Archive for October, 2009

Will angels dirty their hands?

I was speaking to a successful entrepreneur and angel investor yesterday about the evolving angel investment climate in India. He voiced a concern that seems to strike a chord – that while many successful entrepreneurs in India are involving themselves in angel funding, and even setting up early stage funds, there is a tendency to “rise above” building companies and a resistance to acting as a peer to budding entrepreneurs. Many successful entrepreneurs seem to graduate over, and consider it below themselves to roll up their sleeves with a rookie. Conference speeches take over garage whiteboarding.

In his view, this is a key gap in Indian angel ecosystem (to the extent it exists) and I agree. Perhaps too much of a class systems amongst entrepreneurs? Whats your view? How can we get the right mentors active in guiding new companies?

Last date for nominations extended till 20th October 2009 for the NASSCOM Innovation Awards

The NASSCOM-BCG Innovation Report 2007 detailed the imperative for companies to significantly increase innovation to develop path-breaking services/products and delivery mechanisms, etc. Since then, there has been a transformation in the character of the Indian IT-BPO sector, which has embraced innovation. Participating in the innovation movement have been multinationals, who have set up captive R&D centres and offshore development facilities in India, indigenous IT-BPO companies, who have rapidly recognized and adopted an innovation led approach to service the IT off-shoring and domestic markets and several SMEs, which have mushroomed across the country, many of them looking to create a disruptive product or service to define a niche for themselves.

Each of their efforts to nurture innovation is validated by the NASSCOM Perspective 2020 report, which estimates that the Indian IT-BPO industry can tap additional revenue streams worth US$ 75 billion by the year 2020 through innovation.

It is with this backdrop that we start the process for the NASSCOM Innovation Awards ‘09. With our endeavour to constantly improve the Awards to generate value to the participants, winners and the Industry as a whole, we have tied up with ET Now, who will be our television partner for the Innovation Awards, and telecast a couple of editorials dedicated to the NASSCOM Innovation Awards on their channel. The processes that we defined last year with BCG were well received and we are continuing this year along the same lines.

With several organizations realizing the value of Innovation and actively nurturing it, we are sure that the past year has been one where the Indian IT Industry has broken established precepts with path breaking ideas that have brought value to both its customers and itself. If your organization has been a part of creating value through new ideas and their commercialization, we invite you to share with us what you have created and achieved, so that it can be recognized and shared with a greater set of people and institutions.

Looking forward to hearing about your Innovation. Apply Now

Angel Investor Event: Kolkata/October 21

One Billion Minds continuing its mission to foster the spirit of innovation & entrepreneurship in India, invites innovators to present path breaking ideas to an international team of angel investors on October 21, 2009 at Kolkata

Date: October 21st 2009
Venue:  ITC Room, Bengal Chambers of Commerce, Kolkata
Eligibility: Product or Service with High Innovation and/or Social Angle

How to Apply?
A. Register: Email to register
B. Submit ONE PAGE Innovator Pitch by Thursday 16th October 11 PM
C. Shortlisted Teams will receive an opportunity to present to the Investors


Steffen Naumann
Angel Investor & Advisor, One Billion Minds

Steffen Naumann has been involved with One Billion Minds as a Mentor since the first ideas of it were born in 2007. Steffen was a Member of the Management Board of Axel Springer, Germany’s largest media company, and COO and CFO of this important and successful European media group since November 2001. He ended this appointment in April 2009. Before, Steffen spent about ten years with Bertelsmann, the biggest German Media Group, his last positions being Member of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann’s book business, and Executive Vice President and CFO of Random House Inc, New York, the book publishing division of Bertelsmann. Steffen also worked with McKinsey and Ford of Europe earlier in his career.

Jens Geitmann
Angel Investor & Founding Partner, TriStone Partners

A trained commercial and investment banker with over 20 years of industry experience in the US and Europe, he is a founding partner of TriStone Partners, London and Prague. In charge of the Prague office specialising in debt and corporate restructuring situations he is also responsible for TriStone’s US Joint Venture partner network. A European Business School, London Graduate and former Charterhouse Corporate Finance Director his network is predominantly based in Europe and the US, with a more limited access to Latin America. TriStone Partner’s reference deal was and still is the In Game Advertising/IGA deal which was named Deal of the Year in France. For information on TriStone Partners please visit our web site at:

Entrepreneur Journeys – VW Reviews

Sramana had announced an offer for venturewoods readers to review her first book – Entrepreneur Journeys 1. We have received some of the initial reviews, and I am happy to share those here. People who might have otherwise read the book may please comment here itself.

Special offer for Venturewoods readers for Nasscom Product Conclave

Thanks to Nasscom for offering additional discount of INR 500 on the registrations for the Product Conclave for Venturewoods users. This means, a startup entrepreneur can attend all the sessions, Expo, networking, entertainment for just *Rs 1500.*

Please quote my name (Alok Mittal) as reference, and also include your reference in the attached Registration Form; send it along with the cheque to Nasscom office address below, or to Nasscom office in your city.

Please email (reaches to Bharati) for any clarification. Last date for this offer is 12th October.

Nasscom, 5th Floor Oxford Towers, Kodihalli, HAL Airport Road, Bangalore
Phone: +91 80 411 51 705/6.

Killer Workshops designed for Indian Start-ups at the NASSCOM Product Conclave 2009.

NASSCOM Product ConclaveThis NASSCOM Product Conclave has the most exciting lineup of speakers this year. What’s More!

The experience goes beyond the star packed Keynotes and Panels to bring you 4 Hands-on Workshops!. These workshops are designed to enable you to succeed in your software product business. Each workshop is led by a world class practitioner who will use real-life case studies to bring key ideas to life and help you bring in your experience to the discussion.

These workshops are intensely interactive and seating is limited. Register early to book your place for these workshops:

1. Evangelising and Selling the Dream. Learn how to use use secular evangelism to get customers, employees, and partners to believe in your product. It charts a complete course for the beginner evangelist covering how to define a cause, how to identify good and bad enemies, how to deliver an effective presentation, and how to find, train, and recruit new evangelists.

Led by the legendary Guy Kawasaki. Guy is a Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine, a former Apple Fellow and an author of nine books including The Art of the Start and How to Drive Your Competition Crazy.

2. The art of writing a business plan. Writing a business plan is often a giant obstacle for an entrepreneur. This high energy workshop will demystify the process by outlining a logical sequence of thinking through all aspects of starting a business. It will use real-life business plan examples and will provide a detailed outline of all sections that are needed. It will also tell what should not be in a business plan.

Led by veteran Naeem Zafar. Naeem teaches Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been at startups and has extensive experience with mentoring and coaching founders and CEOs.

3. Marketing and branding strategies for product companies. This workshop is about using creative and innovative marketing strategies that will help your product achieve notoriety. It addresses positioning, channel management, promotion, and online advertising.

Led by Peter Yorke. Peter was till recently the Vice President – Marketing and Communications at Oracle Financial Services and built the I-flex brand.

4. Go-To-Market strategies for product companies. Do you wish to build a team of hound dogs who will track down customers? Or do you plan to build the reach of a spider and catch the customer without chase or lure? Learn what is your optimum strategy and get your sales enablement in place.

Led by Subinder Khurana,  Co-founder  marketRx , who grew it to one of the largest third-party analytics solutions providers in India, before it was acquired by Cognizant in a $135mill  transaction

Dont miss this opportunity. Register now!