Indian American entrepreneur Sama Jashnani creates app to help college students mingle

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DownToDash co-founders Anuja Shah and Sama Jashnani

NEW YORK – Indian American Sama Jashnani along with Anuja Shah, both Warwick Business School students who graduated from the MSc Marketing & Strategy in 2014, have co-founded DownToDash, an activity-based social app for college students that allows them to browse for activities that they would be interested in doing while meeting other students and is also useful for networking as one can find internships through it.

Jashnani told Forbes about her experience on the transition from leaving a full time job at such a young age to starting her own business.

“While my co-founder Anuja Shah and I were at university, we realized that students usually end up meeting people only in their dorm or classes. There were many times that we wanted to form a group to play basketball, but couldn’t find enough people,” Jashnani told Forbes.

“We clearly identified a problem and created an activity-based social app to solve it. Make a difference in people’s lives and give them a reason to pay for your service,” she added saying that social media has been criticized for creating loneliness and depression and they wanted to change that.

Jashnani moved from India to New York to start her business because she realized after conducting market research, that the college student market in the U.S. would be the best target audience for the app.

Jashnani believes that creating partnerships, a group of influencers, being passionate about what you are doing and creating your own luck are very important when one starts a business.

“Many people blame any failure on bad luck, but I believe that bad luck does not exist. Every person creates their own luck by being positive and believing that they are lucky, along with working hard and persistence. I am inspired by something Steve Jobs once said: ‘The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.’ I am working toward doing that myself.”

DownToDash has a team of 65 interns who are marketing the app at different universities
across the country and Jashnani hopes to expand the target audience of the app to high schools, corporate offices, housing communities and people who move into new cities.

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