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What eventually would work for you is a great business, not funding: Hard lessons from Indore TechSparks

Mukti Masih
27th Aug 2016
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What would you be willing to miss for a mind-churning and heated up startup meetup in town? Around 70 startup founders and entrepreneurs from Indore decided to give the Janmashtmi celebrations a miss to attend the Indore TechSparks event on Thursday. What came out from the gathering were some hard lessons in the funding and investment aspect of the startup ecosystem. One of the biggest takeaways during the event was the synergy among the senior entrepreneurs and young founders on the importance of building business solutions to serious problems.

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When attendees began to fill in the auditorium of the Prestige Institute of Management and Research (UG campus) for Indore TechSparks, the atmosphere was abuzz with anticipation. In a panel discussion, Founder of Gramco Infratech Pvt Ltd Raman Saluja said,

What do investors look for in a business?
Three things:
  1. What can you solve that’s not already been solved?
  2. What value do you add?
  3. What will you achieve from this business?
You need to be very clear about what you want to achieve. So even if you get funding, what eventually would work for you is a great business.

Echoing this sentiment, Co-founder and COO of Anaxee Infra Aarti Agrawal said, “People today are more interested in funding a startup as a quick profitable venture not for building a business.” Earlier in her solo talk, she had shared about the opportunities for tech startups from Aadhaar card authentication and the scope that fintech startups have in today’s economy.

Death is embedded in the seed

Sharing his views on whether angel investment could be the answer to encourage entrepreneurship in non-metro cities, Swan Angel Network Co-founder B P Inani outlined the various aspects that investors pay attention to.

When startups chase investments without evaluating, they write their own death. Death is embedded in the seed. In the last six months of analysing various startup pitches, I realised that investors need clarity as to how and where their money would go.

Similarly, SAN’s second co-founder Abhishek Sanghvi pointed out that technology today has emerged to be the biggest enabler of businesses and startups today. “I have seen that the startup founders have become more confident and technology has given them the benefit of being location-agnostic. Indore has the potential, intellect and talent but what’s truly missing here is real information from experts,” he added.

Managing Director at Davesman India Shamit Dave urged the young founders to be more realistic in their approach towards business. “Passion alone doesn’t work, you need a clear strategy, a roadmap in order to grow and continue to grow,” he said.

Title and thumbnail are like a movie trailer

Co-founder of WittyFeed – world’s second largest viral content company – Vinay Singhal left the audience in awe when he shared the secrets of viral content. Speaking on his topic ‘Growth Hacking’, Singhal said,

Curiosity makes content clickable while emotions make the same content sharable. These factors create the cycle of virality. I always tell my content curators that your title and your thumbnail are like a movie trailer. Based on these two factors, the user decides to read the story or abandon it.”

Vinay spoke against the practices of ‘click bait’ where users are lured into reading a piece by showing some information in the title that goes missing in the entire story. “Click baits don’t work in the long run so we don’t preach nor practice them. Getting your content viral is not a matter of chance, it is pure art. It can be controlled,” he added.

Earlier, in a panel discussion of startup founders, Maalgaadi Co-founder Aniruddh Garg, EngineerBabu Co-founder Aditi Chourasia and ShopKirana Co-founder Tanutejas Saraswat shared the taboos associated with startups in Tier-II and Tier-II cities. “The good news is we live in a [country with] one billion population. So nobody is trying to take or snatch away anybody’s business because the scope is immense,” added Saraswat.

The evening concluded with a few interesting startups such as Bollywoo, GetIronMan showcasing their elevator pitches. However, the entire community was thrilled to find a startup co-founder from Lucknow - Raunak Agrahari of EatAtOS, who had come down to Indore just to attend the TechSparks event. Last year, Indore TechSparks had witnessed a few startups from Nagpur presenting their pitches. The Outreach Partners of the event were Swan Angel Network, Prestige Institute of Management and Research E-cell and AVM Pictures. 


A big shoutout to TechSparks 2016 sponsors for supporting emerging entrepreneurs in their startup journey - Zendesk, Axis BankSequoia Capital,DigitalOceanAWS and Target

Book your spot for TechSparks Grand Finale, 30 Sep-Oct 1, Taj Vivanta, Bengaluru here


A big shoutout to all our sponsors - ZendeskAxis BankSequoia Capital India Advisors , Digital OceanMicrosoftAWSAkamaiTargetVerisignKerala Startup MissionBrand Launch Centre, Tork and Blink.

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