Founder Stories

Parsegon

For co-founders Mathew Dheshan Pregasen, ’18 SEAS , and Anuke Ganegoda, ’18 CC, the idea for Parsegon emerged unexpectedly. Originally working to build a CSS library, Pregasen soon realized he could expand his project beyond its original intent, creating a note-taking application in which users could easily and efficiently write out math equations or code.

Recognizing the value of his idea, Pregasen teamed up with Ganegoda, and now (six months later) their app is finally being released. An online note-taker that runs primarily on JavaScript, Parsegon is intended to help students and professors notate mathematical equations on their computers, tablets, or mobile phones. Unlike competitor LaTeX, Parsegon works with basic English, making the platform much more accessible to a larger community of users.

Recently, Parsegon was declared a winner of the Columbia Venture Competition (CVC) #StartupChallenge, and the team is already putting the prize money to good use. Out of a truly competitive pool of applicants, Pregasen acknowledges that he feels lucky to have won, and is appreciative of the exposure his project received as well as the networking opportunities gained from the competition.

Pregasen and Ganegoda also managed to secure funding from two investment groups (Dorm Room Fund and Rough Draft Ventures) which enabled them to add three new members to their team. While they also intend to allocate a good portion of their resources towards marketing their new product, Pregasen and Ganegoda aim to conserve their budget in order to ensure the funds they’ve raised last them through the end of the fiscal year.

Currently, the co-founders are working on an educational model that will allow teachers to write out assignments and lectures on a special interface on the platform that is optimized for distribution. This way, students can easily access the information without it being exposed to the public. Likewise, students will be able to answer online homework questions using a variety of frameworks, allowing them to show their work along with the solution after they’ve completed the problem.

As for the future of Parsegon, Pregasen and Ganegoda have no intention of slowing down any time soon; the current iteration of the app is based on an educational model, but the co-founders have entered discussions about developing a professional platform. According to Pregasen, they already have the preliminary software for a product that not only takes mathematically described English and converts it into code, but also takes that code and solves it for the user. Both co-founders, however, understand the importance of scaling steadily, so it may be awhile before the professional world benefits from their cutting-edge software. But with all of the technology’s potential applications and benefits, it’s probably safe to assume the industry will be waiting with bated breath.  

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