The Redmond startup wants to make it easy to collect information on a private website about a child’s achievements.
What: Cirkled in, a Redmond company that offers a way to track children’s accomplishments on a private website.
Who: Reetu Gupta, founder and CEO
Digging through the past: Gupta, previously a manager at Honeywell, came up with the idea when her oldest daughter was applying to a private middle school. It took weeks for Gupta to dig up past grades and projects to include in the application. After it was submitted, she had an easy way to save the pieces altogether.
Online portfolios: Cirkled in collects kids’ achievements from music lessons to science projects to volunteering and internships. The idea is to make things easier when applying to college and summer programs, and for high-school teachers to get quick overviews when writing letters of recommendation. “We need to prepare these students for the 21st century admissions landscape,” Gupta said.
Professional social media: Colleges and companies offering internships look at students’ social-media accounts, Gupta said, but students don’t have an outlet to display their professional work through social media. Facebook and Instagram don’t offer information admissions workers are looking for, she said.
Layers of security: Cirkled in is protected by layers of Web security to prevent people from being able to view or Google students’ profiles without receiving access. Students can choose to share their profiles with whomever they choose. Unlike fellow professional social-media site LinkedIn, Cirkled in does not have a networking element.
Straight to schools: The startup began by working with students and their families, and now works directly with schools as well. Six schools, six youth organizations and other school associations use the company’s system. Cirkled in helps students build portfolios while helping schools monitor students’ activities and keep track of alumni, Gupta said.
401(k) funding: Gupta is the only full-time employee of the company. Her husband serves as chief technology officer, while also working at his full-time job at VMware. Cirkled in has several technical contractors. Gupta is funding the startup herself — largely from her 401(k).
— Rachel Lerman