By: Layan Barakat
Paramvir Nagpal, a former University of Windsor Electrical and Computer Engineering student, was part of the first cohort of the EPICentre Founders program “at the time, the program didn’t even have a name” he recalled. Together with his partner, Paramvir created the app Mapsted, a free location technology app that can be downloaded on any smartphone without the need of external hardware. Mapsted takes the reliability of GPS navigation apps such as Google Maps, and applies it to indoor settings; Users get a personal guide inside of malls, hospitals, airports and more.
Coming from an engineering background, Paramvir had the technical experience but credits the EPICentre for helping him learn the basics of business. “I gained experience by talking to mentors” said Paramvir “it’s always great to have someone to ask business related questions to, especially when you’re extremely technical without much experience in business”. Through practical and technical education at the University of Windsor and EPICentre, Paramvir gained the skills and knowledge needed to launch his successful company, but credits his success to one major transferable skill he was able to learn and implement during his time here. “Students have a lot going on between exams, assignments and more, you have to prepare and balance” said Paramvir “for me, time management has been the most important aspect – as a student, I was extremely good at time management and as an entrepreneur, time management is key”.
Since beginning their two-person start-up, Mapsted has now expanded to a team of 30 with offices in Windsor, Markham and a new office opening in Mississauga. By the end of the year, they plan on expanding to a team of 60-70 “We are seeing very positive responses from our clients and that’s resulted in an increase to our workforce and our business”. When asked about his advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, Paramvir had two things to say, stay humble and have a clear vision “a start-up is like a rollercoaster, there are highs and lows but whenever there are lows just keep working hard. When there are high points, just don’t let your head go up into the sky” said Paramvir “You need to have a very clear goal in your mind, once it’s clear everything will come together. There are some people who just want to be entrepreneurs because they want to get rich fast, that’s not the case. You can’t get rich fast by being an entrepreneur, you need to be a hard working person and you have to have motivation – money is not the only motivation.
Now that Mapsted is expanding, they are looking to hire people from all different backgrounds. All interested applicants are asked to forward their resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.