestlings as a killer tool to help graduating seniors accomplish their college applications within a supportive community of classmates and mentors.
A Multi-Sided Platform for Higher Ed
Founders Raj and Sowmya are no strangers to software product development. They have worked for some of the largest global names in personal computing, and they understand how important it is to have a marketing roadmap before beginning work to build a new software proof of concept.
The challenge was to build an engaged and focused student community around an app that fills a real need, while generating serious interest among the universities, lenders and vendors who make higher education available to a broader pool of candidates.
Building another Facebook or Common App was not in the cards. Raj and Sowmya had to break new ground, and growing a truly multi-sided community is their differentiator. Including all North American colleges and universities in the app would be foundational to the platform; we could not compromise on that point, and we have achieved it. Bringing on selected quality lenders and vendors will take more time. Nestlings will ultimately find sponsorship among corporate, governmental and nonprofit interest, but for now, our goal is to help students from all corners of the globe get into the college of their choice.
Ruffling a Few Feathers
Nestlings will intersect with a few entrenched players in this space, and we expect to ruffle a few feathers along the way. The Common App was a great start, but it remains an incomplete remedy for the needless complexity of applying to similar and competing schools. Nestlings is here to augment the Common App and other student process management tools in ways that may grate against the established players in US higher ed. We are fine with that because we are helping the world’s young poets and mathematicians to defeat their project management nemesis through community and technology.
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