Cirkled in™ utilizes Azure in conjunction with PHP, MySQL, Ubuntu, and Bootstrap to showcase kids’ accomplishments for schools, coaches, and employers – increasing their chances of acceptance and success.
Kids and young adults have never faced such stiff competition when applying for colleges, scholarships, internships and jobs, but Seattle-based startup Cirkled in ™ is making it easier with their new web application. Created and designed by parents who have first-hand experience with the importance of showcasing a student's achievements for a school application, Cirkled in™ captures and compiles kids' and students' school and life achievements on a secure online platform - increasing their chances of success by highlighting their strengths, talents and accomplishments.
Cirkled in™ enables the user to share their comprehensive profile with coaches, admission officers, employers and recruiters says CEO Ritu Gupta. “In today's competitive world, one accomplishment can make a difference in student's prospects and chances of success. We wanted to provide a service that helps kids and students compete and standout in the new global education system and future job market.”
Establishing business relationships and gaining exposure have been an integral part of Cirkled in’s business success, says Gupta. “People tend to glamorize the startup industry, but don’t always talk about the fact that the majority of startups fail. Cultivating partnerships, as we have done through the BizSpark program, is the key. They have helped us grow to a level we didn’t expect.” Recently, Cirkled in™ was selected to participate in a radio interview with entrepreneur and Lean startup legend Steve Blank – a unique opportunity that highlights the quality of Cirkled in’s product, while greatly increasing their exposure. Follow on blog by Steve appeared on Huffington Post and other major news websites. Cirkled in™ is one of the 40 global companies that also got selected for Startup Grind’s Global Annual Conference 2016 to be held in California. Selection for Collision conference 2016 in New Orleans is another validation Cirkled in™ just received.
Providing a holistic view of student’s professional, personal, and academic accomplishments, Cirkled in™ may be seen as the “LinkedIn for kids.” Cirkled in™ allows you to compile and sort your activities and achievements into seven categories, tracking all the way from pre-school to high school. Students can maintain a live record of their accomplishments and can selectively share their profile with teachers, coaches, admissions directors, and employers - boosting their chances of success in an increasingly competitive environment. “The admissions trend has changed” says Gupta, “Everything has gone global and is, consequently, more competitive. Admissions officers, recruiters, and employers are looking broader and deeper, searching kids’ online presence like never before. The need to standout has magnified. Cirkled in™ highlights each individuals overall talents for summer jobs, internships, college admission, scholarships and any other application.”
With a complex architecture and distributed environment, Cirkled in™ is heavily reliant on Azure for hosting, storage, and security says CTO Prashant Shukla. “We wanted to deliver a platform that would best capture the user's personal successes. Since that requires uploading some personal information, security was a big factor when making technology decisions. Not only did Azure provide our website solution, but they help to protect sensitive documents and information better than other services.”
Azure compatibility with open source software was another reason Cirkled in™ decided to leverage Microsoft technologies with their application according to Shukla. “We employ a wide array of open source – namely PHP, MySQL, Ubuntu, and Bootstrap. I have to say, it has been flawless. I can now monitor from any machine, at any time. We weren’t initially sure how well Azure would support Bootstrap, but it has been wonderful. In total, we have had less than an hour of downtime since we started working with Azure.”
Its versatility with internet of things technologies cemented Cirkled in’s decision to leverage Azure. The company uses SendGrid for the applications emailing service and, according to Shukla, “It works perfectly. The service is heavily integrated with Azure and we are very reliant on it. It runs smoothly and its preconfigured solutions make everything much simpler.”
Though fairly new to the startup game, Cirkled in™ is beginning to leave its mark on the industry. Through an amazing product, cultivated relationships, and increased exposure, Cirkled in™ continues to multiply their customer base. “It gives us a sense of validation” says Gupta.
Microsoft is helping these startups succeed through its BizSpark program. To join or see other startup stories, visit us at our website here. To listen to our startups, check out these podcasts on devradio here.
About BizSpark: Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps startups succeed by giving free access to Microsoft Azure cloud services, software and support. BizSpark members receive up to $750 per month of free Microsoft Azure cloud services for 3 years: that’s $150 per month each for up to 5 developers. Azure works with Linux and open-source technologies such as Ruby, Python, Java and PHP. BizSpark is available to startups that are privately held, less than 5-years-old and earn less than $1M in annual revenue.