Band of Angels’ 1st Mumbai meeting

Band of Angels, now rechristened Indian Angel Network(IAN) held it’s 1st meeting in Mumbai today afternoon, where 6 businesses presented for raising early stage capital. IAN has now assigned a member to work with each of the businesses to help develop their plan and undertake diligence. Upon completion of these steps, which usually takes a month or two, IAN will either invest, decline, or request the business to revisit later.

With the Mumbai chapter now formally in place, there will be a monthly meeting where businesses can present plans and thereafter work with the team in Mumbai. This is excellent both for businesses in Mumbai/Western India, and for angel investors in this part of India. IAN hopes this will be a significant boost to entrepreneurship in Mumbai/Western India.

What struck me during some of the presentations, is that, founders were spending too much time on presenting product features and not enough on the other aspects necessary for a potential investor to evaluate the opportunity:

1. Team: what are the credentials of the founder and his/her core team? We want to know what kind of a track record of success the team has in the professional and academic level.

2. The addressable market: what is the addressable market for your product? I found that this was not tightly defined by many of the presenting founders. So (for example) if it was gourmet chocolate business for India, the founders were giving stats of the whole world’s chocolate consumption, when instead they should present data on the Indian gourmet chocolate market.

3. The competition: what is the existing and potential competition in your addressable market? This has to be presented with brutal reality.

4. Competitive advantage: what advantage do you have over your competition? Or, why should someone use you and not your competition.

5. Intellectual property: what is the intellectual property that the business will develop, such as brand, technology, processes, exclusive contracts, licenses, etc? A business without Intellectual property may not be able to sustain profitably for very long. On the flip side, especially on technology product you will need to show that you are not violating existing IPs with what you have created.

6. Marketing innovation: what marketing innovations are you undertaking to significantly cut cost of customer acquisition? Often marketing is far more expensive that building a product, and what use is a great product if you can get lots of customers/clients for it. With these in mind, you need to come up with marketing innovations which will significantly cut your marketing cost and carry your limited startup capital further. A few famous marketing innovations: Richard Branson who mastered the photo opp; Sabeer Bhatia who put the “Get your free hotmail” footer on every email; Larry & Sergey with Gmail’s 1GB storage; Kabir Mulchandani with buying out downtime on hoardings (when a hording had no ad on it) to splash AKAI, and paying taxi drivers across India to carry big empty AKAI tv boxes on their carrier to make it appear to people that lots of AKAI tvs were being sold.

7. SWOT: what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the business? This gives an investor a realistic view of what s/he is getting into.

8. Proof of Concept: what is the proof that the business’ product will be accepted by the market? Are you getting good sales/adoption? Do you have positive testimonials from clients in you addressable market?

If you are presenting to IAN or any investor, please do keep the above in focus and you are sure to get a good response.

35 Responses to “Band of Angels’ 1st Mumbai meeting”

  1. Ravi Jagtiani says:

    Dear friends,

    My name is Ravi Jagtiani. I am an MBA from Babson College, USA currently pursuing my entrepreneurial dreams in India.

    My father was a Hotelier running 2 restaurants in Mumbai and a Hotel in Khandala. He retired from active business in 1995 after he suffered from a Hear attack.

    Currently I hold some commercial showroom properties along with our Hotel Property in Khandala.

    I have plans to convert my Khandal property into a world class SPA resort. I have some plans made regarding the same along with a Professional Hotel management team along my side.

    We are in need funding by way of seed capital / Private equity / VC funding or any other source of funding which would help us in our venture.

    Any inputs or contacts would be appreciated. Please get in touch with me on: rrgroup@gmail.com OR 9819414920.

    Regards,

    Ravi Jagtiani

  2. Neeraj says:

    Hi Guys ,
    Is this blog only for IT businesses ? In that case pls ignore my msg , however in case not than your help would be most useful .
    Some of us ( have taken an early retmt from a well known MNC ) , are keen to acquire a relatively sick Coffee Co in Southern India and through a unique business model try to go grow it dramatically. The team is largely from sales /mktg of HLL and we feel it can deliver.
    As most of us are from mktg /sales background we are grappling with ‘funding ‘ issues. There is a paradox as the amount reqiured is < Rs 3 Cr ,I understand it does not make many Investment Bankers interested ? Grateful if any of you can guide us on how to avail funds , and more importantly how much do stake holders have to invest to get the VC’s / Banks interested ?

    Sorry for the bother but your experience will help

    Regds

    Neeraj

  3. Rajeev says:

    Dear Sumit Kale

    Don’t give up too much to ‘Lalas’. Try doing your self and keep 100% with you. In case you are in Delhi, you are welcome to use my office (after getting a brief any one is welcome). I can also try getting your portal run as one of my friend is in Web hosting business.

    RAJEEV
    Email: chemtel@vsnl.com
    Ph: 011-20069710.

  4. sarathy says:

    Hi,

    My friend is the promoter for a secured people to people lending site. The site requires funding and networking to kick start the operations as the site, IPR has been put in place by her. She is not in a position to crack the financial service monopoly to get bank and dp interface to make the site work.

    Looking out for an well connected angel in financial service arena

    Sarathy

  5. vikas shah says:

    Dear Sumit,
    I am an entreprenneur from Ahmedabad.Would you mind mailing me your executive plan.May be i can join you as a team and contribute something.
    Regards
    Vikas shah
    9327919212
    vikas.shah@traveldunia.com

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