I am Divyansh, Co-Founder of notemybook. I started notemybook when I was in second year of engineering and I quit it after running it for almost 2 years. The most satisfying and logical reason that I could tell myself was that, I was not able to create enough impact with that idea and I did not want to stick with it at this age where I could use my energy in a much better way.
Currently, notemybook is run by Abdurrab Khan, who was firstly a team member of notemybook and my classmate. But, seeing my depreciating interests leading to less growth , he decided to take drop from his engineering degree in between and is currently the CEO of the firm. Hats off to his passion.
Coming back to my story, for next 1.5 years before ending my bachelor’s in engineering I made myself strong in technical skills because I feel technology is the fastest way to create a dent in this universe and change lives. I worked for various organizations like Tata Consultancy Services, University of California Berkeley, Teach For India, Tech Mahindra and few others.
After having more than 10 internships including 2 international internships, I did not apply for MS in US, neither did I apply for job in any company, despite the fact that my very close friends had gotten offers of more than Rupees 10 Lakhs per year and few got an admit for MS in IVY leagues like Cornell and Columbia.
I had made myself very clear about my future plans and it is filled with entrepreneurial (ad)ventures. One day, while looking out for opportunities, I came across an Entrepreneurship Fellowship in London. This fellowship is sponsored by Entrepreneur First, which is itself a $8.5 million funded company and soon to get more funds of $40 million. Entrepreneur First is backed by KPMG, McKinsey and Google. It hosts a 6 month program where every year 100 highly technical individuals are selected.
Within these 6 months, the 100 individuals make a team of 2 founders, come up with an idea, build a company with around Rs 20 Lakhs provided by Entrepreneur First and lastly, pitch up to 300 investors on a Demo Day at the end of 6 months. They have already formed 50 startups in London with valuation of more than $250 million and average of $5 million of each startup. It was the best possible opportunity for me as I would be forming venture with Top Technical Talents of the world as 55% of its participants are from Imperial, Cambridge or Oxford.
Although, it was a long shot for me but I applied to this fellowship whose acceptance rate is less than Harvard University. After lot of interview rounds and coding tests, I finally received a call from a number starting from +44. I had made it.
But the battle had just begun. We all know, how tough it is to get a UK work / business Visa. I had two options – Standard Visitor Visa (6 months) or Exceptional Talent Visa (5 years). Obviously, the later one is very tough to get. But if I wanted to work on my startup idea without having any pressure from Visa end, I had to go for the later one as the Standard Visitor visa ends after 6 months and if I had to stay more, my startup should raise $75000 within these 6 months.
I applied for this special visa which was not less than applying to a top MBA school in US. I had to provide various documents to make UK government believe my talent and skills. Those included my resume, a cover letter, two recommendation letters, various articles (thanks to your platform for being one of them) show casing leadership, 3 endorsement letters and lot more documents.
Luckily, my 10 internships and previous entrepreneurial ventures all made sense now and it was literally like connecting the dots. After 2 months of visa formalities, I got the decision that my visa application is successful and am allowed to stay in UK till 25th September 2021 following my entrepreneurial dream, to have a global tech startup.
I am the only one from India this year to get this visa (may be the youngest ever globally) and only one from my college to pursue entrepreneurship after Bachelor’s. Being the founder and secretary of entrepreneurship cell of my college, I have seen many students in my college having dream of starting up but due to some reasons, they don’t.
Hope more youth chase their dreams, because they do come true. I know failure is a very viable option in this path and I have lot to do with my life. Its just the beginning. But I am happy that I am pursing what I love doing and not doing a job to make my parents/family happy, not doing masters from US to earn dollars.
Hope this helps my friends out there and I know there cannot be a better platform than yours to reach out to them.