A few days back… I received a call from “Thot Media Group”…. Probably the agency handling events for various Clients.
And they asked if I would want to be part of an Upcoming Event in Delhi titled “Google for Entrepreneurs?”
I found it interesting… Especially so because Google has been known for some ass kicking Events and their Content, Speakers and Hospitality is always talked about.
And as soon as I registered, being a obedient husband I am, told my Wife Gurleen about it on Phone….. She too said the same and confirmed that she has registered too, a day earlier.
“Women are Smarter” and whoever said this, was a Real Smart Women!!
So… on the appointed hour and time, we did reach the awesome venue and took our seats Bean Bags…. And the learning flowed.
Ohk let me confess……… I know Google has many products which if we use properly can make our life simpler as an Entrepreneur and I thought that this Event is more so an opportunity to learn more about Google Docs/Google Forms/Google Hangout and other products which we do not know how to utilise in best possible way.
But….. as the event started… I realized that it was more about Finance, Accelerators, VC’s and Nasscom’s Initiative of 10K Start-ups
And Since me and Gurleen have no Intention to seek funding and frankly at this stage we don’t even deserve to……. We started feeling uneasy on our Square Bright Google Coloured Bean bags and started exchanging notes on the Google Diary…. Something school kids do in School during a boring period and just before recess
But…. Just then the learning’s started flowing…… and here I try to present a Mash up of all that was Said, Observed & Analysed.
- Research about VC/Investor as much as he does about your company
- Any Funding takes 3-6 months of efforts/ Due Diligence etc. Be Prepared
- Don’t get so involved in the Funding process that you let your Business suffer due to it.
- Don’t just accept funding because it is available. Accept it when you need it.
- By the time you are ready for Series A, you should have atleast 70% of the company ownership.
- Social Presence is Important. If you calling a VC and he is not taking your call. Then you should have enough Social presence and reputation that other people of trade do put your recommendation. It is usually hard to ignore then.
- In India….. Seek investments only when you have a running model and proof of traction. Nobody is willing to invest in an IDEA.
- Don’t compare our Entrepreneurial Eco system with USA. They have been going through this for past 40 years….. We are not even 10 years old.
- When seeking funding look mainly on what comes along with Namely Mentor/Network/Acceptance in Market/ Affiliation. Some times they prove more valuable than the funds themselves
- If you want to expand overseas or want Foreign Funding…. Then do keep frequenting abroad. The VC’s want to have a regular touch, feel factor.
- Investors look for Trends. Say a one time 1 crore revenue may not be as attractive as a growing trend which goes from 2 lacs to 12 lacs in one year. Same for Customer traction
- Nasscom has taken a Big initiative of helping 10,000 start-ups in next 10 years and has partnered with key players to reach this goal. One of it’s Initiatives is a Co-Working space of 150 seats in major cities called the Start-up Warehouse. Where only Start-ups would be allowed to work from… for Max 1 year and Max 5 employees. The charges would be almost half of what others charge. Less than Rs. 4000 a Seat/Month
- Accelerators are booming and wooing Entrepreneurs. If an Entrepreneur is looking for an Accelerator then One has to do some good Brain Storming while selecting an Accelerator too.
- The Investor…. Gives a high priority to a TEAM. Most of the Ideas/Business that start initially does not actually go the same path. As per experience they change the plans….. And make a successful product. Only Because the TEAM is good.
- A Mentor Helps you, Does not Work for you.
- Any Money you raise…….. Try to raise it for a Particular Goal or Time…because if that’s not met…… Then the prospective Investors may shy off and even the Existing Investor will start suspecting you.
- Do not think that if an investor is Invested in you…. He will save you from all the Financial Crunches you may face. Investors are here for business…. And he may be better writing off $50K than giving you more and then writing off $100k a year later.
That’s what I could take away from the Event…. And as usual it’s Different Strokes for Different Folks.
If there’s any thing you do not agree or want to add, then please share I am a learner always and you never know who may silently read your view and gain immensely from it.
Oh yes….. The food was yum and why not…… it was being served at the “Oberoi Hotel”….. A Hotel owned by the BEST HOTEL ENTREPRENEUR India may never have again. Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, worked as a BELL BOY in Hotel Cecil, Simla and then within 10 years brought the hotel from the owner.
This is True Entrepreneurship and did I forget to mention, there were no VC’s then !!