hashtaag

HashTaag: A Startups Only Networking Site to Validate Ideas

Are you an early stage entrepreneur who needs validation for your idea? HashTaag is something you might like. Paritosh Sharma, the founder of HashTaag, is trying to help aspiring/early stage startups get things right from day one.

The idea behind HashTaag? To give startups validation and help build traction right at the start. HashTaag is a platform that crowdsources opinions for your big idea.

How Does HashTaag Work?

Once users register on the website, they can either choose to add their own idea, or discover ideas submitted by others.

While building a project, users have to state the core of their idea in 140 characters. Apart from this, they can also add three demo videos, presentation or images of 1.5 MB to back their project.

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Users also have a space to add what has been achieved in its development so far. Once this is done, users can also ask for feedback or answers from the HashTaag community.

Users can also vote or “back” a project that has already been submitted on Hashtag. With each backing, or help given to a project, users earn a ‘karma’ or points that validate their expertise.

The more backers received, the more viable the idea.

“Through HashTaag startups can build a network of early adopters and backers from day one,” says Paritosh.

Instead of being reactive and approaching a VC when you need funding, HashTaag gives a platform to interact with the ecosytem as you build the product, he adds.

For quality-control, HashTaag monitors any project that has zero obstacles against it for 48 hours, and removes it thereafter.

HashTaag has over 200 users and 32 startup projects submitted, 10 days since its launch on January 24, 2013.

What Works for HashTaag?

  • Just the platform that early-stage/aspiring startups need. If it attracts the right kind of people there can be great value addition for startups.

  • Ideal place to connect with potential investors, mentors

What Has to be Improved

Design. A big problem on the portal. The UI can be improved to help view the projects better.

  • Once the user views a project, text appears all over the place making it difficult to zero in on the intent of the project.

  • The project update/comments/queries section is not easy to read simply because one has to keep scrolling to read and find queries. What if mine were a reply to the 15th project, and now there are 50?

  • Getting actual experts online through incentives to help startups. The company says that backers may get rewards by project creators in the future.

HashTaag has invested over Rs 3 lakh in funding so far, and are looking to raise seed funding. They currently have 2 projects that have successfully completed validation on their platform.