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As for the presenters today, we saw one business that is ramping nicely and another concept that is not validating.
First, Arun Purohit from Pune, India, pitched WiC by Simplibuy, a web portal where consumers can share information about where to buy products and services for cheap. Arun has about 1,200 users and has raised some angel money last year. He is rightly focused on ramping up his user base, content, as well as getting a clear handle on the metrics and monetization models.
I steered Arun away from advertising and suggested that he explore the lead generation model as his anchor business model. Also, we went over his strategy for generating content creation. Using campus interns is a decent strategy and can also help generate SEO traffic. I’d like to see a realistic cash flow analysis of how this model can help the business turn profitable without running too much red ink.
Next, John Lynch from Santa Barbara, California, pitched Survival Quarters, an idea for turning cargo containers into small apartments. As we peeled the onion, we could not find any consumer segment that would be willing and able to buy Cargo containers to turn them into apartments. The segment that has the need for affordable housing cannot afford to buy the containers or the land to put them on. I advised John against pursuing this business.
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