Author Archive for Animesh

Venture Pitches and Missing Detailing: A Case Study

In continuation to the post by Alok, I have posted a very initial Venture pitch for MirrorZen, a Natural Language based Search Engine. Here is the presentation:

MirrorZen had been self-funded to come to a proof-of-concept stage. And subsequently we were looking at raising some Angel Investment for MirrorZen to be able to continue further. The proof-of-concept was far from what the final MirrorZen is supposed to be, and we needed more people and better Infrastructure to be able to take MirrorZen to a public Alpha.

We had decided from our past experience that trying to meet VCs would serve no purpose and we focused on trying to meet possible angel investors who would understand our technology-intensive venture. We did a small demo as what still runs on our servers and decided to go ahead with showing the demo and a brief presentation.

In the presentation we tried to focus briefly on MirrorZen, the possibilities and why we think Natural Language based Search could still work. Infact an ask.com which works.

But, we had committed many mistakes:

1. Didn’t plan the demo well enough in advance. MirrorZen gives better results for certain keywords and bad for certain others. For a demo which ran for 30 minutes we needed to cover up our demoing skills better. There is a difference when you are demoing one-to-one/two and one-to-many. So getting down to the nitty-grity of your demo is very important and you need to show the best points of your system and try to hide the worst.

2. The presentation was quite technical and nobody bothers about how much effort you have put in coding the parsers and how many lines of code have you written. This is the cardinal sin, techies commit. Technology is important but if you are a technology player in the internet space, you should be able to commodotize the Technology.

3. The presentation emphasized on the possibilities of MirrorZen with respect to User Experience and the Financial Projections. We were simply unable to come up with a proper Financial Model and still are. Helps if you could get a much clearer Financial Model. And we could have asked somebody important to sum up the User Experience of MirrorZen.

4. No competitive Analysis as rightly pointed out by Alok: But how do we do a competitive analysis with a Google Search or a Yahoo Search. We are still looking for answers here.

5. There are many more mistakes that we had made and I would request all readers to try and suggest improvements.

While still looking for investment, we have gone ahead and realized that for young entrepreneurs like us, it is of utmost importance to get some “real technology” going or have substantial traction to get others involved. We have also got some great genuine feedback, with somebody also saying, “Guys like you are the future of India”.

-Animesh
Co-founder, MirrorZen Software