Its not Consumer Affair, Its Consumer Relationship, stupid!
Today, we officially launched Padup Ventures, a virtual incubation facility in Gurgaon. This starts a new chapter in our lives, as Padup is an incubator with a difference. Unlike traditional incubators, we are incubator without walls! There are no co-working spaces or physical infrastructure. We have a small office where we meet entrepreneurs and startups to explore possibilities.
Technology start-ups tend to be bunch techies with little or no business experience. Further, the start-up environment can be significantly more hostile in a developing economy, where services remain inadequate, inaccessible or expensive. The diverse nature of modern tech startups means a higher demand for flexible starting points. Inexperienced entrepreneurs may not always realize it, but they need solid direction in order to succeed. The business world is challenging and, at times, unpredictable, and without a keen mentor to direct their energy, they may end up fizzling out before striking success. Furthermore, inexperienced entrepreneurs may have more difficulty locating initial resources to build momentum
An entrepreneur’s life can be relatively easy if they had experienced people to ‘walk the talk’ with them. These wise people can mentor entrepreneurs at all levels and in all discipline. They are savvy professionals who have “been there, done it” and want to do it as “payback to the society’ or “help entrepreneurs get started” or “encourage some disruption via tech to make the world a better place”! Padup Ventures is a step towards that. We shall help tech startup and entrepreneurs by incubating these young companies in a program that is well tested, tried and executed in recent past. Padup Venture is redefining incubation by a mentor driven incubation program with a structured approach as below:
• Mentoring via Handholding
• Validating & Converting the idea into a Valuable Business Proposition
• Help Product Development/Management/Marketing
• Helping roll out the MVP
• Pivoting if needed
• Help Build an ecosystem
• Provide networking
• Opening doors for Business Development, Strategic alliances & Partnerships
• Suggesting and validating the revenue streams
• Help Seek Funding Assist in business plans & Investor Memorandum
• Identifying, introducing, arrange showcasing to Angels, Syndicates & VCs
• Help Scale & Provide Strategic advise
Like every entrepreneur today, in my early entrepreneurial days, I had to do all the above with hit & trial. There was not a single soul that could help me see the direction, forget the right direction. Once I landed in Silicon Valley to start a venture, I got some help but never found a mentor (my bad luck). However, there were enough people ready to share their experiences, irrespective of their status (successful or unsuccessful) and not shy away form taking shot at it again (and again). I learned a lot form talking, interacting and following many of these wonderful people. So when I look around and see so many young people trying to become entrepreneur, we decided to help them so that they can go through their plans faster and with minimum effort.
At Padup ventures a startup can just walk-in and just seek help. If we can help them on our own, we shall or else we will find people who can help. Our aim is not to let an entrepreneur fail without trying and not let go of any idea that could have some potential, without considering. With our experience and vast network of professional, it may be worth validating all potential idea that come along and thus provide a helping hand to an entrepreneur.
We have also tried and define a mentor’s role after living the role in real life. Here is what we though a mentor are and could do:
• Mentors are catalyst
• Mentors help the entrepreneurs to explore their goals and ideas
• Mentors help entrepreneurs realistically appraise their situation from time to time.
• Mentors role is to challenge and support the execution of the plans periodically
• Mentors role is to assist entrepreneurs keep track with their objectives
• Mentors are encouraged to solve the problems for entrepreneurs
• Mentors help entrepreneurs to develop the capability to solve their own problems.
• Mentors do not carry out the work on behalf of Entrepreneur
• Mentors can be a source of guidance and advice for entrepreneurs
• Mentor may offer advice and opinion, but responsibility for decision-making rests solely with the Entrepreneur
Understanding the role that Starups play in the national economy and providing them with adequate support via Mentorship explain the value proposition or uniqueness of this initiative. Young companies are particularly vulnerable in their early/start-up years. A significantly higher percentage of inexperienced entrepreneurs trying their luck at starting companies means lack of exposure, maturity, resources, experience, network, corporate governance knowledge etc. etc.
We believe Padup Virtual Incubation programs increase survival rates dramatically as the program is well-conceived & run for 12-18 months depending upon the Startup. The overall success rate shall be astonishing, considering that most companies come with little more than a laptop and a dream. While this not only ensures high success rate, it also has some very relevant lessons for new entrepreneurs. At Padup follow a Robust & Scientifically Designed Interactive screening process to understand Vision, Mission & Value Proposition. On-boarding happens only when both parties agree to a meaningful two way engagement for 12-18 months virtual incubation program created to scale via Hands-on mentoring – handholding by Only ‘Been There & Done it Mentors’ with a well defined Milestone based approach. Padup has a Pan India support thru expansion plan in 10 Cities in first phase where Mentor(s) engages with the start-ups for the duration of the program ensuring that value is not dependent on external resources. Padup also believes in Equity based shared wealth model where as and when the startup creates wealth for stakeholders, Padup is gratified along with the mentor creating an incentive for mentors to participate wholeheartedly. Partners at Padup are bound to make a difference, as how startups start, survive, sustain and scale with the help of mentors shall be highly appreciated. It is big task but not bigger than the one carried out by the startups/entrepreneurs. Our job as mentor is way simpler than theirs and hence they need us even more. So we Padup and begin the new innings of our lives along with these young, smart, energetic and hungry startups/entrepreneurs who need to Padup too!