We had the good fortune of connecting with Ekta Sahasi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ekta, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
When I came to the United States at the age of 10, I did not know any English. Middle school is hard enough for any kid, getting thrown into public school in Queens, NY where no one speaks your language is enough to scar anyone for life. Needless to say, I was not confident, and no one taught me how to present myself in a way that would help me stand out based on my interests, skills, talents, and credentials. Even though I was doing a lot at school and outside, it never felt good enough. After many years of embarrassing failures and lost opportunities, with guidance from mentors and some luck, I figured out how to tell my story, tap into my network and drive towards the outcomes I wanted and deserved.
Fast forward many years, I now have three teens and I see how they and their peers struggle with the same thing I did, regardless of their backgrounds or socio-economic status. Their challenges are different, but no less intense. Our kids are doing so much these days, the pressure to keep up with a persona on social media is so all-consuming and the global competition for opportunities is unprecedented. With many tools thrown their way, teens are still not able to confidently advocate for themselves and succinctly able to answer the question “Who are you?” Despite having such amazing experiences, many kids are not able to tap into the opportunities they deserve, whether that is internships, jobs, scholarships. or access to mentors and advisors. They are unable to effectively tell their narrative, connect, engage in areas that fuel their passions, and leverage their talents to maximize their potential. From living through this struggle firsthand and now seeing it repeated with my kids, the idea of spikeview was born.
spikeview is a privacy-first digital portfolio platform for students to privately organize all their experiences. Think of it as an immersive data hub that has every experience. One place to put all your activities, pictures, certificates, badges, recommendations, links to performances, videos of their sports, etc. All that data that’s scattered on the internet is easily accessible from one journey map. As the portfolio is built out students can easily create custom views of their narrative based on their needs and share as a simple, secure link.
Students globally are now using these portfolios to apply for jobs and internships, in their college applications as supplemental information, and anywhere where they need to represent themselves. The platform also allows them to build a network with peers (invaluable as they move from high school to college, career, and beyond), create online clubs, engage in diverse communities, and find opportunities that align with their multifaceted needs. And they do all this will full data control and on their own terms.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
spikeview is a privacy-focused digital portfolio platform. spikeview is on a mission to enable every teen and young adult around the world to Own Their Narrative and Maximize their Potential. In an increasingly nuanced world, we believe that every student should be able to lean in on their experiences to uniquely answer the question “Who Are You” and leverage their narrative to discover and participate in opportunities that fuel their passions. They should be able to constructively contribute in communities that align to their multifaceted interests and build and manage a supportive network that can aid their journey from high school to college (or alternate pathways) to career and beyond. Teens from all walks of life, and all socio-economic backgrounds are using spikeview to level the playing field, skip the lines, and stand out from the crowd.
It makes me so proud to see students’ unique narratives from across the globe and hear their stories about how the platform is enabling them to discover available opportunities, supporting their aspirations, and connecting them to opportunities that they had no way to access before. It’s also fantastic to see the global youth community coming together, engaging in meaningful dialog, and celebrating individual uniqueness.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Part of my childhood was in New York where I grew up with a fantastic slice of cheese pizza anytime anywhere in the city. I miss that in Silicon Valley. Always on the hunt for that perfect NY pizza, I try to make it a point to stop anywhere that sells pizza by size and claims to be NY-style pizza. I am still on the hunt!
Silicon Valley has some amazing must-visit places. Two of the favorites that I always take friends to are the Sutro Baths and Tiberon. Both places have stunning views of the City, the Golden Gate Bridge, and are unbelievably peaceful. I can just stand there for hours taking in the views, the fresh air and enjoy the moment before returning to my hectic, jam-packed lifestyle.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out to all the parents and organizations out there who are doing everything they can to support their children’s journey and aspirations while keeping them safe online. It’s not easy to handle meals, help with homework, shuttle them to activities, coordinate carpools, do fundraisers and PTA meetings, handle dropoff and pickup. And then wake up and do it again tomorrow with no hope of acknowledgment or a word of thanks from anyone. For all those selfless hours poured into forgotten activities their children have since moved on from, these everyday heroes motivate me to innovate and build spikeview into a platform that’s undeniably good for all our kids, while deliberately acknowledging the complete journey shaped by these positive influences.
Other: student testimonials: https://youtu.be/YLqEcv-lTZg