2018 Startup Profile: exclusive.ai
Hari Mahesh ‘19
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your company exclusive.ai?
exclusive.ai is a fashion intelligence company that focuses on predicting the future of fashion with data. We are enabling our customers to be at the forefront of fashion with our proprietary algorithms and data-driven insights.
So to run through the basics: I’m Hari, a senior at Babson College and I have decided not to concentrate. I love sports, cars (my favorite car company is BMW), food (specifically meat), tea, and star gazing. I am a self-taught coder and I graduated high school in three years to work in the healthcare and technology space for a bit. I discovered my love for fashion at Babson. My Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) company was fashion based; I did the marketing for it. I then went on to start a men’s jewelry brand with a few of my friends and now I am working on exclusive.ai! I was able to develop this idea through the people I met in e-tower.
What is the story behind exclusive.ai?
Fashion changed my life. In high school, I would constantly attend various conferences and events where I had to dress business formal. I loved doing that. Seeing how different people style various pieces has always interested me. I love being on top of the trends and I’m always looking for the next best thing. Ultimately, fashion makes me feel confident and empowered. Choosing a good outfit can make me feel ready to take on the day. I’m all about looking good and feeling good. I noticed that it is hard for people to figure out what to wear and stay on trend, and that’s when I decided to start exclusive.ai.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve gained from the Summer Venture Program?
Focus. I’ve really been able to focus through the Summer Venture Program (SVP). Whether it be on defining the value of the business, having good conversations, honing in on my work, connecting with people, expanding my network, etc. SVP has helped focus my life. I have been given the ability to work on exclusive.ai 24/7. I’ve also become a much healthier and active individual this summer because of the structure SVP has set for me.
What’s been a milestone/accomplishment you’ve made since the Summer Venture Program started?
I’ve honed in on the what exclusive.ai is going to look like in the long term. I’ve taken this vision and broken it down into small actionable steps while at SVP.
What’s been an obstacle/surprise you’ve faced?
The biggest challenge has been trying to figure out how to reach customers to test out my service. I want to get tangible responses from my target customers about whether they find exclusive.ai meaningful.
What is your favorite memory or moment from the Summer Venture Program?
A group of us went out to dinner together and this gave me the opportunity to get to know the other entrepreneurs outside of their businesses. I love learning why people are the way they are and what drives/motivates them.
If you could run any company in the world, existing or not, what would it be and why?
BMW. I am an avid car fan, specifically BMW fan, so my first instinct would be to run that company. I also would love to manage Apple; Steve Jobs was a visionary.
What is your go-to restaurant around Workbar?
Nanny A La Carte! I’ve been ordering some of her meals and they are awesome. I also really like Noon, a Mediterranean restaurant around here. If I’m craving something sweet, I’ll grab a cookie sandwich from Cookie Monstah. I always get death by chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunk cookies.
Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs that you want to share?
You have to be the role model for what you are trying to solve. If I were building a fitness app, it would only make sense that I would be fit. Exude your mission in everything you do and live it throughout your company culture. Or else you are defeating the point of it all.