Right up there with Y-Combinator and Techstars, 500 startups is one of the best technology startup incubators in the world. Having been founded only in 2010, the incubator astonishes many by the kind of popularity and brand value it has generated in less than 3 years. Known for accepting startups from across the globe, 500 startups has been successfully picking great startups in spite of not having a formal application procedure. Teliportme, the first startup from India to have been selected for the incubator has had a wonderful stint. We caught up again with founder, VineetDevaiah to know how his experience was (read the previous interview)
Vineet: Thank you. Yes, it was a great experience being at the 500 starups over these 4 months. I’m still in San Francisco and will be back in Bangalore in a few weeks. To talk about the journey, it was full of mentoring sessions, great connections, learnings and hands on experience. Divided roughly into 4 parts which would comprise of Product Design and UI, Distribution, PR and Funding, each of the areas were dealt with in detail. Each topic spanning for about 3 weeks had a lot of discussions and useful inputs that every startup would take into account.
YS: Focusing on the product, how has TeliportMe been helped and evolved over the period?
Vineet: Talking purely from the product side, there hasn’t been huge changes or modifications. It has evolved how it naturally would have. This is partly also because many of the startups at the incubator came in at an idea stage. We were pretty much well into the journey and hence on the product side and an image processing startup is not a sweet spot for the incubators. But the incubator was a big help in terms of the support and the connections that we’ve found; it’s invaluable. The strong network one builds here at 500Startups is not something that can be easily replicated.
YS: Finding an investor at an incubator is one of the very important parts. How would you consider your experience here?
Vineet: Absolutely amazing! The number and kind of investors that come into 500 startups is overwhelming. Some very influential investors are a part of the program and the exposure is tremendous.
YS: On the personal front how was the stint?
Vineet: I’d call it enriching. The kind of friends I’ve made is something I’m proud of and would cherish throughout my life. Being surrounded by some really bright guys throughout the period, you completely know what Silicon Valley is all about! The whole feeling about being a part of the 500Startups community is what helps startups immensely down the road.
YS: What kind of traction are you seeing it with TeliportMe? What are the plans on monetization?
Vineet: The traction has been good. We currently have close to half a million users and are seeing spikes regularly. The next release of the have will have a paid app version s well, but once we’re completely set with the product, we’ll open up more revenue streams.
Leo Chen, cofounder at monogram, also an entrepreneur who has been through the 500Startups program, beautifully put the experience in a Quora answer:
We, at Yourstory.in wish Vineet and TeliportMe all the very best. Stay tuned for updates from TeliportMe.