What are the biggest issues that startups or SMEs face today in India? Is it lack of investors, lack of original ideas, or lack of a scalable business model or a bit of all the three?
Most of the events in India cover diverse aspects of entrepreneurship, such as talks by entrepreneurs who have made it big; product demos to an audience or sessions discussing trends in entrepreneurship in India. Entrepreneurs do not lack motivation; if they had lacked they would not have started in the first place.
However what the events fail to deliver is that although entrepreneurship cannot be taught, a lot of it can be structured and can be made into a process which entrepreneurs can follow that will increase their chances of success.
“Accelerate your Startup” workshop was created with the purpose to bring a structured approach to entrepreneurship and what exact steps entrepreneurs can follow that will help them to become more successful.
The workshop was delivered by VijayKumar NRR, senior mentor with NEN and Chief at Kyron Global Accelerator in Bangalore. Vijay brings with him 17 years of working with startups and MSME’s in India.
The workshop was organized by FounderMates, an online marketplace that enables entrepreneurs seek business advice from mentors and experts. FounderMates has been co-founded by Imperial College London MBA graduates Nidhi Kapoor and Raunak Guha, who realized that by giving entrepreneurs access to qualified mentors, the success rates of startups can be increased.
The workshop started with a brief overview of the global startup eco-system and a comparison of the leading startup hubs in the world. It was quite encouraging to see Bangalore feature in the top 20 startup hubs in the world. Vijay discussed about how Bangalore fares in comparison to Silicon Valley in terms of innovation, culture, product to market ratio etc.
Then the participants were taught about the models of Customer Discovery to Customer Creation. Several practical examples were discussed. Participants had great difficulty in understanding what Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is and how they can create an MVP from their ideas. Vijay was excellent in giving relevant examples as to how every idea can be made into an MVP, tested with a Minimum Viable Segment and then can be finally developed into a product. Vijay covered all aspects of Business Model Generation – from value proposition to revenue generation and what are the things entrepreneurs should validate and execute at each step.
There was a session by Ashu Agrawal – Head North India Operations of Indian Angel Network. The participants barely had any knowledge how IAN works and how they select businesses for funding. Entrepreneurs were explained the importance of a clear and concise pitch to both investors and to clients that underlines the USP of the product or service offered.
Anand Vemuri of 91Springboard gave a brief talk about the Indian investment eco-system, the kinds of funds available, nature and size of investments made by various groups and the criteria for investments. Another important criterion for businesses is financials. Entrepreneurs often make up financials to convince investors. But financials is a way for entrepreneurs to understand their own business as opposed to merely a tool to raise funds.
The day ended with a round of pitching by all attendees with feedback given.
Anand Vemuri (91Springboard) had this to say about the workshop “the primary speaker was great too – very relevant content. I do like that you guys are doing more focused stuff (as opposed to the general gyaan at most mentor events)”
It was overall a great day with intense learning and grilling. We look forward to more such workshops in the future.