Pain Point

Most successful startups are the result of a personal problem faced by an individual or a group of people. Hence it is said, one cannot solve a problem unless one has experienced it! Successful Tech Entrepreneurs solve their real life problems through technology and build their business around it.

Idea

A particular solution to a problem faced by the Founders(s) of a startup is the IDEA. It is then worked upon to create a business around it by bringing in technology, processes and strategy, monetization opportunities, relevant skills and finally a product or platform. An Idea in itself may not be a business but can pave way to a biz.; by vetting it very early to avoid failure.

Develop Vision

For an idea to develop into a biz, the startup must develop a vision that can justify being starting a biz that can touch people at large, change people’s behavior and also change the world for better. Such a vision once passionately pursued can then transform a biz idea into a large business.

Technology

The Tech Startup is all about providing technology solutions to a real human problem. Although Technology is the great enabler, building tech solutions is not only critical but also challenging. A tech solution can be a great differentiator while creating valuable intellectual properties for a startup. To build cutting edge tech solutions is always the best strategy.

Founding Team

A startup is born out of a problem faced by individuals or a group of individuals who can alone or together solve the problem. However since a biz needs people with different skill sets, a team can always do a better job than an individual. The success & future of a startup can be judged based on the profiles of team members and their past association.

Create Differentiator

A startup needs to have a different solution and technology must be the differentiator. Such a differentiator will not only differentiate but will also create a barrier to entry. A new technology shall also be an intellectual property thus creating value for the startup.

Mentor

New businesses and entrepreneurs may not always realize it, but they need solid direction to succeed. Mentors play an invaluable role in providing solid direction and channelizing entrepreneurial energy onto the right path.

Market

Apart from secondary research, detailed primary research is necessary to validate an idea. An entrepreneur must find out the Potential, Addressable, Served and Servable Markets. Mentors,through their experience should be to validate the research as well as extract valuable insight form the research that can help structure the biz.

Low Hanging

There has to be a start, and finding some low hanging fruits will help infuse the energy that can go a long way. Low hanging will give the startup an opportunity to have real customers with similar buying habits, affordability and a quick response to the product & services that are in the offering.

Personas

After testing individual elements of the business, the startup needs to test a KVP system that actually provides value to the customers/users. MVP should encourage the users to provide feedback as well as capture user behaviour that can be useful to improve the products & services from features & functionality perspective.

Use Cases/ Seeing is Believing

It is a must to test the solution in a controlled environment, as the need is to integrate tech solution with business objectives; to define standard operating procedure by creating POC. This stage of Product Development is critical to the business and can make or break a venture.

Self Funding

There is nothing better than the team contributing to start the biz and bring it to POC stage, as it builds confidence, sense of ownership and motivates the team. It also provides confidence to the external stake holders who may be watching the development very keenly and are ready to jump on the bandwagon at this stage.

Friends & Family

There is nothing better than getting the approval of family and friends by getting them to invest at an early stage, as that way they are in complete know of what is going on. It is also a sign of their support to the individuals and the team

Angel Investors

As the name says, they are real angels as they want to give back to the society and perhaps make money by helping younger people get a start and helping meaningful products get to market. Things to remember: they are no suckers but are thorough pros; they deserve the same treatment as a VC and are normally found through networking with entrepreneurs and other angels.

Startup's Journey

Pain Point

Most successful startups are the result of a personal problem faced by an individual or a group of people. Hence it is said, one cannot solve a problem unless one has experienced it! Successful Tech Entrepreneurs solve their real life problems through technology and build their business around it.

Idea

A particular solution to a problem faced by the Founders(s) of a startup is the IDEA. It is then worked upon to create a business around it by bringing in technology, processes and strategy, monetization opportunities, relevant skills and finally a product or platform. An Idea in itself may not be a business but can pave way to a biz.; by vetting it very early to avoid failure.

Develop Vision

For an idea to develop into a biz, the startup must develop a vision that can justify being starting a biz that can touch people at large, change people’s behavior and also change the world for better. Such a vision once passionately pursued can then transform a biz idea into a large business.

Technology

The Tech Startup is all about providing technology solutions to a real human problem. Although Technology is the great enabler, building tech solutions is not only critical but also challenging. A tech solution can be a great differentiator while creating valuable intellectual properties for a startup. To build cutting edge tech solutions is always the best strategy.

Founding Team

A startup is born out of a problem faced by individuals or a group of individuals who can alone or together solve the problem. However since a biz needs people with different skill sets, a team can always do a better job than an individual. The success & future of a startup can be judged based on the profiles of team members and their past association.

