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Intuit Circles’ Codeathon Looks To Unearth SMB-Focussed Tech From Indian Startups


The Codeathon programme which commenced on October 10 is Intuit Circles’ flagship event to reach developers of SaaS startups and enable them to build on its platform

With the finale on December 8th, the pre-finale jury has shortlisted seven startups/developers and two student-led startups to build solutions integrating Intuit solutions

The finale jury members include SHEROES CEO and founder, Sairee Chahal; eSamudaay founder & CEO, Anup Pai; Intuit India’s vice president of product development, Saurabh Saxena and more

It’s been a year where small and medium businesses have had to turn to the market for all kinds of solutions to address their operational and revenue problems that are key to their survival. With COVID-19 there is a greater sense of urgency in solving for them than ever before. Intuit Circles, launched the Intuit Circles Codeathon, a virtual coding challenge for SaaS startups to build on their robust technology platform and use it as a springboard to achieve scale while helping small businesses prosper for markets across the world. 

“The Intuit Circles Community is a strategic startup ecosystem engagement initiative by Intuit. The Intuit Circles Codeathon is our effort to enable startups and developers to build solutions for the most pressing SMB problems, on our platform. This is an opportunity to help the SMB community, and also provide these startups great prospects in terms of a global customer base,” explained Sanket Atal, MD, Intuit India.

The participating startups can choose from a list of problem statements, as faced by the SMBs, post which they have to build innovative solutions to counter the same. The participants will build their app/API integrations (application programme interface) with the Intuit QuickBooks platform. As of July 2019, Intuit QuickBooks had a customer base of over 4.5 Mn SMBs globally.

In a bid to recognise innovative startups as well as enable and support those already using QuickBooks and other solutions, Intuit Circles Codeathon commenced on October 10. The winner of the programme, to be announced on December 8, will get a gift card worth INR 1 Lakh, tech gadget, access to Intuit Circles partner’s credits and more. 

What’s In Store: Intuit Circles Codeathon

As part of the challenge, the participating startups got to identify an SMB/accountant problem they want to solve and build their app/API integrations with the Intuit QuickBooks platform.

During the course of the programme, the startups were given access to support and coaching from the Intuit team and industry experts through ask-me-anything (AMAs) and training sessions on design thinking and app development on QuickBooks platform. Post which, the shortlisted startups that include seven startups/developers and two student-led startups are invited to a virtual pitch session on December 8 where the top three winners will be declared.

The jury members of the programme include names such as SHEROES’ CEO and founder, Sairee Chahal; founder and CEO of eSamudaay, Anup Pai; Intuit India’s vice president of product development, Saurabh Saxena, amongst others.

“The Intuit Circles Codeathon is an opportunity for SaaS startups to build solutions on our open and trusted platform and solve for small business’ pain points through customer-driven innovation. While we had great responses from startups, it was a pleasant surprise to see the tremendous interest from several aspiring technologists as well,” said Anshuman Kumar, director, global brand and communications, Intuit.

Benefits For Participants

Intuit claims that globally it has 700 apps published on its app store, 249 applications being from India. The platform has the advantage of robust documentation that empowers startups and developers to seamlessly build their solutions.

The startups who participate in the codeathon get benefits such as:

  • An opportunity to become a part of the Intuit Circles’ virtual community, enabling them to connect, network, learn and grow with each other
  • Leverage a team of Intuit engineers and experts, who will partner with the startups on their integration journey, answering questions, providing coaching on design thinking, platform innovation and more

For the startups that emerge as winners on the codeathon, Inuit is providing benefits such as:

  • Gift Cards:
    • Winners: Gift cards worth INR 1 lakh
    • First runner-up: Gift cards worth INR 50K lakh
    • Second runner-up: Gift cards worth INR 25K
  • Partner Credits
    • AWS credits (Cloud Credits)
    • Razorpay  (Payment Credits)
    • Treelife Consulting (Free book-keeping consultation)
  • Access to a peer and expert network of over 2,500 startups and partners, Intuit Circles training sessions and events

Intuit Circles: The Impact And Difference

With a focus on helping the startup community as well as the SMBs in the country, Intuit has been coming up with various solutions that cater to these goals. Among these are offerings such as Intuit Circles — an initiative to engage with the Indian startup ecosystem. The enabler has been leveraging tech to provide a platform that helps startups not only with guidance, mentorship and financial management but also access to the global markets and customers.

In the past, Intuit’s portfolio has included names such as EasyEcom, Kredily and GaragePlug allowing them to launch their products quickly and expand their operations.

For GaragePlug, since the product is end-to-end auto/repair workshop management with some accounting features. Rohit Bhatnagar, cofounder and director of GaragePlug, told Inc42 that it in 2019, when the startup expanded to UAE, their clients started asking them to build the functionalities and aspects missing from their accounting module, “We realised that we could either reinvent the wheel or find the right partner to help us with this. That’s when we started working closely with Intuit QuickBooks. Now, we sort of bundle QuickBooks with our solutions and give it to most of our clients.”

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