Starting up a startup with the help of The Forge

Abbas Syed (left) and Avin Regmi, co-founders of Panini AI. Photo provided by Avin Regmi.

Last week, student entrepreneurs vied for more than $100,000 in funding at The Forge’s annual Student Startup Pitch Competition. This week, one of the winners from last year reflects on how participating in the competition set them on the road to startup success.

Avin Regmi and his co-founder, Abbas Syed, started Panini AI because they had a problem that wasn’t getting solved: as engineering students working in machine learning, they found deploying learning models onto websites took days. The solution: automate the process to take it from a few days to a few minutes. Panini AI was born.

After taking third place in The Forge’s startup competition last year, Panini AI is now in beta testing, and Regmin and Syed are fundraising and working with industry partners to launch a pilot.

And The Forge was key to helping that happen.

“The experience at The Forge is tailored to what your startup needs,” explains Regmi. “It feels like a family – you’re surrounded by other startups, and there are lots of people around to give you advice.”

Regmi says that solving a problem with a personal connection is a good way to sustain motivation as an entrepreneur.

“Don’t start a startup for the sake of starting a startup,” he laughs. “It’s a lot of sacrifice and hard work. But if you try and solve a problem that you’ve suffered from yourself, that’s a good approach.”

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