Archive for January, 2010

IBF Media event on Cloud Computing

IBF Media, through Capital Connection, is organising an event around Cloud Computing on February 25, 2010 at Ista Hotel, Bangalore

The Latest Trends in Cloud Computing: An Operators and Investors Perspective

This event showcases some of the latest trends in cloud computing and looks at some of the successful business models and companies in this emerging technology area. The panel will be composed of successful venture investors from the Indian venture capital industry as well as technology executives from companies in India that are succeeding in this space. There has been strong investment activity in this sector from leading venture capital firms, both in India as well as brand name firms in the US and Europe.

Details here –

Sneak Preview: Mumbai – January 30th, IIT Bombay

Like any Start-up before it’s big release, we at the Team Proto have been extremely busy with the big event which is coming to town. As some of you should be aware, is taking place on the 30th of Jan in IIT Bombay. For Start-ups, Investors and the Audience alike, we have an action packed day – one like never before at any of our events. If you haven’t checked in for the event already – do register on

If there’s one thing, that’s come to the fore during our selection process – it’s that innovation in India is certainly alive and well. Start-ups from sectors as diverse as Solar Power, Logistics, Robotics, Clean Technology and Mobile will take the stage in what I can promise you will be a power packed showcase. For the first time, through our collaboration with both Intellecap and NEN, we will have start-ups from both the Social Sector and a Student Start-up as part of the showcase. ‘Out of this Planet’ does sound like a cliche, but this time around we actually have India’s first Space company which will take the stage at the event. Enough said – register your tickets for the best start-up event in India.

Here is quick brief on what you can look forward to:

9:30 AM to 10:00 AM     In Conversation with Pradeep Gupta, Founder Cybermedia Group

A start-up from the Media sector discusses the challenges of scaling up a Media Company. Pradeep Gupta discusses his story.

10:00 AM to 10:30 AM    In Conversation with Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder,

An Internet start-up takes the stage and brings out Sanjeev Bikhchandani’s story in building

10:45 AM to 2:15 PM Showcase

15 of India’s hottest start-ups take the stage, each have 6 mins each to showcase their product to the audience present. This will followed by a round of Q&A

2:15 PM to 3 PM        Lunch Break

3 PM to 4:45 PM       Special Screening of Movie ‘Pirates of the Silicon Valley’

5:00 PM to 5:30 PM   Devil’s Advocate

Legal Counsel Shantanu Surpure of Sandhill Advisory takes on a panel of Venture Capitalists and provides clarity on some of the blackholes in the Fund Raising Process

5:30 PM to 6:00 PM    Angels and Demons  – A Review of the Angel Investor Pitch

The Angels in a panel discussion – where they iron out the demons in the Business Plan Pitch held earlier.

Parallel Sessions:

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM     Mentoring Session with Sequoia Capital

All start-ups attending the event have the opportunity of getting mentored by Sequoia Capital, 1 on 1 for a period 15 mins each. 15 deserving start-ups from the audience will be chosen for this special session.

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM     Meet the Airtel Innovation Fund

The Bharti Airtel Innovation Fund will be conducting a session for start-ups across such sectors such as Mobile, Internet, VAS and Software. Start-ups will have the opportunity to meet with the fund and discuss their goals and objectives.

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM    Angel Pitch to the Indian Angel Network

8 start-ups chosen by the Indian Angel Network will get an opportunity to make a Business Plan Pitch for Funding. Indian Angel Network will choose 1 start-up which will be given mentoring over the next 6 months till it is fund raising ready.

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM     Demo Pit

Start-ups will showcase their demos in the demo pit – and engage and interact with the audience on their growth plans and opportunities for collaboration.

For all those present at the event, we also have a special Innovation Jam which will be telecast on the ‘Starting Up’ show on ET NOW. Clearly, your opportunity to join the fun.

Tickets are running out quick – and before they run out (like they did in our last edition in Pune), we recommend you log on and register on

Look forward to seeing you at the event.



ZumoDrive expanding team in Asia

One of our startups – Zumodrive is expanding its operations to Singapore. It is still a very small team and this is a fun opportunity for a couple of people who could move to Singapore to join the team. Kevin West their CTO will be relocating and will build a small team in Singapore. If you are interested and a fan of Zumodrive here is the link to the jobs. Zumodrive started as a YC company and then we partnered with them.

On another note, A couple of our other companies and I presented at Berkeley Business School a few months ago. They have put the video up in which Sarah from Juice Box Jungle and Ray from Playhaven both talk about their experiences building their companies. I start things off and here are my slides.

Would love any feedback.


Red Herring Global 100

Red Herring just came up with its Global Top 100 list. 10 companies from India – not bad!

Happy to report Consim and Cellcast from the Canaan portfolio made it to the list,

What does 2010 hold for PE & VC Investing?

As you would be aware, after falling-off-a-cliff in late 2008, Private Equity & Venture Capital investments in India have displayed steady signs of recovery since mid-2009. The environment for exits too has clearly improved with sharp up-tick in IPO and M&A activity. However, the scenario for new fund raising still remains murky. In this context, my firm Venture Intelligence is bringing together key players in the Indian PE and VC ecosystem at the APEX ’10 conference next month to introspect and brainstorm on the way forward.

The event, scheduled for February 4 at Mumbai, will feature high power panel discussions on the year ahead for Private Equity and Venture Capital in India. The event will also feature special panel discussions on PE/VC investments in various sectors including Telecom, Education, Financial Services and Healthcare & Life Sciences.

