What is it like to sell your startup as an undergraduate? “I didn’t imagine that I would be in this position when we started two years ago,” said Brendan Batliner (CS 3rd year). “We were college freshmen with interests in entrepreneurship and now we’ve sold our first company together.”
Batliner and Vinesh Kannan (CS 3rd year) sold their startup company Omnipointment to Mimir in Indianapolis, Indiana, a cloud-based software company that scales and automates the evaluation of computer science students and professionals. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Kannan will join Mimir as its Lead Computer Science Curriculum Engineer. Batliner, who transferred to Illinois Tech this year from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, works for Chris Gladwin’s new startup, Ocient.
The two are both also Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) alums. They started Omnipointment at Northwestern University’s Wildhacks competition.
“I’m so excited to see the results of our hard work,” said Batliner. “Vinesh especially has moved our education products forward so much this past year, and now that he’s moving to Mimir for curriculum development, it feels like that was always one of his dream jobs.”
Kannan helps to design enrichment programs and has taught over 450 students about collaboration, computing, and entrepreneurship. He worked with Chicago Public Schools’ CS4ALL Initiative to help prepare more than 170 high schools to meet a citywide computer science graduation requirement mandate by August 2016.
Batliner added, “I’m happy that we found a good home for Omnipointment and that we have the time now to focus on our new jobs and do those best without juggling responsibilities.”
“I’m also really grateful for all the support we have received from Illinois Tech in this journey,” Kannan said. “Having our own computer science department as a customer allows us to be on the ground and in the classroom, learning so much about the state of the CS classroom from all perspectives: instructors, TAs, students, and companies who hire our grads. Illinois Tech students provide pivotal feedback on all of our products. Nik Rokop, Coleman Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship, is also an invaluable mentor and a lifelong friend to us.
“Outside of the academic departments, it is a pleasure to work with the Illinois Tech Global Leaders Program,” he added. “Their staff and scholars are incredible. Their use of Omnipointment’s education platform, Charter, was formative in its development. Organizations like the Exelon Summer Institute and Association for Computing Machinery have also been crucial in my personal development, and I am very glad Illinois Tech supports them.”
The duo are active in the startup/entrepreneur/hackathon communities in Chicago and won a number of pitch competitions. They are regulars at Chi Hack Night and helped to run last weekend’s ScarletHacks competition at Illinois Tech.