Have you ever started to notice a challenge that people around you have been increasingly facing, and wished for a solution? Well, 17-year-old Ishan Vaish did, and instead of waiting around for answers, he created them himself! Last year, he launched his own app to help youth all around the world, and he called it LiteraryLabs. The app served as a platform for the youth to improve their writing and reading skills, connect with others with similar interests, and share their literary works.
The idea first came to Ishan when he discovered that with the recent rapid increase of social media use, literary skills among the youth have been decreasing, especially during the pandemic, which resulted in the closing down of several libraries and a shift to virtual learning. But that was not it, Ishan noticed an overall pattern; “I also noticed a trend in my school years that my English marks were always the lowest. No matter how hard I tried I could never bring them up. This was not just the case with me but all my peers, so I decided to do something about it.” That was when he decided to combine his passion for making a change with his love for computer science, to create an app that would be able to reverse these effects, and give people the necessary tools to improve their literary skills.
Determined to create a solution to the decreasing literary skills among his generation, Ishan got to work and started developing his idea. In the end, he came up with LiteraryLabs, an app for those who wish to improve their reading, writing, and other literary skills. The app hosts a free e-library that features over 200 books. While there are several platforms with e-books, Ishan noticed that almost all of them were paid, which made them less accessible to most teens. Additionally, the app provides its users with a platform to publish their work, from poems and short stories to essays and articles. There is also a multitude of virtual competitions and quizzes that users can use to improve their knowledge of grammar.
Upon its launch, LiteraryLabs saw immense success, with over 1250 international downloads in the span of just a year, as well as high ratings on both Android and iOS. This was just the short of rewarding response that Ishan needed after months of hard work. Ishan dedicated a lot of time to developing and planning the features of the app and expected it to be the most difficult part of his journey. But what was truly challenging to him, was searching for investors that believe in his idea and are willing to support him.
Ishan was not only able to assist the youth in learning something new, but throughout his journey of developing his app, he learned a lot of important lessons that he plans to carry forward for the rest of his endeavors. This included lessons on entrepreneurship, such as carefully considering whether his app will be able to sufficiently serve its purpose and the true meaning of taking a risk as well as life lessons, such as persevering and believing in yourself even when all the odds are against you.
This was not the first time Ishan had displayed his passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. From a young age, he had always searched for and participated in activities where he could use innovation to solve prominent social issues. Since then, he has represented his school in many innovation challenges, and attended youth entrepreneurship programs. He believes that innovation is one of the key solutions to global issues such as climate change, the environmental crises, and the collapse of healthcare systems.
Right now, Ishan is working with an advertising firm to market the app, and is in the process of searching for a trusted company or individual to take it over and develop it further when he goes to university. This is just a stepping stone for Ishan’s career, with plans to pursue a career in STEM in the future, focusing on AI and robotics. Currently, he is developing his coding and computer science skills both in and out of school to continue innovating and finding solutions in the future.