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Haasith Sanka is undergraduate at UC Riverside interested in developing innovative and fun application that make an impact on people’s lives.
City where you’re from: San Diego, CA
Hobbies: basketball, playing video games, hiking
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”(Gandhi)
Hey Haasith, what are you working on? How did you come up with this idea?
Haasith Sanka: I am working on Foodies, the tinder for food, where users can swipe on food to figure out where they want to eat. I came up with this idea by talking to my friend on a bus ride to a hackathon where I told him about the tinder model and we bounced back on some ideas and I ended up coming up with tinder for food. I ended up working on this idea over my winter break and ended up releasing it at the end of my spring break for a beta. I heeded people’s concerns and improved it before I released it again.
How is your company different?
Haasith Sanka: My company is different because we are based in Riverside, CA where there has not been major entrepreneurial activity recently. However, there is a major shift in the amount of entrepreneurial activity recently because of incubators in downtown and the city’s push to create more jobs through entrepreneurship. All of the people in my company have only been in the entrepreneurial space for only a two years or less, so we are all learning from each other and driving each to be the best we can be.
What’s your dream with your company?
Haasith Sanka: My dream for my company is to help as many people as I can and to change the way food has been discovered.
How do you creatively advertise?
Haasith Sanka: I use tips for posts from our facebook and instagram page people can use when they plan to go to the restaurant.
What’s the best way to learn how to be an entrepreneur?
Haasith Sanka: The best way is to learn by beginning your own startup or by joining an early stage startup. In my experience, I feel as if you cannot learn how to be a true entrepreneur without actually experiencing it.
What were your biggest failure and biggest success? What did you learn from them?
Haasith Sanka: My biggest failure is when I did not have written agreements for my first company and my company and my relationship with my friend got ruined. I learned that having the equity negotiation set in stone initially with paperwork is mandatory to avoid equity negotiations later.
My biggest success was when I released my first app to the app store with my team’s help. We went through many designs and improved it each time, and finally it got approved to the app store. Even from my success, I learned that I have to keep improving the app and get user feedback to truly make an app that is used by millions of people. After all, my customer’s opinions should be the most important for me to decide what the next feature I should add to the app.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
Haasith Sanka: Users first, UI/UX are key factors. Make sure to make a first good impression with your product because a lot of users don’t come back after a first bad experience.
Teach us something
Haasith Sanka: For social media posts,give people something that can relate to and something that they can use immediately.
What’s something new you’ve learned in the past month?
Haasith Sanka: I’ve learned that I need to keep pushing out updates and use push notifications more to engage users.
Teach us something we don’t know (it’s vague and open-ended on purpose)
Haasith Sanka: Get user feedback after every update so you know what they really want because if you deliver what users want they are more likely to keep using your app.
What do you think you do better than most people?
Haasith Sanka: I think I communicate with people really well because I follow and make sure everything is going according to plan and nothing is wrong with my teammate’s personal lives.
What should an entrepreneur focus on?
Haasith Sanka: They should focus on user feedback, communication skills and finding the right people to work with on their venture. They need to find people who are as passionate as themselves to work on their project.
Where do you see yourself and your product in a couple years?
I see my product becoming a go-to application for people who want to go get something to eat.