TiE Entrepreneurial Summit Live Blog: Day 1

2.30 pm

Sanjukta Basu - Live Blogging, the best in India

I have finally reached the #TieSummit and we are at the post lunch sessions now.

Dream Big is the theme for the present session. Pradeep Gupta (Cyber Media Group) chairing the session.

Pradeep is talking about dreaming big. Not just big but dreams should be inspiring. Your entrepreneurial dream should be something that should light the fire amongst a large number of people.

Panellist speak:

Dreaming big is easy, it is also easy to achieve big. It is rather difficult to dream small and achieve small. Big is easy. The only catch is just don’t grow up, stay young. The word is a story book, you need to have a story of your own. Make a story out of your business plan, see how big is it, how many people connect with the plot, is it credible? Does your charachters have depth, they are your team.

Big is easy because it is achievable. If you were to set up one hospital, the cost of the backend will be huge, if you set up 5 hospitals, the backend can be centralized the cost will go down.

Big has the strength of avoiding risks. Large mistake in one area will ultimately be compensated by good news from other side.

Don’t listen to ‘NO’

Next speaker Mr. Rajendra Joshi

Mr. Joshi has made a transition from NGO world to world of social entrepreneur. Saath is his organisation, it works with the urban poor. The urban poor is a very large market, unfortunately it is not seen as market, it is seen as a group that needs help. But its not true, they are regular people who don’t need help but opportunities to fulfil their own dreams and aspiration.

Urban BOP – Typology

Mr. Joshi realized in his course of NGO work that the poor are service users for health, education, housing, credit, vocational training. Also service providers in the informal sector, your housemaid, drivers etc. Take example of slums. The urban slum dwellers need the same service we require. The services don’t need to be given for free. In a slum in Guptanagar, Ahemdabad dwellers purchased the electricity supply given to them in lower cost. The lower cost didn’t mean provide service at loss though.

Mr. Joshi has been giving the youth vocational training to the youth from the bottom of the social pyramid. These are students who are school drop outs but after the voc training they have got jobs.

To conclude Mr. Joshi said that the large market of urban poor in India allows us to dream big.

(I am missing the names of the speakers, presently one Mr. Rahul is speaking but not sure about his profile. Should have done homework)

3.55 pm Session Dreaming Big: Q & A

The panel now gets cynical of dreaming big – dreaming big is possible, but dreaming big alone is difficult. One needs to have participation and collaboration.Whatever is your dream, the dream process is a long process, it is not something impromptu. In this process you set yourself a goal which will excite and inspire you always. Tip: don’t take advice from consultants while dreaming.

Audience question: what do we do about the government red tapism which comes in the way of dreaming big. The panel answers that there will always be hurdles, Government is just one of them, but you cannot make them as your excuses for not achieving. Also, avoid Government like the plague if you can.

4 pm: Sharing of case studies from the TiE National Mentoring Showcase

  • Tushar Bhatia – Saigun Technologies
  • Karon Shaiva – Idobro

4.30 pm

Speakers: Achal Ghai, Avigo Capital; Rajan Anandan, Indian Angel Network; Mohit Bhatnagar, Sequoia Capital, Soumya Choudhury, IBM India; Ravi Trivedy, KPMG; Raj Judge, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Next session is themed “Show me the Money” in addition there are breakaway sessions, on clean is green, mentoring women entrepreneurs and mid career crisis or opportunities. I am going to stay in the present session because I need to see the money. Plus I don’t know why the moment you say women, it is always about balancing the personal and professiona life. Like it is assumed that there is just NO woman on earth who is NOT married and NOT burdened with the thought of raising a child or cooking.

4.35 pm

On with the session – how do you start looking for money

Speaker’s speak:

The discussion going on mainly on questions like how should one approach an investor? What do VCs (Venture Capitalists) look for in their partners? The panelist mention that the best way to access a VC is to do it via somebody known to the VC. This helps in building credibility. Giving cold calls to the VC wouldn’t work mostly. Secondly, when you look for a VC don’t just think of who has the money, you have to look for someone who understands the sector in which you are venturing, someone who can mentor you, someone you can call even on a Sunday night, to seek guidance and motivation.

A VC looks for a strong team most importantly, followed by a great market for the service / product and the product itself. A strong team is the most important aspect. In the present day India, the markets are all good, what is hot is whatever you think is hot, as long as you have a strong team with you, the VC would take attention.

The moderator makes a joke that VCs only have 10 min attention span, if you have lost them in that 10 mins you will never get the change to talk to them in another 3-4 years.

Speakers’ speak continues:

Along with strong team your timing will also have to right. You are likely to get noticed or funded if your product is entering the market at the right time. Further you need to have a lot of guts and patience. There is no successful model success comes from the process of evolution. At IBM we give time to the partners. Under IBM’s loan equity program we help potential partners to go through the rigorous process of funding.

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