Founder Profile Series: Rohan Parikh

An interview with Rohan Parikh, Wharton graduate and one of the three co-founders of Keye.

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Rohan Parikh

Wharton Graduate student Rohan Parikh discovered his passion for entrepreneurship during his career in banking. He started off working on a silver trading team, where he enjoyed a high growth environment. He was then able to work with a Latin trading team. Through his involvement with the team, he observed how people were coordinated and the group’s expansion across sectors, docks, and countries.

Recognizing the entrepreneurial aspect of this type of work, Parikh was inspired to apply to MBA where he dove deeper into his love for marketing and taking on initiatives.

Through the Venture Lab, Parikh has continued to learn about and embrace his new-found love for entrepreneurship with a venture he started with three co-founders: Keye.

What is Keye?

Keye is a B2C business with a B2B angle that strives to help consumers, who have subscription fatigue, and subscription based companies, who strive to better monetize low lifetime value clients or clients who never end up subscribing to their product.

“We are actually coming in as a platform or content marketplace, which is trying to solve the issue of pricing for people who don't use the software a lot of times so it's a one stop shop for all your secondary needs.”

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Where did Parikh get the idea to create Keye?

The idea to start Keye came to Parikh after personal experiences with subscriptions. He stated that he often found himself constantly using new emails to renew free trials and paying for subscriptions that he only used a couple of times.

“I always used to find that weird and thought that there must be a better way for customers like me to use those platforms without having to worry about getting billed almost four or five times the use.”

How has Parikh depended on the Venture Lab to grow Keye?

With no background in launching startups, Parikh found the resources at lectures and advising sessions with Professor Jeffrey Babin and John Ondik at the Venture Lab particularly useful.

His team has also been able to use AWS credits. His team received $5,000 in credits, allowing them to get access to various people and resources.

“The community has been vastly, vastly, super useful in terms of getting leads, getting introductions, and just talking to people on a weekly basis,” said Parikh.

Through the Venture Lab, he and his team were also able to take advantage of the Experts in Residence (EIR) program. They would work with experts on validating the idea and adjusting its business model.

What is the greatest lesson Parikh has learned so far from his time at the Venture Lab?

The biggest lesson Parikh has learned at the Venture Lab is to not be afraid to reach out to people.

Parikh has found that a lot of people have knowledge from things they did either correctly or incorrectly, that they want to impart onto others.

Another big lesson he has learned is to not wait until a venture is perfect to first test it.

“I remember the first time I spoke to Tiru, who's the CEO of Bill, he kind of mentioned to me that one of the best ways to do a startup is to do it the hacky way, like just put something out there. Like, it might be the most raw thing, but the thing is that the fact that you're putting something out there, you worked on it, there's going to be a lot of feedback coming out of that.”

What goals does Parikh have for his time in VIP-C?

Parikh strives to further rely on resources at the Venture Lab and he and his team roll out their beta product.

For example, he has recently been meeting with Taylor Durhman, the Communications Director at the Venture Lab, about how to roll out a marketing campaign for Keye. With no experience in marketing, Parikh stated that he no longer feels like he is ‘shooting in the dark.’

“It's really useful, all the resources,” said Parikh. “I am definitely looking forward to more resources being added as the Venture Lab grows.”