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Why we decided to build our startup from Microsoft Accelerators, Bengaluru: BetterConnect+ CEO's personal perspective

This is the story about- why a Gurgaon-based health-tech startup funded by Dalmia Cements and Holostik decided to be based at Microsoft Accelerators, Bengaluru... no, you guessed it almost wrong :)... the reason is awesome IDLI's :)

Our startup, BetterConnect+ (previously known as SmarterClinics), had been a part of AIM SmartCity Accelerator program by Ashoka University, ISB- HYD and Microsoft Accelerators. The program started in April 2016 and got over in August 2016.

As part of the programme, we visited Microsoft Accelerators, Bengaluru for half a week to attend the traction workshop, by Prasanna Krishnamoorthy and Abhishek Bajaj. Sessions by Ravi Narayan and Naveen Asrani proved to be extremely important, and made us rethink about the problem we were solving and their magnitude of impact.

During the workshop, we had an opportunity to attend sessions by Maansi Sanghi from CloudCherry, from Nikhil Moorjani of HealthifyMe etc. Those sessions were great and made me feel proud of our selection to the accelerator program. On the last day, an startup mixer event was organized on the 8th floor terrace of the adjacent IBIS Hotel.

As we concluded the workshop and went back to Gurgaon, I personally felt something was amiss. Sitting inside our 600 sq ft basement office in Gurgaon, I realized that as a startup it is necessary to be part of larger group so that one can get continuous support, feedback and is able to leverage connection which otherwise won't be possible to do. In our office, our thoughts were limited to our own internal capabilities and our perspectives were always based on our limited knowledge.

We needed outside world perspective on our business idea, feedback on our product/s (not just from a user's perspective but also from a technology expert's perspective), connections to prospective partners and customers.

This and other very important reasons such as

a. the awesome weather in Bengaluru,

b. people's empathy towards startups here (the city knows what startups have done for them),

c. availability of technical as well as better English-speaking fresher and experienced resources

were also some of the other factors for us to go for this decision.

It has been just the first week of just me being present in Accelerators office, and I must say- what a week!!

Apart from regular training sessions by different trainers, got to meet two of our prospective partners, one prospective hire and THREE INVESTORS. I must say, it has been a relatively more productive week for me in the past few months. 

Jumbo Idli Sambhar (2 for Rs. 25/- ), sold near Microsoft Ventures office 

And yes, before I sign off, let me also tell you that Lunch and tea/coffee is on the house, and just this morning I also discovered and had my life's best IDLI-Sambhar on a road-side kiosk just near the Microsoft Accelerators  office. Rs. 25/- for two of these, I am full for rest of the day :)


The author is Founder/CEO of BetterConnect+ (a health-tech startup that works with clinics and hospitals and enable them to provide goal-based, collaborative care for chronic conditions e.g. Diabetes, Hypertension, Chronic Pain etc.