Samhita (Sam) Jayanti, co-founder and CEO of ideamix, and Mahitha Gokulachandra, co-founder and head of product development, talked to us about how they started ideamix as a coaching platform to empower talented individuals to achieve their personal and professional goals. ideamix connects individuals and companies with vetted, experienced coaches, Find out about their mission, their wins, the challenges they faced, and how working with HuggyStudio and no-code tools accelerated the build process of the ideamix marketplace.
Sam Jayanti and Mahitha Gokulachandra are childhood friends and went to high school together. Before starting ideamix, Sam worked in finance, consulting, and most recently in technology. Mahitha, on the other hand, has primarily worked in the tech sector for different startups, as a user experience designer and product manager. With their extensive career experience, Mahitha and Sam set themselves the goal of building a high-impact product to help more individuals achieve their purpose and improve their lives.
ideamix believes in coaching as a powerful tool to help every individual define and achieve their own success. The power of coaching became clear to them early on after they started ideamix: “We started ideamix with an initial focus on two things. One was helping more entrepreneurs build successful companies, and we did that through high-quality content in the form of a podcast (called ideamix radio). The second thing was conducting a series of small workshops for early-stage founders. We coached them through some of the thinking process that is necessary around early-stage companies and some of the obstacles they face”, said Sam.
With time, they realized the power and impact of coaching and began to think about how to scale it. That’s when the idea of building a marketplace was born. ideamix connects coaches and people looking for coaching of different kinds, whether that is life and personal growth, professional development for people working in corporations, or entrepreneurs looking for coaching with particular aspects of their business.
”We want to build a broad-based platform solution that would allow anybody who's looking for coaching, to be able to find a vetted, experienced, and high-quality coach”, Samhita Jayanti, founder and CEO of ideamix
The coaching market suffers from a market fragmentation problem where neither coaches or individuals looking for coaching on their own, have an efficient way of finding each other with trust and transparency. Coaches function as sole entrepreneurs and their problem is connecting with individuals in need of their services right when they need them. The same is true for individuals trying to find a coach. Asking for coach referrals either does not connect them with the right coach or they do not feel they’ve been able to select a coach with transparency and trust. ideamix acts as the connector between vetted, experienced coaches trying to find the right clients and individuals looking for the right coach for themselves.
One of the challenges the ideamix team faced was deciding which tool to use to build the platform. In the early part of 2021, they heard about no-code for the first time and started talking to different no-code agencies.
Let’s find out more about the process of building the ideamix platform, and what Sam and her team have been able to achieve with the support of HuggyStudio.
ideamix got in touch with HuggyStudio after going through some documentation about Bubble and no-code. The team also spoke to other no-code agencies with different working styles.
“We started meeting with Fabian (HuggyStudio’s co-founder), and he was really patient while walking through the system with us and helping us understand what would be involved in building out the platform. That really gave us the confidence to say, okay, working with HuggyStudio will give us the steadiest way to create this!”, shared Mahitha.
For Sam, what they really liked and appreciated about HuggyStudio —and specifically from its co-founder Fabian— was that “they came into this with the idea of being thought partners in terms of understanding what we had in mind. They were thinking critically about what elements were really necessary for a first version, versus what we could wait to add at a later stage. Once the platform was sort of ready, they continued helping us troubleshoot the issues that came up over time. That ongoing partnership and the relationship has been very, very important”.
After those first meetings, a timeline to build the platform was created, and both teams began preparing everything necessary for a smooth build process.
”The build process went really smoothly. We appreciated the continuous work with the HuggyStudio team and the supportive relationship. Especially after launching and when we started to onboard the first coaches, they were able to help us address many issues, and come up with solutions that were doable”, Mahitha Gokulachandra, head of ideamix product development.
ideamix was built in 6-weeks using one of the most powerful no-code tools, Bubble.io. The official launch of the marketplace was in February 2022 and, after that, the site was up and running and coaches began onboarding into the platform.
ideamix offers a seamless experience to clients by algorithmically pairing them with their ideal coach. All coaches are vetted to guarantee the best experience for their clients.
A month after launching the platform, they saw a strong demand from coaches wanting to come into the marketplace. Over 200 high-quality coaches were interviewed and many of them were accepted to join. “The demand from coaches made it very clear that this was a group of people who viewed the platform as a way to expand their own businesses”, explained Sam.
Vetting and curating the coaches who approach them, to ensure a great user experience —as they are still in the growth phase— was and continues to be very important for ideamix.
“We're seeing a real transformation in the way people think about coaching and where they want to access it at an individual level. Until ideamix, there was no place to do that knowing you had quality assurance going in. A place where you were only going to be shown vetted experienced coaches; and where you wouldn't have to wade through a directory of hundreds of coaches and sort them yourself. ideamix has a matching process that curates a list of coaches for each individual”, Sam Jayanti
Since launching the platform, ideamix has experienced strong user growth and the team is very pleased with the user feedback on coaching sessions on the platform. “Ease of use, transparency on coach qualifications and pricing, and the ability to meet with multiple coaches in making a choice of coach are among the platform features clients have loved”, shared Mahitha Gokulachandra. On the coaches' side, Mahitha said that coaches have been “very positive about being able to set their own schedules, accessing the ideamix pipeline of coachable clients, and the seamless scheduling and payment for sessions”. The initial data and feedback have been extremely encouraging for the ideamix team.
Both Mahitha and Sam educated themselves in no-code and even took courses to learn more about Bubble.io. Now, they’re also considering building new projects on the tool.
“Bubble gives you a lot of power. It seems like something worth learning. We were impressed and happy to learn about Bubble’s funding because that says that the company has some runway for growth and for longevity. With no-code we were able to put something together quicker than we would have been able to do if we needed to hire a whole team. No-code gave us the help to take our first steps without needing an enormous amount of resources to get going”, explained Mahitha.
They continue to be inspired and open to learning something new. Especially in the startup context, Sam and Mahitha highlight the importance of learning new tools and being able to make changes by themselves. “We realized that Bubble goes quite far in terms of development and its ability to deliver a set of features that would then considerably cut down test and build time. This is particularly important in a startup context, where you're trying to find the shortest and most efficient path possible, both from a time and resource perspective, to really get an MVP out and test your concept”, emphasized Sam.
“There are many available resources to learn about no-code and Bubble.io. There are a lot of high-quality people publishing content to teach you about Bubble, which is great! Bubble is serving a community of learners and they found good ways to do that. We think that it is going to serve our needs in this journey of building our business”, Mahitha Gokulachandra
“We really want ideamix to be the resource of choice when it comes to coaching at an individual consumer level, as well as at a business level. We want people to have total trust and faith in the platform, in the experience level, and in the skills of the coaches that are on it”, said Sam.
In the coming months, ideamix will continue to build essential new features, expand its coaching-related content, accelerate its marketing strategy, and increase access to coaching with the goal of providing a high-quality user experience.
For Mahitha, the hope and work are to expand the “high touch and very human experience of working with a coach. Expanding access to coaching —a power tool for learning and self-development- to many more people through education and engagement”.
ideamix is based in the United States, and the coaches on the platform are in a variety of cities and countries. Today, coaching sessions are conducted in English but, in the future, ideamix plans to offer support and coaching in other languages. As a coach, you have the freedom to set your own schedule. As a client, you can book coaches you choose and meet them at a time and place of your choosing.
Samhita Jayanti and Mahitha Gokulachandra gave some final recommendations when you —as an individual or a company— are looking for a coach! Watch this video and find out more.
If you want to explore coaching for yourself, take a 1-minute assessment and get matched with an ideamix coach right away at: https://coaching.theideamix.com/