“Take the first step. Get your hands dirty, any problem is solvable”– with this belief in mind, this young entrepreneur from India, Debaleena Das, the Founder & CEO, STEM-Away, is confident of leading a successful journey helping young and talented youngsters on the way.
Debaleena Das is a graduate in Electronics from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, and then pursued Masters in Computer Engineering from Boston University, followed by a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. She started her professional career in Sun Microsystems followed by various industrial giants like AMD and Intel.
Debaleena has to her credit 15 patents and she is the recipient of the Data Center Group Division Recognition Award and IDGa Architecture Division Recognition Award by Intel Corporation and Winner of the Zimvest Startup Pitch Competition.
Her startup, STEM-Away, helps students and junior professionals develop their careers via a comprehensive virtual-internship program; showcasing technical & soft skills with the 1-Click® Resume. She has created an ecosystem where students of varying experiences collaborate in a way that everyone benefits.
Debaleena Das shares her views on success strategies and tips, and motivation with Business Upside in this interview.
Edited Excerpts from the Interview
Business Upside [BU]: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Debaleena Das [DD]: Personal experience with challenges related to junior talent recruitment and opportunity barriers in STEM.
[BU]: What was your mission at the outset?
[DD]: To create a level playing field for students interested in STEM careers.
[BU]: What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
[DD]: An online virtual internship platform with an integrated hiring tool. It is a 2-sided marketplace connecting students and companies. Revenue is from hiring, career tools are free for students.
[BU]: How do you advertise your business?
[DD]: Limited advertisement through social media. Currently, we do direct outreach with colleges to build the student side of the platform.
[BU]: To what do you attribute your success?
[DD]: A need for the platform, simple elegant innovations that are creating opportunities at scale for students, and a powerful hiring solution.
[BU]: What do you look for in an employee?
[DD]: A passion for the mission.
[BU]: What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
[DD]: We are a very young startup, currently I manage most fronts.
[BU]: Does your company help the community where it is located?
[DD]: Yes. Our effect is global. In summer 2020, we helped 383 students from the US and abroad.
[BU]: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
[DD]: Get your hands dirty. Execute relentlessly on immediate steps while planning the future steps.