Some people just have entrepreneurship in their blood. That’s certainly true for Shradha Agarwal (this week’s live chat host -- click here to RSVP), who started her first entrepreneurial venture as a 9-year-old.
But Shradha didn’t just want to make money -- she wanted to do good too. So she started renting her books to classmates who wanted to read more.
In turn, she used the profits to broaden her own library -- to more than 300 books before her tenth birthday.
Flash forward to the present, and Shradha is still using her entrepreneurial spirit to build profitable enterprises with clear social benefits. ContextMedia, a company she co-founded, brings healthy living content to healthcare networks and physicians in nearly all 50 states to educate and inspire their patients. Not the sexiest industry, but one where she knew she could make a BIG impact.
“I wanted to bring information to people at a better time and place so they could take action and improve lives,” Shradha said in an interview with Entreprenista.
Like a Pandora-for-health-videos, ContexMedia’s content is tailored to the needs of specific doctors, locations and patients -- and it’s impacting people and care providers around the nation.
For instance, while watching the inspirational story of an Olympic swimmer, a Chicago man was motivated to lose 60 pounds. Other content has inspired employers to offer gym memberships to keep employees healthy. Meanwhile, the company’s text message system delivers healthy living tips directly to patients’ phones.
Shradha, however, isn’t content to keep her battles focused on health issues. She also wants to help other entrepreneurs and startup founders succeed.
So last year, she and ContextMedia co-founder Rishi Shah pledged to invest $5 million in Chicago’s startup community over the next three years.
It’s not just money Shradha is pledging -- it’s also her mentorship. When not leading ContextMedia, she passes along her wisdom as a conference speaker and startup mentor. She was honored at the White House as one of Empact’s Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs and named one of Crain’s 40 Under 40 for 2012.
"There are a lot of great ideas out there, but a lot of people get scared worrying about, 'What if it doesn't work?',” Shradha told Crain’s. “I am one of those people who always wants to try it out.”
This Tuesday at 3 PM Eastern is your chance to talk to Shradha about being a lifelong entrepreneur, bootstrapping your “for-benefit” startup, building a socially-conscious company, startup mentorship, and maybe even some healthy living tips during an hour-long #StartupLab live chat, presented by Citi. Don’t forget to bring a few questions to ask Shradha, live!