A Day In The Life Of A 23-Year-Old Tech Founder

Gauri Manglik

In the spring of 2010, Gauri Manglik was all set to work in finance after graduation. Or so she thought.

During her last semester, the computer science major decided to take an entrepreneurship class at New York University which led to the startup SpotOn, a review and recommendation media hub.

Click here to experience a day in Gauri’s life >

Manglik and her team raised more than half a million dollars with ENIAC Ventures leading the round and officially launched SpotOn at TechCrunch Disrupt in May 2011.

The recipe wasn’t quite perfect.

A couple of months later, 23-year-old Manglik decided to shift the concept to another startup — Fondu — and the reviews so far are good. Combining Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp, Fondu came out of SpotOn’s failure.

After the launch of her first startup, Manglik learned that people were using the app to rate places and share the ratings with their friends at an incredible rate, but almost no one used it to get recommendations.

In other words, users were basically using SpotOn like social networking.

“We learned that most people consider themselves to have great taste in food and enjoy telling their friends about new and favourite restaurants, but weren’t compelled to write reviews on existing platforms like Yelp,” Manglik told us. “The number one factor that led to someone actually going to a new place was whether a friend had recommended it. So putting these insights together is what led us to create Fondu.”

With the slogan “a social network for bite-sized reviews,” Fondu incorporates the similar microblogging technique that Twitter uses with 175 characters for reviews with ratings.

Fondu’s staff currently consists of five people — 4 are full-time and 3 are co-founders. Yes, it’s another app about finding places, but Manglik and her team were able to find what didn’t work in their first startup and alter it immediately before it failed big time. In doing so, they were able to launch a much more user-friendly and efficient app — something that’s appealing to their audience.

We got a lot of information from Manglik, but we were still curious about one thing: Would she ever go back to finance if this startup thing doesn’t work out?

“It’s never crossed my mind. It wasn’t a choice. I want something of my own,” she told us.

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