Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Date with the VC's

As I had said in one of my previous posts, one fine Saturday I had been to an event called Startup City organized by the The Smart Techie. I had mailed a few of my friends about the event and lured a few of them to wake up early on a Saturday morning. I almost did not make it, as I was feeling very sleepy and did not feel like getting up, but since I had promised NEO that I would be picking him up around 8:00 am I got up and got ready. We reached 10 minutes before the start of the event and decided to have breakfast somewhere. By the time we were finished with our Masala Dosas and Musambi Juice it was well past 9:30. I had already missed the event which I had come for, opening address by Mr. Ashish Gupta about the milestones in the journey from an idea to a successful venture. When I reached, a techie from Sun Microsystems was talking about how Sun can help startups. Frankly, it was more of a marketing presentation which I did not find very riveting.


I moved around the stalls where some startups were displaying their products and services. It reminded me of BangaloreIT.In of 2006 where Darshan and me had gone though the venue this time was very small as compared to that. You can read about the exhibiting startups here. I then went in to the room where you could meet the VC's. People from different Venture Capital firms from over India were present.


I must say that never before has there been a better time to start a company. With 13 Venture Capital firms, each planning to invest around a million dollars per annum into new Ventures in India, you have approximately 10 million dollars of Venture Capital flowing in. That is huge! And it is not just for the technology companies!


So what did I get to know in my date with the VC's? I have put them down in points as follows:

  • They got the money and they are looking for ventures to invest.
  • An Idea is not good enough! They need a Proof of Concept!
  • If you worry about the hassles of managing things like marketing, finance etc., don't worry. They have their networks and will help you find people who can help you manage aspects of your company.
  • They are looking to invest in areas which have a proven market and growth areas. So in case you have something revolutionary as Google, don't expect it to be easy to get funded.
  • People in their network help them to evaluate their ideas. e.g. if I have been funded by a VC and have been successful, she may ask me to evaluate your idea.
  • Be as frugal as you can.

One very important thing that I noticed there was that there were quite a lot of people there who had already started off something and were looking for venture capital to expand. I mean like anything else in India, the competition to get a slice of the VC pie is hot here as well. But that doesn't mean you wont get a slice.


All said and done, it is always good to be aware of what is happening in the world. I became aware of a whole range of things thanks to event.

So, what do you feel about the points I mentioned above?

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