Connecting businesses and scientists

who, what, how, when, why interview

A platform for connecting businesses and freelance scientists.


Who are you?

 I'm Ashmita Das, Co-founder, and CEO of Kolabtree, the world's largest freelance platform for scientists.

What did you do that was innovative?

If you have a company and you need a specific expertise, there’s no clear path for contacting these experts. To create a solution, I launched a marketplace where anyone could hire PhD level experts and scientists.

The idea came from a time at my previous organization, when we needed a computer scientist to help us with a project. The process of finding someone PhD-qualified and with the right skill set was very challenging ─ we needed a certain budget before anyone was interested. This made us realize that many businesses are unable to afford and access the expertise they require. All businesses can benefit from access to specialist skills and so we started Kolabtree as a way of linking them to a wider pool of experts, who were willing to work on a freelance basis. Now, we get 250 projects posted on the platform every month and have 9,000+ registered freelancers. Our freelancers typically hold PhDs from reputed institutions like MIT, Cambridge University and Stanford University.

How do you do it?

Our product is the online platform that facilitates collaboration between businesses and freelance scientists and academics. Businesses can post their projects and registered freelancers will bid on the project ─ the business can then select the expert that’s best suited to the task.

Our freelancers offer a wide range of services across 2,000+ subject areas, from data science and statistical analysis to product development and scientific writing. Our customers look for very specific types of experts, ranging from those with experience with crunching data on CO2 emissions to developing image processing algorithms. Whatever it is, Kolabtree can help. Our growing portfolio of clients include Volkswagen, Sage Publications and Technology Networks.

When did you start Kolabtree?

Kolabtree first launched as a concept in 2016 and started growing as a business from 2017 onwards.

How is your service innovating?

Collaboration between academia and businesses has forever been driven by big companies and universities. For instance, General Electric, Microsoft, and Johnson & Johnson all have the means to hire scientists or join up with universities when needed. However, smaller businesses often don’t have the budget to hire someone full-time or may find it difficult to access the skills within a specific geographical area. Kolabtree is innovative because it changes the status quo. We give organizations of all sizes ─ even a one-person start-up ─ access to experts. Our online platform enables businesses to fulfil needs that they couldn’t beforehand at an affordable and manageable cost.

Where are you from?

I'm from India and I'm currently based in London, United Kingdom

 What industries do you work in?

We cater to a wide array of industries, such as medical devices, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals. Our freelancers provide multiple services, such as medical writing, data analysis and product consultations.

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