Necessity is the mother of invention. With the dot-com bubble, the world witnessed a compelling longing to adapt in order to sustain. With intense development and the need to create a niche, the startup ecosystem has been evolving with the changing times. For years now, education and career counselling have been lacking in various areas. Bridging this gap, a GITAM incubated Vizag-based technology startup, Deltanow, is paving the way for a hassle-free association in the education sector. In an exclusive interaction with Yo! Vizag, Abhishikth Chandaka, the Founder of Deltanow, shares his team’s journey.
Deltanow is an early-stage technology startup operating in the sectors of Career Counselling & Ed-tech, with ‘Ethos’ and ‘Datatrove’ as its flagship products. Ethos promises to solve the problem of millions of students in the higher education space of India. It works towards streamlining and providing an accessible approach towards discovering and connecting with the right career service provider. Datatrove, on the other hand, takes a step further, enabling the colleges and universities to predict, visualize, and get insights into their students’ career performances.
It all started when Abhishikth Chandaka, the Founder of Deltanow, joined GITAM University to pursue engineering. Due to his lack of awareness, experience, and most importantly – a plan, it was very difficult for Abhishikth. It was very difficult to have people take enthusiasm towards his entrepreneurship endeavour seriously. “It all happened in 2018 when the foundation of Deltanow materialised. Starting with my co-founder Charan Kommana from BITS Pilani Hyderabad. While Charan handled operations, Navaneeth Nidadavolu handled technology. Likhith Nemani and Supriya G were added as the two pillars of this Vizag-based startup and as all of the four of us shared the same vision, we were steadfast in our endeavor,” says Abhishikth.
With the three of them having a short stint as interns at Fountane, LLC, Deltanow gained momentum with the coming together of a team. Things picked up for the company by the end of the year. Abhishikth proudly recalls, “We soon had a full team in place. As a Vizag-based startup, our first major work was from the placements’ cell of GITAM Visakhapatnam campus. We were asked to build a scalable student data and placements management solution. Later on, this evolved into ‘Datatrove’ – the foundation of our current product family that aims to help colleges and students deliver and experience richer and more accessible career services.”
GITAM University – An integral part of Deltanow
As the business grew, Deltanow gained and developed its initial booster with GCGC (GITAM Career Guidance Center) that led to the eventual conceptualisation and pursuit of its other product Ethos. Abhishikth vividly recollects, “We, as a team, are forever indebted to how big of a role Mr. B Vikas & Commander G Gurumoorthy (Retd) from GCGC played. Mr. Leben Johnson (Late-Director of Venture Development Center, GITAM) and the VDC’s team of coaches did a splendid job of conducting various events within the campus leading to Deltanow meeting its first Angel Investor (Alcove Partners, Andhra Pradesh) through one such national competition. They set up a formal structure for entrepreneurship within the university for the first time by working with Northeastern University, Boston, and implementing their NU-Idea Ready-Set-Go paradigm of entrepreneurship learning.”
While everything starts small, Deltanow saw its first achievement with its first release of Datatrove. It was first released within the Visakhapatnam campus of GITAM for a couple of thousand users during January 2020. Later during the year, the Deltanow team had the privilege of building a complex management solution for the Academic Affairs Directorate of GITAM to completely digitize the Ph.D. review process and bring it down from months of processing time on paper to mere days through the new system.
While all this was at the University, in October 2020, Datatrove V2 launched as a complete remake to generalise it as a product usable by various colleges and universities, laying the groundwork for further features in the upcoming V3. With everything happening, Deltanow got its first international breakthrough in April 2021. Deltanow won the regional finals of TiE University from TiE Andhra Pradesh chapter and was nominated for the global competition. Finally in May 2021, to mark its greatest achievement ever, Deltanow was one of the top 27 of 526 teams from across the world, winning cash prizes of US $500 Semi-finalist award and the special US $750 Social Impact award along with US $5000 in Amazon Web Services credits, among more in-kind prizes, totaling to a tune of US $12,629.