Just ChatGPT and roughly Rs 15,000 ($185). That’s all it took for two friends to build an AI startup as a side hustle. But in the following months of this year, they managed to grow it and get more funding.And as recently as last month, the friends sold their startup for a mammoth $150,000 (approximately Rs 1.2 crore). Let’s look at their journey.
Who Are The Two Friends?
Friends Sal Aiello and Monica Powers had met last year at a virtual startup founder meetup event, run by Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator, and quickly started working together in their off-hours.
They went to build their lucrative AI side hustle in four days and spent just about $185 to get it off the ground.
At first, they started running their side hustle ideas past ChatGPT, using the generative artificial intelligence chatbot as a starting point for market research. Then, they realised they knew how to ask ChatGPT the exact right questions to get useful answers—and other people probably didn’t.
Aiello is a longtime CTO for tech startups, and Powers is a product designer who currently runs a strategic design and branding company called Mascot. In March, they decided to create an AI-powered research tool. Fill out a form about your idea, and the tool will input your answers to ChatGPT in a maximally helpful way.
“Maybe we can sell this,” 36-year-old Aiello recalled thinking, as per a CNBC report.Days later, they launched DimeADozen for “want-repreneurs” to pressure-test their business ideas. It charges $39 for a comprehensive report and compiles results in a fraction of the time it typically takes traditional analytics agencies or search engines.
What Does Their AI Startup Do?
Business consulting startup DimeADozen helps do AI-powered market research for any business idea. Its AI tool can be used to instantly see how your business can succeed and launch in any market.
How & When Did They Sell The Startup?
In roughly seven months, DimeADozen — split evenly between Aiello and Powers — brought in more than $66,000. With the exception of $150 for the web domain and $35 on hosting and a database, nearly all of it was profit, Aiello says.
Last month, they struck a deal to sell the side hustle for $150,000 to Felipe Arosemena and Danielle de Corneille, a husband-and-wife duo — one is a software engineer, the other a product designer — who want to make DimeADozen their full-time jobs, said Aiello.
Aeillo and Powers plan to keep working roughly five hours per week on it as company advisors. “It really does print money,” Aiello added…