About a year ago, three University of Toronto undergraduate students, Fahd Ananta (Computer Science), Guru Mahendran (Engineering: Aerospace), and Thariq Shihipar (Engineering: Electrical & Computer Engineering), began developing a web services aggregator, Chime
. Officially launching in January of this year, Chime, which is available on the Google Chrome browser, offers users one place where they can access all of their Facebook notifications, e-mails, Tweets, etc., in a stream of real time updates.
The product was met with a great deal of excitement, gaining almost 30,000 users since it first launched. HubSpot, an inbound marketing software company, took notice and acquired Chime as an “innovative company that could help them continue to transform the marketing landscape.” (See HubSpot’s announcement HERE.) Lauding the company’s neatly organized format, HubSpot will be bringing the three founders to their headquarters in Cambridge, MA by the end of the spring.
Fahd, Guru and Thariq, who met at a DemoCamp event on U of T’s St. George campus, reflected on the growing climate of entrepreneurship at U of T, and on the general atmosphere of the university as supporting factors for their success. “The student environment and culture were probably the most influential,” Fahd shared. “The talent, innovation, and drive to succeed at the university [creates] an amazing place to grow ideas and stay motivated.” Thariq added, “Guru and I took the [Engineering] entrepreneurship course, 488 series, and that was very helpful.” While the group wasn’t able to use Engineering’s Hatchery incubator, Thariq noted, “If it had been around when we were in 2nd or 3rd year, we would have definitely made use of it; it’s going to be a great resource for current undergrads!”
Finally, when asked if they have any advice for young entrepreneurs, Fahd was adamant: “It’s always the right time to get started. If you have an idea, build it now and sweat the details later. Get involved with the Toronto startup community and make connections… If you have no idea where to start, get a Github account to start hacking away on side projects - and follow Hacker News.”
See the U of T News story HERE.
Image above, left to right: Fahd Ananta, Guru Mahendran, Thariq Shihipar.