Create Differentiator

A startup needs to have a different solution and technology must be the differentiator. Such a differentiator will not only differentiate but will also create a barrier to entry. A new technology shall also be an intellectual property thus creating value for the startup.

Mentor

New businesses and entrepreneurs may not always realize it, but they need solid direction to succeed. Mentors play an invaluable role in providing solid direction and channelizing entrepreneurial energy onto the right path.

Market

Apart from secondary research, detailed primary research is necessary to validate an idea. An entrepreneur must find out the Potential, Addressable, Served and Servable Markets. Mentors,through their experience should be to validate the research as well as extract valuable insight form the research that can help structure the biz.

Low Hanging

There has to be a start, and finding some low hanging fruits will help infuse the energy that can go a long way. Low hanging will give the startup an opportunity to have real customers with similar buying habits, affordability and a quick response to the product & services that are in the offering.

Personas

After testing individual elements of the business, the startup needs to test a KVP system that actually provides value to the customers/users. MVP should encourage the users to provide feedback as well as capture user behaviour that can be useful to improve the products & services from features & functionality perspective.

Use Cases/ Seeing is Believing

It is a must to test the solution in a controlled environment, as the need is to integrate tech solution with business objectives; to define standard operating procedure by creating POC. This stage of Product Development is critical to the business and can make or break a venture.

Self Funding

There is nothing better than the team contributing to start the biz and bring it to POC stage, as it builds confidence, sense of ownership and motivates the team. It also provides confidence to the external stake holders who may be watching the development very keenly and are ready to jump on the bandwagon at this stage.

Friends & Family

There is nothing better than getting the approval of family and friends by getting them to invest at an early stage, as that way they are in complete know of what is going on. It is also a sign of their support to the individuals and the team

Angel Investors

As the name says, they are real angels as they want to give back to the society and perhaps make money by helping younger people get a start and helping meaningful products get to market. Things to remember: they are no suckers but are thorough pros; they deserve the same treatment as a VC and are normally found through networking with entrepreneurs and other angels.

Core Value Proposition

Defining the core value proposition is sometimes a very tedious exercise. However, once defined, a startup can easily position its biz, relate with the customer’s needs and priorities, build a biz/revenue model and target early adopters. Core value proposition can also change as the biz moves along as the external factors change and also to accommodate wider customer base with wider priorities.

Qualify Value Proposition

In Tech business the value of a product or service can defined by how well it aligns with customer’s priorities. It has nothing to do with pricing of the product and services, and most of the times the value derived to the customers can be way higher than offered by the current solutions available.

Intellectual Property

As one defines and qualifies the core value proposition, it establishes the intellectual property that has been created. An IP could be a piece of code or product design or even a application of tech to find some new uses of the same old technology. It is important to understand that sometimes Core and IP are not the same; where a process can be core & it is IP.

Buying Cycle

To successfully sell the product or services, one has to understand how & when does the customer, identified as low hanging, will accept the value proposition offered. This helps understand the customer buying cycle, including their priorities to influence their decision making. To do so, the startup has to dig deeper every time; the customers interact by probing further either online or one on one..

Product Fit

Since the startup by now knows the Value Proposition and also the customer buying cycle, it is important to ensure that the product & services offered serves the target audience. One may have to make some tweaks to ensure that the customer gets maximum value offered. Such a product fit shall bring in paying customers immediately and help further exploration.

Selling Process

Last but not the least, mapping the process to acquire paying customers based on value proposition and influencing the customers during his decision-making process is extremely important. The customer will appreciate it and shall stick with it for times to come. On the other hand, one can replicate the process for all such paying customers and expand its base.

Technology

The Tech Startup is all about providing tech solution to a real human problem. Since Technology is the great enabler, building tech solutions is not only critical but also challenging. A tech solution can be a great differentiator while creating valuable intellectual properties for a startup. To build cutting edge tech solutions, is always the best strategy.

Analytics

Today it is all about tracking the user behavior and collecting data on user engagement & interaction to draw valuable insight in their purchasing/paying behavior. Analyze data, look for trends and identify the underlying drivers that can help make decision based on real data and not abstract logic. Hence Analytics should be part of any customer offering

MVP

After testing individual elements of the business, Startup needs to test a Minimum Value Proposition – MVP that actually provides certain value to the customers/users. MVP should encourage the users to provide feedback as well as capture user behaviour that can be useful to improve the products & services from features & functionality perspective.