Speakers at APEX’10 include:

• Varun Sood, Managing Partner, Capvent
• Vani Kola, MD, NEA Indo-US Ventures
• Raja Kumar KEC, CEO, UTI Ventures
• Hari Buggana, MD, Evolvence India Life Sciences Fund
• Manik Arora, MD, IDG Ventures India
• Sunil Kanoria, Director, Quippo Telecom Infrastructure
• Mahesh Choudhary, CEO, Microqual Techno
• Dr. Bala Manian, CEO, ReaMetrix
• Chetan Tamhankar, CEO, SIRO Clinpharm
• S. Nandakumar, CEO, Perfint Healthcare
• Swapan Bhattacharya, MD, TCG Lifesciences
• Padmaja Gangireddy, MD, Spandana
• V.P Nandakumar, Chairman, Manappuram General Finance
• Madhusudan Menon, Chairman, Micro Housing Finance Corp.
• K. Ganesh, CEO, TutorVista
• Rajesh Bhatia, MD, Tree House Education

More information about APEX ’10 is available at

I would be happy to organize a few complimentary passes for the conference for entrepreneurs from this group. Interested members can email their name, designation, company name and contact no. to Please make sure to include “VentureWoods” in the subject line. Look forward to interacting with a few VW members at APEX’10.

The Largest gathering of Cleantech companies in India

TiE Hyderabad organized the ‘Largest Gathering of Cleantech Companies in India’. The conference was held in partnership with Nexus, SONG and New Ventures India. The event was a focused “no-frills” networking event of investors and entrepreneurs. The day was divided into 4 sections: Smart Grid, Energy Efficiency, Recycling and Renewable Energy. Companies operating in each area presented their business story in a small presentation to the audience and investors also talked about their investing interests.

Acumen Fund, Applied Materials, Atlas Advisory, Breathe Ventures, GEF, IDG, IFC(W), Lightspeed, Mumbai Angels, Nereus Capital, Siemens Venture Capital, SIDBI and YES Bank were the investors who attended apart, of course, from Nexus and SONG. That’s 15 investors all seriously interested in cleantech in India.

The morning sessions on Smart Grid and Energy Efficiency merged into each other as is the nature of business in this end of the Cleantech spectrum. Satyam, CEO of NeoSilica, who also played a key role in organizing the conference in his role as the TiE SIG head, presented the overall picture. The remote data collection and control idea was found in:
• Connect M, a IDG and Sasken company, develops applications that collect data remotely targeted at a broad set of businesses but also to utilities
• Autoboxx provides remote monitoring with respect to energy usage in air conditioned areas.
• Neureol which provides remote monitoring of infrastructure in telecom towers and power utilities.

The smart metering idea found resonance in:
• PowerMax Global which develops communication products that enable smart metering.
• Analogics which focuses on efficient metering and communication solutions.

The energy efficient theme was found in:
• Kakatiya Energy Systems develops lighting controls for energy efficient lighting.
• Unidyne which manufactures energy efficient air conditioning systems.
• NEST which manufacturers efficient solar lanterns.

The recycling section had the following highlights:
• E waste recycling by Ekoreco which has been one of the pioneers in this field and Greenscape. Inspite of the lack of mandatory regulation there is a market for several players in this field.
• Plastic waste to oil up-cycling by Samki Teck

The transportation sector was held up India’s pioneer in the area of electric bikes: Eko Vehicles.

The renewable energy section had several flavors. First among them was Biomass Gasification. The two presenters in this were Ankur Scientific, one of the technology pioneers in India and AllGreen Energy, which is using the technology for rural electrification.

The Biofuels section was led by Nandan, India’s leader in jethropa R&D and Indian Bio- Diesel Corporation, Baramati which is building local communities that will manufacture bio-diesel.

The hydro section had SCG India as the lone participant who is trying to develop micro hydro sites in Himachal Pradesh.

The solar section had representation from Nuetech Solar, the 4th largest player in the solar thermal area, Sharada with a broad range of products in solar and SuRe which is innovating in the solar PV area.

A presentation that was not enterprise or investor related was that of Ashok Das, representing World Bank InfoDev which explored the possibility of setting up a Innovation Center to foster and support the cleantech ecosystem.

We also had an interesting presentation from Higgs Advertising – building cleantech markets is a critical challenge.

The closing presentation of the day was made by Razvan Maximiuc of the Cleantech Group, who made the really sobering point that the pace of Cleantech in India did not match up either to the size of the opportunity or the requirements from a climate change standpoint.

Incidentally, that was probably the only time “Copenhagen” was mentioned in the conference. The challenges to cleantech entrepreneurship are closer to home.

Getting into minds of Angel investors

Canaan hosted a breakfast discussion with around 30 angel investors late december on sidelines of TiE Entrepreneurial Summit. It was a great discussion, and personally I learnt a fair bit from fellow investors. The interesting part were the linkages that are developing in biases that exist between venture and angel funding, and as a result the validity of some of the stereotypes we so hard try and counter!

It was also interesting to see some of the biases and stereotypes that are emerging in the process. I have heard many entrepreneurs complain about things like IIT/IIM graduates having a better shot at raising financing – however, it is interesting that there seems to be rationale to this – largely around the fact that positioning the company is a key role of founders, and hence a criteria in decision making.

Here is a brief summary.

SmashUP : TiE and Sun Microsystems event, Jan 23, IIT Delhi

TiE and Sun Startup Essentials  Programme present SmashUP on Jan 23, 2010 at IIT Delhi.

* Hundreds of participating startups from across India

* Showcase featuring Top 10 startups who get a unique opportunity to highlight their products/services and receive a bouquet of benefits* from TiE Delhi and SmashUP! partners

* Speakers covering the entire gamut of early stage challenges

…a giant mashup of creative energy, product showcases, insightful discussions and networking opportunities.Venue:  IIT Delhi Auditorium

Fee : TiE Members Rs 150 / Non Members RS 300

Date: Jan 23, 2010

Time:  930am – 530pm

To showcase your startup  please contact