Starting A Company At Age 13 With Aakash Prasad

Starting A Company At Age 13 With Aakash Prasad

Last Updated on December 15, 2020

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About Aakash Prasad

I am a lifelong entrepreneur. When I was 6 years old I helped my grandfather build one of the first online education websites for children (like myself at the time). When I was 13 I started a side business which has now turned into one of the leading platforms for architecture/engineering in California. Along the way I studied electrical engineering and computer science at Berkeley and then helped build a couple of venture backed startups in online education (learn to code) space and enterprise HR SaaS market. Here is my LI: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aakashprasad

About Design Everest

I originally started my company at the age of 13 as a summer project to help my dad who is an engineer. I came back to it in 2016 to work on building out the platform and scaling it after learning about the AEC market for 11 years as a side business. I saw a lot of inefficiencies and felt I could apply my startup and technology background to build an innovative platform that utilizes software to make AEC projects more efficient. Now, Design Everest is a leading technology-enabled engineering and architecture firm in California. Since 2005, we have successfully delivered 5000+ residential and commercial projects for end-customers and industry-partners, powering over $500M of construction annually through our innovative and remote delivery method.

How Did You Get Your First Several Customers Or Users? How Many Users Or Customers Do You Have Now?

We got our first paying customers from online classifieds sites like Craigslist. Now we have 5000+ paying customers and $10’s of millions of revenue from them.

How Does Your Company Grow And Acquire New Customers?

Initially we were more dependent on paid acquisition channels but now we have a much more diversified marketing strategy including paid as well as organic, referral, outbound, email and more.

What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Founders Who Are Looking To Get Their First Thousand Users Or Dollars?

For the initial set of users or revenue, it’s ok to try any and every avenue and see what works. You don’t need to worry about scaling it at that point. It will give you exposure to different channels and see which ones deliver. The early phase is more about “exploration” than “exploitation” in that first you want to try a bunch of things and once something is working then the challenge shifts to getting as much scale, efficiency and returns out of that channel as possible.

What Is Something You’ve Learned That Would Not Be Obvious To Somebody Who Hasn’t Worked In Your Space Before?

There is a lot of inefficiency in the AEC market. It’s one of the oldest and largest industries in the world but it has been stuck in the stone ages in terms of innovation and technology.

What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened To You (Good Or Bad) On Your Founder Journey?

Over the last 9 years I’ve probably seen it all, at least for early stage startups. The best thing that has happened is after trying multiple things the business that ultimately clicked for me was the one I started as a side project when I was 13 years old. So after all the experience including venture backed startups, cloud software, online education, I came back full circle to the business I started when I was 13 and scaled that.

What Are Your Favorite Books?

Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Shellye Archambeau

Anything You’d Like To Plug?

As an entrepreneur what I value the most is resilience. A lot of what an entrepreneur does day to day is real world problem solving. So an entrepreneur needs the determination, resolve and resilience to keep going despite the challenges, obstacles, ups and downs. I believe that is what ultimately drives long term success.

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