Kimeshan Naidoo, CTO and Co-Founder at Unibuddy: Connecting University Applicants to Existing Students

 
Unibuddy is an online platform connecting university applicants to existing students. They now work with over 350 Higher Education institutions in 30 countries worldwide.
Unibuddy has helped more than 400,000 students from over 180 countries make better decisions about their Higher Education journey based on human experience and connectivity, rather than only prospectuses, websites and open days.
 

 

Homepage | Unibuddy

 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 

It was founded in 2015 by myself and Diego Fanara (CEO), we met while we were both studying for masters degrees in Computer Science and Finance at London’s UCL and Imperial College. Unibuddy’s first product was my dissertation project, I then built the peer to peer network connecting prospects with current students and staff as a result of my own experience when applying for University outside of my home country of South Africa, an experience shared by Diego.

The decision to choose a university to study at is a major life decision, something we shouldn’t have to do alone like when we choose to have children or buy a house. That’s why mine and Diego’s shared vision to help people make informed decisions through shared experiences has been so successful.

 

What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

 

Define your way of working (identity or culture) as early as possible, otherwise you will hire people that aren’t aligned with and you will then have to deal with this hiring “debt”. If you scale an inefficient system you will magnify its inefficiencies – the biggest inefficiency is misalignment so before you grow, spell out your purpose, values, vision and culture really well.

 

What can we hope to see from Unibuddy in the future?

 

Unibuddy is about to release various open source projects that were in R&D for a few years, resulting from the Engineering team solving problems where there was no existing tool or library available in public.

As Unibuddy looks towards its Series B next year, I have plans to launch an enterprise product for the biggest universities in the world and there are also ambitions to launch a consumer product, hosted on Unibuddy.