Key Assumption

A good biz plan is based on Key tested assumption on conservative revenue estimate and higher than expected cost base. The pricing framework should be set keeping in mind the competitive landscape and value proposition. The assumption should also clearly state the Cost of Customer acquisition, Direct Cost, Indirect cost, gross margins and Cash Flow.

Revenue Model

Paying customers are the lifeline for any organization, especially startups. Acquiring paying customers requires intimately tracking consumer behaviour, as well as employing various tools such as social media, CRM, events, PR and partnerships. The Revenue model can also be a differentiator but not the only one. Further the revenue model can be sustainable as the Value Proposition is excellent.

Biz Plan

A well-drafted business plan goes a long way towards ensuring business success. It helps prove the value of the idea and the realism of the projections when the time comes to share it with investment community. Mentors can prepare the entrepreneur(s) to make rational, long-term decisions and set direction of their business.

Life Time Value

Life Time Value or LTV, as it is called, is all about profit one can make from each new customer that is acquired. What it means is that if each customer is retained for a period of time, how many units they will buy and how much profit each purchase will generate. The number of purchase times the profit; post cost of acquisition, is LTV for each new customer and will define cost of capital

Raising Capital

Post the MVP, Biz plan and calculating LTV, a startup can approach investors for raising capital. Raising capital is all about the business, its value proposition and LTV of the customer. With high value proposition, paying customers with considerable LTV, a startup can claim to have sustainable business. That means it can attract investors.

Seed Funds

Raising monies form Venture Capitalist is a very important step in a startup’s Survival cum Scale stage. Venture capital, along with their investments, can open doors, kick start the sales, help develop partnerships, find future investors, prevent you from making mistakes, find right talent, and make the world take notice of a startup and its founders.

Customer Acquisition

In today’s digital age, customers need to be first on boarded, using the appropriate channels. This requires the creation of a focused customer acquisition strategy, at the lowest possible cost and time, both of which are critical for a startup. Using not traditional channel is key to the

Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics is increasingly becoming the most important weapon for every tech startup. It is a sophisticated quantitative & statistical analysis along with predictive modeling, supported by data savvy individuals & powerful IT tools that can gain tremendously by effective & efficient execution, smart decision making & extract high value from biz processes.

Pivot

Pivot is every important stage in a tech startup’s life, as once they step in the real work, the customer validation of the business model is most important. Hence it is important in the technology business to ‘pivot’ every now and then, based on real-time data analytics of customer behavior & interaction, which results in answering the very important question “Pivot or not to Pivot”

User Engagement

The engagement strategy needs to constantly evolved, keeping in mind what makes customers tick. Targeted content and inbound marketing are the keys to effective customer engagement. Examples include connecting with influencers, email marketing, and use of social media platforms, especially Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Customer Retention

Research shows it costs 5 to 8 times the amount to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer. It’s not just about customer service, but achieving customer delight through an amazing user experience that will be minimalistic in terms of action, and high on achieving what users want.

Repeat Customers

Repeat users are a key indicator of the effectiveness of the startup’s product or service offerings, and customer satisfaction. A startup should meticulously track both the number of repeat customers, as well as the frequency with which they repeat, through detailed customer information, resulting in customized offerings that entice the customer.

Operations

In the Technology world, operations are the most difficult process to manage as they are global and 24x7. Designing effective supply chain solutions will go a long way in streamlining the ops. Creating a NOC, monitoring tools and applying the best practices for ops is the key to success.

Finance

Managing someone else’s monies is a responsibility that needs to be understood very diligently. These include comprehensive accounting and finance services for startups, including setting up accounting systems, book keeping, payroll, direct and indirect taxes, filing returns, regulatory compliance, and budgeting.

Legal

Watertight agreements are critical for a startup, both for clarity and to avoid disputes with various stakeholders. Various legal formalities required for a start-up include incorporating a start-up, legal structures (such as LLP, Private Limited Company), Founders Agreements, and Director’s Remuneration, etc. It also includes drafting contracts with clients and vendors.

Hiring

Startups are people and people are startups. Right hiring shall ensure that team work continues and builds further. As startups grow in size and scale, it’s imperative to manage various aspects of the growth, including human resources. This includes developing a phase-wise plan for team expansion, including during the growth and maturity phases.

Training

It is essential that startup employees have the necessary skills to succeed in today’s corporate world. Startups should offer best-in- class in-house management training/coaching programs and mentoring programs to ensure that the employee’s skills are up-to- date. A continuous effort in this direction can lead to better workforce that can deliver faster & better.

