Archive for December, 2006

Billionways – Entrepreneurship for Rural Education

Venkat, of Deccanet fame, has put an initiative in place to find a solution to lack of rural education – Billionways. It focuses on finding an entrepreneurial solution to the problem of illiteracy, and seeks to jumpstart the same through a non-profit fund. There is emphasis on sustainability, where after a while, each of these units become profitable for the local entrepreneur.

Details are available here.

I wonder what is the funding per seat capacity, and whether it is low enough to make this truly large scale. Having said that, I can see people around me who are keen to contribute to such an initiative if they are confident that it will create a sustainable solution.

The 12 Different Ways for Companies to Innovate

The 12 Different Ways for Companies to Innovate

While browsing I came across this SMR (MIT Sloan Management Review) abstract. Wanted to share with you as innovation is important for both the start-ups and VCs.

According to Mohanbir Sawhney, Robert C. Wolcott and Inigo Arroniz, a company can innovate along any of 12 different dimensions with respect to its
(1) offerings,
(2) platform,
(3) solutions,
(4) customers,
(5) customer experience,
(6) value capture,
(7) processes,
(8) organization,
(9) supply chain,
(10) presence,
(11) networking, and
(12) brand.

The abstract is here You can also buy the full article from there.

What is your comment on this?


Business Standard has a write up on an initiative by IIT – Mumbai to create a resource for entrepreneurs. The article says that within a week of the soft launch 100 business plans have been uploaded. They plan to have a meet in January for the formal launch and hope to get 4000-5000 entrepreneurs registered in the next few months.

Bagchi Book

I am reading a book by Subroto Bagchi, one of the founders of Mindtree. So far I like what I have read. It is called “The High Performance Entrepreneur”. A quote follows:

In the Hindu pantheon , wealth is granted by a goddess named Lakshmi. She is extremely jealous and possessive.She does not come to those who treat her as if she is incidental. Even if you manage to bring her in on some pretext, mythology has it that she flees at the smallest act of neglect. So, if someone says money is not my prime motivator, know that the goddess is listening.

9th Annual MIT Venture Capital Conference videos

9th Annual MIT Venture Capital Conference videos:

List of Videos:

1. Mobile Innovations : The World Beyond Walled Gardens
2. Decision Making in Biotech Innovation: Who makes the Ideal CEO?
3. Investing in Energy Technology Innovation – How Long Does it Really Take?
4. Keynote Address: Rebecca Henderson
5. Monetizing Social Networking Businesses
6. Keynote Address: Alan Spoon
7. The Future of Digital Media: Are Companies Overprices and Overhyped?
8. Lunch Keynode Address: Jeff Taylor
9. Commercializing Web2.0 – Hype vs Reality
10. MIT Innovation Showcase
11. Global Ambition and Global Sales
12. Corporate Venturing – Present and Future
13. Venture Capital in India and China – Invest Globally, Innovate Locally

Please note the link:

2007 Micro Finance Business Plan Competition

2007 Micro Finance Business Plan Competition
Details from the image below:

2007 Micro Finance Business Plan Competition

Winners of TiE-Canaan Entrepreneurship Challenge announced

Alok just informed me that winners of the TiE-Canaan Entrepreneurship challenge have been announced. The winners are 6 Dee, Vegayan, and Infozech. Heartiest congratulations to all the winners and the other finalists as well! I hope they will take some time out to tell the Venturewoods community more about their ventures!

Update: Redherring has a more detailed article on the winners. Congratulations!

.com to .org :)

so it’s not just the business…lines from google:

“We hope that someday this institution will eclipse Google itself in overall world impact by ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world’s problems.“

– Sergey Brin & Larry Page

What are they upto: includes the work of the Google Foundation, some of Google’s own projects using Google talent, technology and other resources, as well as partnerships and contributions to for-profit and non-profit entities. While we continue to define the goals, priorities and approach for, we will focus on several areas including global poverty, energy and the environment.

more on… nomination deadline extended to Dec 20 nomination deadline extended to Dec 20

PROTO is a premier event to showcase new products, technologies and companies to a selected gathering.

Due to the request of a lot of companies and peers, we have extended the deadline for nomination of companies that want to participate in the event to the 20th of December. The registration for attendees and VCs will be open shortly. Do stay tuned.

More info at

Where is the catch ?

I see atleast two examples of attempts at viral marketing by “Make my Trip” – High 5 program and “Seventymm” free six program.

None of these pays for getting a user to sign up. They have to buy a ticket or continue being a member for the refferer to receive benefits.

In pay per impression or pay per click merchants pay for just awareness. In viral marketing they pay for sign up which is a tougher bar for the viral marketer to cross. In India the bar for the viral marketer to cross is even higher. Usage and in some cases active usage.

Maybe these attempts at viral programs will work in India but I as a consumer would like to see an offering that is strong enough to retain customers after they register and is willing to pay for registrations. Obviously this lends itself to the system being gamed but if there are real benefits to users they will stay.

Would love to read comments from people on whether they think viral marketing will work in India and if yes in what form it will work ?