Hey there. My name is Udara and I’m a second-year international undergraduate student from Sri Lanka. Like many people at Western University, I’m an incurable innovator, a die-hard designer, and an adamant dreamer. I currently study medical and computer science, and I’m particularly passionate about technology and design. Although young, my academic and extracurricular interests have already led me down intriguing paths: In high school, I established a moderately successful digital design magazine and more recently I’ve built upon my experiences and connections at Western to found my first startup company, one that I’m hoping will change how the next-generation of job seekers and employers interact online.
Over the past few months I’ve created a new digital networking site called Tidl (pronounced ‘tidal’), which can found at https://tidl.es. Tidl is a skills-based hiring platform, built for Millennials and Post-Millenials, like me, whose self-taught expertise and non-traditional work experiences cannot easily be summarized or displayed in a standard resume. In short, Tidl reimagines and invigorates the online resume and how the world discovers and showcases talent.
In the first three weeks of its release, over 1000 people have joined Tidl, which is more than I’d hoped for, and suggests that many people are looking for novel ways to profile their skills online. The first version of Tidl was more of a proof-of-concept endeavour, and was admittedly clunky in places. But with interest growing, I have gathered a team of Western students, including Armin Khayatian (Ivey School of Business) and Matt Podolak (Engineering), and we are currently building a more sophisticated version of Tidl. Our goal is to position Tidl as a go-to product for hiring talented people from any industry.
What makes Tidl unique as compared to other contemporary CV platforms, like LinkedIn, is its ability to gather and interpret a broad range of information about users’ experiences, past projects, education, personality, and social network and then use these data to build an intricate and intuitive professional profile. This is achieved through artificial intelligence components with the help of IBM Watson (a cognitive system), and in-house machine learning algorithms, allowing the software to construct in-depth, searchable user profiles, which can be shared with colleagues and employers through a gorgeous, user-friendly interface. Ultimately, Tidl tries to match a user’s personality with a corresponding company culture and present the user with potential workplaces for which they’d be an excellent fit.
Getting Tidl up and running has been rewarding but also challenging, especially while trying to manage a full undergraduate course load. Thankfully, Western provides the perfect environment for entrepreneurial innovation. Indeed, the team and resources at Western Propel — a program devoted to helping students transition from entrepreneurial ideas to formalized action plans and is part of an initiative administered through the Ontario Centres of Excellence — have been instrumental in the development of Tidl. If you are a student entrepreneur or have an interesting idea you want to act on definitely visit the folks at Propel — not just for their services, but also to meet other inspiring Western students pursuing great ideas.
Studying at Western has been a true asset in building Tidl. It has allowed me to take interesting computer science courses, including one on logic and to interact with a wide diversity of professor, all of whom have encouraged me to pursue my talents and skills beyond the program requirements. If there is one piece of advice I would pass along to a budding entrepreneur, it is to take diverse courses to expand your thinking and leverage them to build your ideas.
There is a lot to look forward to with Tidl. Currently, we’re working with advice from the IBM Innovation Space and beta testers to quickly work our way towards version 2.0. Hopefully, we’ll create a professional platform that supports our generation of learners and creators.
If you believe in our vision do signup for your professional identity on Tidl at https://tidl.es. v2.0 launches end of December 2016.
Originally seen on Western University Science Faculty website.