Akash Mathew, 22 , is one of founders of CIED Technologies. He started the company in 2011 and is interested in making mobile apps and robots. We spent some time with him to find out more about his cool app called Crush, which has 21000 users from 124 countries. Akash is one of the winners of SVSquare and will be travelling to the U.S in November
How would you describe yourself?
I am a “daydreamer”- I dream a lot and I don’t know whether that is a weakness or my greatest strength.
How did you start your entrepreneurial journey?
I used to dream about owning big companies even when I was in school. I would open up all gadgets and inspect what is inside—I was so curious. In school we (my cousin and I) made small circuits. While in college we started building small robots. We realised that we need a lot of money to make robots so we started with software and web apps because that does not require any money. All I needed was a computer. My cousin and I then started CIED Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Why did you come to Startup Village?
My father once asked me when I would be financially independent. He was not being offensive, just concerned. But I took it up as a challenge and told him that I will not take any money from him from that day onwards. That is when I realized I had to do something big and make money soon. My cousin Jim George and I decided to visit Startup village and check out what is happening there. We had heard a lot about the place and how awesome it is.
How did Startup Village support you?
Amazing support! First the space they offered us was awesome–big rooms, AC, high speed Internet. It gave us a place to meet friends and brainstorm. Everyone was excited to come to Startup Village and work with us. It offers a great environment to meet like-minded people. Finally, when we needed funding, we participated in a contest at the campus and connected with many investors.
What was your first project?
First we had done some work in robotics and then we started on service projects. We would go to companies and make websites for them. We did this for one and a half years. We reached a stage where we could earn 1.5 lakh in a week. But even though we were making a lot of money, we did not get any recognition—this is what happens in service business. So we decided to start building a product.
From where you got the idea for your app Crush?
In college or school, it is quite natural to have a crush on someone but it is very difficult to confess your feelings. What if your crush rejects you? That’s when I thought about creating this app.
How does your app work?
You can choose your crush from your Facebook friend list and save it secretly without letting your crush know about it. You can even prioritise it –who is your crush no. 1, who is no. 2 and so on. Your crush would be notified only if he or she reciprocates and also selects you as a crush in his or her list. Right now our app is connected with Facebook, but in our next version people can add crushes from email and mobile contacts as well.
Who inspires you?
Steve Jobs was the first person to inspire me. He was kicked out of his own company and came back. My mother and father are the biggest support I have. My father is a social entrepreneur and that has always inspired me.
What are your future plans?
Well, in few weeks we will be launching the mobile version of our app Crush. We will be concentrating on mobile apps and games in the coming months.
This post was contributed by Sonia Koilparambil. You can email her at Koilparambil@stud.uni-
heidelberg.de. Sonia is studying social anthropology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She is interested in journalism and is doing an internship at Startup Village in Kochi.