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Hartej Sawhney

Posted on Feb 27, 2013 by in Author Portfolio, Lemoning, Reader Submission | 0 comments

Hartej Sawhney
Photo: Aaron Sylvan

Lemonade Stand

Co-Founder at

Zuldi

Bragging Rights

Harvest: just starting revenue


Fertilizer: bootstrap raised


Roots

Nationality: American (USA)


Currently in: United States

(New Jersey)

Seeds (story starters)

  • Mentors or role models
  • Smartest move ever
  • An unexpected pivot

View Other Heroes

Lemonade Story:

Two days after my Father passed away in December 2012, I was accepted into Startup Chile, which led to me starting my business.

Entrepreneurial Adventures:

Mentors, Role Models, Inspirations:

Navroop Mitter - He set aside time every single week while building his own startup ground up after quitting Accenture on track to becoming a partner. Navroop helped provide Zuldi mentorship that helped polish us like experienced exited entrepreneurs. We traveled around the world, and investors often wondered how these 24 year olds were doing such an amazing project. Well, the answer is, if it weren't for amazing mentors like Navroop, we woudn't have been able to accomplish nearly half of what we did. Mentorship should never be underminded.

Smartest Move:

Follow my gut, not take the safe paths in life, and strategically always letting the dice roll. I learned to never underestimate myself. As Mark Twain says "Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

An Unexpected Pivot:

"We began Zuldi targeting the entire hospitality industry building self ordering payment processing systems. Over time we realized how we are far more valuable focusing our efforts on first restaurants and then applying that vertical to bars and nightclubs. Zuldi is a next generation mobile payment processing system for restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that is integrated via cloud with all major global POS (Point of Sale) systems. Patrons can split and pay for their bill, and receive an email and/or sms of their receipt via mobile. Zuldi's enterprise solution provides waitstaff with Zuldi loaded iPad mini's equipped with encrypted credit card readers. Zuldi allows waitstaff to present and strategically split patrons bills, conduct payment processing, and provide an email and/or sms or their receipt. Zuldi is focused on enhancing the patrons experience through its technology, not distracting the patron OR minimizing the importance of a well-trained wait staff. "

My father migrated to this country from India in the early 1980’s with less than $10 in his pocket. He pursued the American Dream his entire life and worked immensely hard as an immigrant in the US. He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer about 5 years ago.

Post graduating from Penn State, I knew Investment Banking was a bad fit for me and my family. I opened an outdoor restaurant in form of a NYC food cart in State College PA named State Platters. My fathers situation continued to deter, so I moved home and began working as a Project Manager for a tech startup in San Mateo, California traveling back and forth but being able to live at home in order to take care of my father.

Hartej Sawhney, photo by Aaron Sylvan

Hartej Sawhney, photo by Aaron Sylvan

Having a thorough understanding both hospitality and technology, I came up with the idea for Zuldi along with my mentor and present board member, CEO of Gryphn Co a mobile security company in DC, Navroop Mitter. We pitched Zuldi at DC Entrepreneurship Week in front several panels of investors and received excellent preliminary feedback. I was nervous moving forward with the startup as I was tied down to home responsibilities taking care of my father, whose insurance would only cover nurse coverage for limited hours a day. Meanwhile I was going full force building Zuldi ground up and applying full force to Tech Startup Accelerators. Two days after my Father passed away in December 2012, I was accepted into Startup Chile, a Chilean Government Incubator/Accelerator with the intention to make Santiago Chile the Silicon Valley of South America. I had until March to figure things out. After taking care of all of my fathers funeral ceremonies, I had a family meeting with my older Brother and Mother in order to discuss me moving to Santiago, Chile. It was while in Chile, I met my current tech co-founder Gal Dolber. Gal was born in Israel, and raised in Rosario, Argentina. Gal has been coding his whole life and is an amazing engineer. My third Co-Founder is recent Rutgers University Graduate Tyler Predale. Tyler and I grew up 3 houses down from each other in Plainsboro, NJ. I used to tutor Tyler in High School and he’s been like my younger brother. I couldn’t ask for a better set of Co-Founders building Zuldi along with me. We recently moved back from South America 3 weeks ago and have been jet setting in Dallas, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, NYC, NJ, and DC. Zuldi is currently in the process of raising a round of seed stage financing.

Hartej Sawhney

Hartej Sawhney

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