Earlier this year, a small team of three talented engineers from Karnataka, India, were crowned the winners of AngelHack Bangalore. The winners claimed their title with a product they called Typeset: a simple interface that allows you to produce professionally typesetted documents in a matter of seconds.
The idea for Typeset came to the Founder, Saikiran Chandha, while he was working on his term thesis at Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in India. After an exasperating semester, his research had finally earned him the green light for publishing. He spent hours on Microsoft Word preparing his document for submission, but only a few weeks later, Saikiran received a notice from the journal telling him that his paper had been rejected… for incorrect typesetting! You can imagine the frustration that caused him. But when engineers are faced with inconveniences, they make damn sure they don't have to face them again. So Saikiran, in true engineer nature, set out to do just that.
Saikiran recognized that there was a gap in the market for a product that could really make a difference. He found that with a rejection rate of 60%, a research paper must be submitted 4 times, on average, before it was approved. Typesetting was clearly a problem that merited a viable solution. Saikiran recognized that the only other alternative to Microsoft Word was LaTeX which, yes, did do the job, but took users an average of 6 hours and 60 lines of code to typeset a plain research paper. The user was also required to have the coding skills necessary to produce these lines of code. To Saikiran, that excluded too large of a segment in the market, and involved valuable time that was being wasted on a mundane task.
Just recently, Saikiran was invited to San Francisco to pitch his product at Global Demo Day, with fellow AngelHack winners and HACKcelerator teammates from all over the world. His product gained the panel of Silicon Valley judges’ approval, and drew the attention of renowned startup accelerator Techstars, who offered him an in-person interview. With accreditations such as Mozilla India Rep and Stanford Ignite fellowship already under his belt, Saikiran Chandha is pretty set on his path. He is now continuing to work with two of his friends to take Typeset to the next level. Just a few weeks out of the HACKcelerator program, Typeset is already in talks with investors in India and Silicon Valley, and is planning an upcoming release of the beta.
“Right now, we are concentrating on getting researchers on-board. Once we have a critical mass, we plan to roll out our services to publishers. Documents generated via Typeset adhere to a journal’s guidelines, so using our tool should make these publishers’ lives easier.” says Saikiran.