Story by: Anna Barker, MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach
Rahul Gopal left his home in Mumbai, India six years ago to study at Mississippi State University.
“When I came to America, it was a second chance for me and I took it for granted. I was meeting new people and living the ‘college life.’ That was my only priority.” Gopal said. “That really hurt my GPA. I was on the verge of probation and suspension when reality finally hit me.”
It took losing his scholarships for Gopal to recognize the opportunities at MSU.
“I am very grateful because I have been given multiple second chances, and so many people never have that opportunity.”
Gopal directed all of his attention towards excelling academically and working to pay for his education.
“I began to focus on my academics but I lost all of my scholarships,” Gopal said, “I worked four jobs to make up for it.”
Gopal earned a 4.0 GPA and a spot on the President’s List. It was in the classroom where Gopal and his two roommates, Hiten Patel and Perceus Mody, developed the concept for their own startup, CampusKnot.
“Your job as an entrepreneur is to recognize problems and to seek out solutions.”
Gopal cofounded CampusKnot, an academic management system that encourages online learning and collaboration between faculty and classmates by using a variety of organizational tools.
“CampusKnot was always the one thing that we all believed in. We knew that we had created something that could benefit students and faculty members on college campuses across the nation,” Gopal said. “CampusKnot is unique because it uses the power of social media integrated with academics.”
The software has numerous platforms including book exchanges, calendars, instant messaging capabilities, and can help manage student organizations.
“CampusKnot is a social academic management system that enhances classroom engagement and allows students to connect with each other and their professors,” Gopal said.
Gopal and his cofounders have raised over $100,000 to make CampusKnot a reality.
“This journey has taught me almost every aspect of business. This has taught me things that I could not learn in a classroom,” Gopal said. “To learn how to grow from a simple idea to having offices on two different continents is phenomenal.”
Having achieved a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, Gopal is currently working towards a master’s degree in business administration.
“The reason I want to get my MBA is because I wanted to hone my skills that I’ve learned through the creation of CampusKnot.”
“This venture has taught me not to worry about failing. If you want something, you have to be patient and work hard. I don’t worry about failing anymore and I’m not going to give up, “Gopal said. “Fail, and fail as often as you can.”