When Rochester native Gauri Nanda was in graduate school at MIT she did things college students typically do a lot of every morning. Hit the snooze button on her alarm clock.
Her penchant for hitting the snooze button gave her an idea for an industrial design class she was taking. The class was trying to merge smart design with technology so Nanda put wheels on an alarm clock so the clock could roll away before she could hit the snooze button. The prototype design was well received in her class and the design lived on the class website, where a blogger found the prototype. That blogger wrote a few posts and Nanda started getting calls about her design from national media outlets.
So began her adventure in entrepreneurship as owner of Nanda Home.
“I really enjoy building a company from the ground up, especially product generation,” says Nanda.
Like many budding entrepreneurs she was not sure where to start after receiving all the media attention. She did know there was interest in her product, so she started looking for partners and talking with entrepreneurs. After a year of research, she decided to become an entrepreneur.
A few years later, her original design Clocky and Clocky’s tech savvy brother Tocky, are sold in 45 countries around the world. Ask her how she expanded globally so quickly and she will quip that having trouble getting up in the morning is a universal problem. One thing her success has proven … she
has been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. It is a bug bite that taught her a lot.
“The mistakes that I made were beneficial. I probably wouldn’t want to know some of the challenges I would face because I might not have done it,” says Nanda.
That leads to her advice for budding entrepreneurs. Spend time talking with entrepreneurs. Having an active network of entrepreneurs to share with has paid dividends for Nanda when it comes to finding talent for her company or getting through the initial stages of business. Once you have built a network, she suggests jumping into the business.
“It just starts to unfold as you are doing it,” she says.