Human Resources

This involves managing the organization’s entire gamut of HR activities, including recruitment, compensation and benefits, performance appraisal, HR policies, operations, compliance, training and organizational development. For a startup, the people are at the centre of its HR strategy, and it’s all about helping people to explore, experiment and enhance their skills, passion and life style.

Venture Capital

Raising monies form Venture Capitalist is a very important step in a startup’s Survival cum Scale stage. Venture capital, along with their investments, can open doors, kick start the sales, help develop partnerships, find future investors, prevent you form making mistakes, find right talent, and make the world take notice of a startup and its founders.

Private Equity Funds

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Venture Debt Funds

Venture debt is a form of specialty debt financing provided to companies that are not serviced by traditional lenders like banks. The financing is usually structured as a combination of a loan along with limited equity investment rights (warrants). While established businesses have many options for debt financing, new economy businesses have only had access to equity financing to fund their growth till now.

Platform Approach

Paying customers are the lifeline for any organization, especially startups. Acquiring paying customers requires intimately tracking consumer behaviour, as well as employing various tools such as social media, CRM, events, PR and partnerships.

Network Effects

Today’s time-stressed customers seek seamless transactions. This entails designing an outstanding user interface and user experience, which are both functional and accessible, as well as delightful for the customer.

B2C or B2B2C

Today’s time-stressed customers seek seamless transactions. This entails designing an outstanding user interface and user experience, which are both functional and accessible, as well as delightful for the customer.

Cover Touch Points

The digital consumer has many ways to access online products and services and hence it is imperative for online businesses to be present at all those digital touch points as well as their presence felt. The primary touch points are email, mobile app, website and social media. Each of these touch points need to be customized and designed to engage the users without overdoing it.

Be Social

Today’s customers are very vocal and it is within their right to provide feedback on services and products consumed. It is their ‘Social’ Responsibility to share their views and it is an integral part of the buying cycle, post their purchase. A platform or a product or a service that is social also helps brings down the Cost Of Customer Acquisition as every positive social recommendation helps acquire more customers.

Mobile First

Mobile first is an obvious strategy that is increasingly being favored by marketers as half the human population is carrying mobile phone today. To gain their attention, mobile first strategy is a must. A more frequent consumer will find it extremely convenient to use mobiles to access and consumer products and services. A scientifically developed mobile app could be the best place to start.

Define Ecosystem

All businesses have their own ecosystem and it takes years to build the same. Startups have to first define ecosystems, as startups are innovators and most of the time they tend to drive their ecosystem. Various elements of the startup ecosystem could be corporate, academic institutions, research organizations, investors, and sales/marketing partners

Partnerships

Since businesses have to exist in ecosystem, partnerships are very important. Partners can help innovate through open innovation, monetize, provide sales and marketing support and even become strategic investors. All such mutually beneficial partnerships are based on value being extracted by each partner and is based on trust and transparency. Partnerships can go a long way to help startups and are essential for survival

Social, Political & Govt.

It is important to do a comprehensive analysis of the existing and proposed regulatory framework. This includes the likely impact of any regulatory changes on the industry. This ensures that there are no surprises once the business has rolled out and traction is visible. Also, all kinds of social environment needs to mapped against the activity undertaken and should be neutral to impact of changes if any.

Full Disclosure

Transparency is a must for all startups. Mistakes are part of the startup learning process and learning for mistakes is what makes these young companies and entrepreneurs more mature. Making full disclosure of all the happenings, especially things that went wrong, always work in favor of companies. So be it high or low cause, let everyone know what happened.

Financial Discipline

Irrespective of the stage of startup, managing finances should always be in the top priorities, as once funded, responsibility of someone else’s money is on the company and its management’s shoulder. Further, funds in a startup are like a car on the highway with low fuel. It can go as far as one wants as long as it shows discipline, integrity and honesty to itself as everything is self managed.

Reporting

Part of corporate governance is regular reporting of the business to who so ever concerned. A weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly financials is must for internal and board level assessment of business. Deeper the reports, better is the understanding of the business by all. Post read, people can comment, provide suggestion and even help in various department.

Venture Capital

Raising monies form Venture Capitalist is a very important step in a startup’s Survival cum Scale stage. Venture capital, along with their investments, can open doors, kick start the sales, help develop partnerships, find future investors, prevent you form making mistakes, find right talent, and make the world take notice of a startup and its founders.

Private Equity Funds

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Venture Debt Funds

Venture debt is a form of specialty debt financing provided to companies that are not serviced by traditional lenders like banks. The financing is usually structured as a combination of a loan along with limited equity investment rights (warrants). While established businesses have many options for debt financing, new economy businesses have only had access to equity financing to fund their growth till now.