Prompt Me Nina: Nina Devani
The 14-year-old entrepreneur tells Startups about the idea for her password prompting app
Name: Nina Devani
Company: Prompt Me Nina
Staff numbers: 6
Date launched: 16/01/2013
Tell us what your business does:
PromptMeNina is the first of our consumer product applications that makes the process of remembering passwords easier by providing prompts to give the user a hint on both their usernames and passwords.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The idea actually came about when my dad's Facebook account was hacked. He, like many people, kept the same passwords for all his online accounts so had to change them all to different passwords. He had difficulty remembering which passwords he had used for which accounts and said to me that whilst there were lots of password apps on the internet, they all required you to give your password to a third party which he didn't want to do. That's when Prompt Me Nina came about.
How did you know there was a market for it?
People have always been complaining about remembering passwords and it affects most people. When I researched the market, it was quite clear that nothing like the app I have designed existed. I knew that it would be a unique solution that would help people. I also spoke to IT departments who said a lot of their time was spent on having to reset peoples' passwords for various password protected applications that they ran as a company. So I'm in the process now of developing an enterprise version.
What were you doing before starting up?
I'm only fourteen so was and still am at school studying for my GCSEs. I have always been interested in ICT and am also a bit of a dab hand at website design.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, ever since I was really young it has been a passion of mine. I believe in making things happen rather than dreaming about them but it takes hard work and perseverance to make those dreams into reality.
How did you raise the money?
I got back in contact with an entrepreneur who I met through a school project. After pitching the idea to him, he decided to invest. This gave me the financial backing I needed to develop the first application for the Android operating system- it is now available on the Google play store. I am now working on iOS, MAC and Windows.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
I like to gets things done quickly and when I first started I thought I could get the product to market in a few weeks. It has been a real education in delivering my first app and I have learnt so much. Everything from design, development, testing, setting up accounts and even getting people to take a 14 year old seriously have been a challenge. However, as a result I am now even more driven and really enjoy working in the business.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
The business model is simple. We sell software. We make unique applications for smartphones, tablets and PCs, and offer these products through the Appstores as well as direct from our website. If people like free version of the app and want more than five prompts, they can download an unlimited prompts version for 99p.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Having developed my first unique app, the launch has been just phenomenal. I have received interest from US investors as well as from the press and of course most importantly great feedback from the users who have downloaded the app. People can't wait for the release of the versions on the other platforms and enquiries from companies wanting the enterprise version is also very exciting.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Once you get going, problems that seemed like mountains become smaller. What was impossible is suddenly achievable and real. It seems like a tough journey to undertake and so many people give up before they start. My advice would be to jump into it – just got for it. If you persevere the road will clear before you know it and you will be well on the path to success.
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
I will have finished and launched many unique applications and the most important bit… I'll be turning a huge profit! I would like DevaniSoft to become the next Microsoft!