Dr. Imdat As, DDes ‘05, Founder Arcbazar.com

Dr Imdat As, D.Des ‘05

Dr Imdat As, D.Des ‘05

Arcbazar.com is the first-of-its-kind online competition webpage for small to medium scale design projects to allow an easy and fast connection interface between clients, young architectural designers and contractors.

Founded in 2010, arcbazar.com is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? 

I found the concept of crowdsourcing, which has been on the rise for the last decade, truly fascinating. The idea of people from across the world coming together for one project and being able to connect via a digital platform has transformative powers. We are increasingly living in a freelance society, enabled by platforms like Upwork, Airbnb, Uber and others. As an architect by training, I saw an opportunity to bring the same freelancing, crowdsourcing spirit to the industry. Arcbazar started out from the need to offer homeowners and businesses a more affordable solution for architectural design, and give architects and designers more freelance employment opportunities. Crowdsourcing was a perfect fit.

What three pieces of advice/lessons learned would you give about the entrepreneurial journey?

  1. The learning process never stops and its importance can’t be underestimated. 

  2. Don’t try to go it alone. Find people with the skill sets you are missing and empower them.

  3. Irrespective of how hard you work, the route of an entrepreneur is never linear. Expect numerous ups and downs - truly appreciate it when things are going well and get ready to work extra hard when things are going down. Eventually, those ups and downs won’t seem like life and death moment.

What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?

Undoubtedly, it is the freedom to execute my vision and that of the people I work with. 

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern/formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

Perseverance and hard work are the only two must-haves. As for formulas, there are so many success stories - all different in terms of business models, industries, offerings, budgets, team sizes, etc. - that it will be a gross simplification trying to narrow them down to a recipe for success.

How has your Harvard education benefited you personally, professionally as an entrepreneur? 

A solid understanding of the industry is extremely important when starting your own business. The high standards of Harvard’s educational programs meant that as an entrepreneur, I had a deep understanding of the architectural industry - its struggles, its opportunities, what it takes to be an architect and what goes into actually putting a project together. As for personally, the exposure to highly determined and talented peers provided a great source of inspiration and motivation.