Kallol Borah is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience of leading product teams,developing business and selling products in Asia and Europe. Kallol is also a Director of the HeadStart Foundation and is also a co-founder of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Bangalore, both of which are large innovation and entrepreneur promotion platforms. He is now working on his third business venture which is a new product called lukup and speaks to YourStory.in about it and a seed fund he is setting up called HeadStart Ventures.
Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey so far.
I did my post graduation from LSE in 1998 and then I worked at the Vice Chairman's office in Reliance industries, which was a very entrepreneurial environment. It was great learning and a great place to start my career. I went back to the UK in 1999 to do my M.Phil but discontinued as I did not enjoy it and wanted to be a part of the dot com growth happening all around.
I had this idea of building an online procurement and risk management system for commodities which I and my partners implemented in our first startup which we later sold. After that, I started a services company called Aumega Networks in 2001. In 2005, I started working on a new product which was a middleware product for wireless networks applied to supply chain, building systems and personal area networks. The business did not scale well and in end 2008, I started working on lukup.
Tell us more about lukup.
lukup enables developers, content producers and media agencies develop digital content and applications that can be packaged and distributed on a large number of consumer devices and platforms - mobile phones, digital TV, social networks, desktops and tablets . Currently there are a plethora of consumer devices and platforms and people who create content or applications have to rendered them on multiple platforms. Using lukup, applications and content can also be distributed in multiple networks and we are working with mobile operators, DTH and cable networks to distribute apps and content. Application developers and content owners now have better choice to monetize their assets using lukup.About Headstart Ventures
Being an entrepreneur, I have also been very active in helping other entrepreneurs and have observed that for a startup to raise anywhere between 20 lakhs to 2 crores is difficult. VCs generally do not invest in early stage startups and the process of raising money from informal angel networks is slow. We thought it will be better if investors put their money into common fund which could be invested in startups. Money aside, I have also seen startup teams being unbalanced at times and HeadStart Ventures is putting together a panel of mentors that would put significant time into helping startups meet milestones. Part of getting invested by Headstart Ventures involves mentoring. We are also working with many corporates where they will validate opportunities that startups are addressing and would be potential early adopters for their work. To start qualifying startups we want to work with and invest, we are hosting our first set of startup workshops from 20th August in Bangalore.