We had the good fortune of connecting with Vishwa Mudigonda and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vishwa, what do you attribute your success to?
I was fortunate to have a difficult childhood growing up. My parents came to the USA as immigrants in search of jobs and “the American Dream” in 1998. They worked odd jobs for very little pay and lived in a shared apartment. I grew up watching my parents work through holidays, birthdays, and weekends. My mom was diabetic and the medicines were very expensive. This life felt unfair but it ignited my drive and hunger for success.
That was my motivating factor. I vowed to never see my family in such a situation ever again. I studied 10x harder in school. I never got good grades because I was a poor test taker, however, I made sure to learn all the concepts at a deep level, beyond the school curriculum. I used my time to gain business acumen by watching successful people, reading case studies, and joining networking events. I understood that a degree is not sufficient to make it big in our current day and age. I bought other courses online and got certifications in many programming languages. It was cost-efficient and gained a lot of knowledge. I tutored students and earned many internships which I did through summers and even during college semesters to help support my parents and pay for my college. I had my reach everywhere I went and built my “Vish” brand. I started two startups while in college: one failed and the other is continuously growing. The goal for me wasn’t money, so I didn’t feel bad when I lost a lot of it on my first start-up. For me, it was the knowledge and experience that I carry with me that make me who I am. Today, many people come to me for advice, and because I’ve been there and done that before, I have answers for them. That “need” people have to ask Vish is how I define the success of my brand.
What should our readers know about your business?
KemNu is a singular college platform that brings students, organizations, & local businesses together through gamified engagement. We are hyper-focused on being exclusive to educational institutions and providing the best college experience in today’s day and age.
We have spoken to more than 1000 university officials, students, student leaders, event organizers, and local business owners. Universities have seen a 50% decline in student engagements since 2016. The data was collected before the pandemic and now those engagement rates are even lower. Our data proved that students are not happy with the current form of marketing for their events. Student organizations are having trouble staying connected, getting new members to join, and lack funds. We solve all of their problems with our unique solution, KemNu.
We built a singular platform for college organizations to do the following:
– Host events (virtual/in-person, public/private, free/paid)
– Gamification – The more events you attend, the more KemNu coins you earn. Use these KemNu coins to get discounts at local businesses or college bookstores.
– Automated attendance tracking system
– Group Chat for every event hosted. Chats will be deleted 24 hours after the event ends.
– Track logistics and view metrics dashboard (student attendance, engagement rates, etc,)
– Raise Funds through paid events
It was not an easy process. It took time, money (earned through startup competitions and accelerators), and passion. As recent college graduates, our team knows the struggles we went through to make new friends during college and wanted to build a platform to help connect them all based on similar age and interests. We listened to the growing pains of the industry and since there wasn’t a solution good enough, we went ahead and built it ourselves.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Day 1 – Start off simple with some Top Golf and eat good food there. Day 2 – Suntrust Braves Stadium to watch a baseball game and eat at Jinya ramen.
Day 3 – Coke Factory – Global headquarters in Georgia.
Day 4 – Sharpshooters and burn off some steam by shooting some rounds. Then eat at Chipotle.
Day 5 – Ga Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the world.
Day 6 – Stone Mountain Hiking.
Day 7 – Get on electric scooters and ride through the beltline. Then eat at Masti Restaurant.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shout out to my most valued mentor, Kenneth Mathis, entrepreneur-in-residence at Georgia State University. He saw something in me before everyone else did. He saw how passionate I was to learn new things and how much time I was putting into my first startup. He told me to join his advanced 8000 level entrepreneurship course. There were many pre-requisites that I would have to take for his course, but he spoke to University officials and waived those pre-requisites. He told me I have already demonstrated the knowledge from those courses through my startup’s success. In his class, I was the only student. The class was essentially 1-on-1. I gained so much out of that experience. He was subconsciously building my mindset to think strategically. He ripped up several business plans I wrote and said “start over!” The goal wasn’t that I didn’t have a good enough business plan, it was to help me overcome the fear of failure. It took a while to see it, but I appreciated that even more. Today, he’s dealing with a difficult health condition, and there is nothing I can do to rejuvenate him. There is no cure. However, I would like to recognize him for who he was and give him credit for who I am today.
Taken by KemNu employees.