Redmond’s Reetu Gupta started Cirkled in two years ago. Courtesy photo

Gupta dialed in to students’ needs with Cirkled in

Reetu Gupta sees changes on the horizon for the way colleges seek out and recruit new students, so she designed a platform she hopes will help both students and institutions of higher learning.

Gupta is a Redmond resident who has two children, and a few years ago when one of her children, then 10 years old, was applying to a school, her daughter’s projects and certificates took Gupta three weeks to find and compile.

She said there had to be a better way for students to organize their achievements and present themselves to schools or organizations in an easier way, so in 2015, she started Cirkled in.

Cirkled in is basically a service where students can upload documents, achievements, certificates, projects and community service experience onto a profile.

Despite its name, which is similar to a popular networking website for adults, Cirkled in is not a networking site.

Instead, Gupta said it is a portal and online portfolio. So far, she has around two dozen organizations using the portal and is in talks with universities who could use it as a recruiting tool as well as a way students could submit materials to admissions offices.

“Now we are moving up the ladder, if you will, and we are going straight to students, and then once we have critical student mass, we can go to the colleges,” she said.

Colleges and universities send around 25 communications to students ever year of high school in an effort to attract new students, Gupta said. She hopes Cirkled in could help reduce and consolidate that figure.

With any service used by teens and children, security is always a concern, and Gupta said this was built into the product.

Profiles can be kept secret and can be selected not to show up in web searches.

The need for a product like hers is growing, Gupta said, as colleges have begun taking a more holistic view of how they select and approve students for their colleges.

Gupta said this is a welcome change as many skills and qualities students possess can’t be measured in a standard test.

“It is a step in the right direction, except I don’t think our students or families or sometimes even schools are ready for that,” she said.

Gupta said Cirkled in is a step into the 21st century for how colleges and students interact.

While Cirkled in is still ramping up, Gupta said she is no stranger to the startup and business scene in the area. She has worked for a variety of companies in a wide range of roles, including lead project managers.

Even though she works for herself now, Gupta said instead of having one boss, she has hundreds now.

“If you think you can be your own boss, that’s a myth, there is no such thing,” she said.

Gupta said she puts in between 80 and 100 hours a week as she gets the business off the ground.

While it’s a lot of work, Gupta said she’s good for it.

“At some point you say, hey, I want to make a bigger dent in the universe,” she said.

Visit Cirkled in at https://www.cirkledin.com/