Stalk Ninja – connecting students with start-ups

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Stalk Ninja is a novel and innovative venture which redefines freelancing in the context of Indian college students. It gives the opportunity for students pursuing their higher studies to get their hands wet in some real world coding and designing action. At the same time, StalkNinja manages to deliver quality service at a very affordable rate to start-ups and small scale companies in the IT section.

 

StalkNinja was set up in December 2010 by 29-year-old Ashish Sharma, along with Gaurav Singh. Sharma is an IIT Madras (2005 batch) alumnus and Gaurav is a student at Jabalpur Engineering College, MP, 3rd year.  Prior to Stalk Ninja, Sharma co-founded www.minkle.in with two IIM K grads. It was during this period that he felt the need of getting small work done which are peripheral to their core work and the difficulty in obtaining assistance for such purposes. He came to know from Gaurav that there is a considerable amount of untapped skill going wasted in the colleges of India. From there began a journey, which would ultimately culminate in the formation of this streamlined system.

Initially, StalkNinja didn’t get an overwhelming response from veterans who considered students to be irresponsible and remote work very difficult to work out. So, one of their most important tasks was to set up a system of validation and quality verification of the aspiring students. To this end, they set up a ‘Ninja Challenge’ that only the skilled can solve. It currently has a success rate less than 3% with 45 Ninjas being chosen from over 1500 applications. The verification and selection procedures are done manually in order to ensure only hand-picked capable students are chosen. Another obstacle was to propagate the news to the start-ups and institutions which are in need. To address this issue, Sharma traveled all around India meeting start-ups in person and making them aware of the benefits of StalkNinja. StalkNinja is a for-profit entrepreneurship but charges only the start-ups and not the students. StalkNinja charges a premium to its clients because they refine the projects that comes in. They also make sure that it is fair environment where they hold the money till the project is completed & accepted by the project creator. They also follow up regularly with both parties in case either of them become unresponsive.

StalkNinja is also considering expanding their field of operation to include Open Source software. This is expected to project the venture to a much wider audience, even though the profit factor will be absent for the students. Also, StalkNinja has managed to set up privileged summer internships for selected start-ups and students. All these will definitely bring about a sea change in the Indian student freelancing scenario, which was virtually non-existent earlier. The Ninjas, admins and other well-wishers get together, collaborate and discuss new ideas, features and possibilities in their  IRC channel. Also, check out the blog of Stalk Ninja athttp://blog.stalkninja.com/ .

 

Here are the advantages of StalkNinja as listed on their Facebook page.

Advantages to start-ups:

1. Affordable outsourcing opportunity

2. Getting to know talented students which can then be absorbed as employees.

3. Tapping high profile students who get poached by MNCs during regular jobs/internship.

Advantages to students:

1. Industry exposure.

2. Getting to earn while studying.

3. Getting to work with startups without needing to sacrifice a good paying job/internship.

Note: This article is the winner of Exciting article writing competition-July 2011

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One Comment

  1. Basvaraj says:

    i would like to know more about stalk ninja n want to do some web application projects  using java.. cell no : +919619762015….

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