1M/1M Strategy Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: 1M/1M and Incubators – What We Have Learned
Recap of the 2 June 2011 roundtable by Sramana Mitra
During today’s roundtable, we worked with two entrepreneurs and also had a segment on our yearlong engagement with incubators around the world.
The 1M/1M team has invested significant resources to engage with and understand the challenges of the Incubator industry around the globe. In our Business Incubator series of interviews, we have invited many leaders from the industry to come share their best practices and challenges with us. We have also facilitated open discussions on Why Do Business Incubators Fail and Incubator Business Models, which turned out to be animated, active and extremely constructive discussions. Last but not the least, my Forbes column, An Underused Tool For Job Recovery triggered further debate on the subject.
Based on this work, we have identified certain areas in the Incubator industry where we can add value by acting as a partner and filling in some of the gaps that exist in the eco-system. At today’s session, we discussed some of them. You can listen to the recording to learn more, and also find further details here.
As for the pitches, first up, Eddie Godshalk from San Jose, California, presented QuantGeo, a geospatial data service for real estate investors, property buyers, banks, etc., on how different variables like income trends, employment trends, and multiple other factors impact home prices. Eddie has already invested $350,000 in building the solution, but has done an inadequate job of validating with customers. While he has a good feel for the real estate investor market that is willing to pay $40 per month for the data service, he believes that banks may be willing to pay a lot more. However, at this point, this is just a hypothesis. We discussed a strategy to get this validated ASAP before raising any further capital, or investing any more money in building the product.
Next, Abinash Karana from Bangalore, India, pitched 10Screens, a software for capturing specs for software projects using visual screen shot mapping and workflow definitions. Abinash is preparing for the Microsoft grant application, and is a 1M/1M premium member. I pointed him to specific modules within the 1M/1M curriculum to beef up his customer acquisition strategy, Value Proposition and Positioning description, etc. He is using way too much text, and his competitive positioning needs more detailed work. I also pointed him to two templates – Investor Pitch and Customer Pitch – to recast his presentation for the Microsoft contest. Abinash needs to spend at least 15-20 hours in the curriculum modules and tweaking his presentation over the next 5-6 days to be ready to submit the application.
I keep saying this – 1M/1M is like a gym membership. You can buy a membership, but unless you put in the work, you won’t be able to lose weight or, in this case, make progress with your business.
You can select the business you like best of those discussed today through a poll on the 1M/1M Facebook page.
The recording of today’s roundtable can be found here. Recordings of previous roundtables are all available here. You can register for upcoming roundtables here. And you can sign up for the 1M/1M premium program here.
About Sramana Mitra
Sramana Mitra is the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative, an educational, business development and incubation program that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant. She writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. From 2008 to 2010, Mitra was a columnist for Forbes. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. She has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.