Archive for the 'News/ Events' Category

Tall Tales told by Grandmas and Venture Capitalists

“VCs look for Startups going after a Big Market with a Passionate Team and have an ‘unfair advantage’.”
“A startup is an organization built to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.”

If the organization does not yet have a viable business model, how can it have an “unfair advantage”?

“VCs take pure equity risk and, as long as the business pans out fine, their interests are perfectly aligned with that of the entrepreneurs.”
“VCs bury ‘Dangerous Bombs in Share Holders Agreements’ and unless you ‘diffuse them’, they will take away all the spoils.”

Conundrums? Myths?

Certainly Quite Puzzling Questions to an Entrepreneur Seeking the First Round of VC funding.

But, who’s going to provide the answers?

I wish my Grandma was around to help.


I’ve come to realize that, apart from the “school of hard knocks”, the best way to learn anything – that sticks – is through stories. Call it Case Study or Mythology or Grandma’s Tales. Stories Stick. And they bring clarity to seemingly complex issues.

If only I’d paid proper attention to Grandma’s tale of a guy who brought together an army of monkeys (and other assorted creatures) to cross an ocean and conquer an island, I would have probably learnt for keeps that Leadership is about inspiring “ordinary folks” – by setting a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”, personal example and smart tactics – to achieve “extraordinary results”. The same story also had a bear pep talking a monkey into “realizing his true potential” and taking a “test marketing” leap across the ocean (to ensure that the big battle was going to be worthwhile).

Great. Back to VC Fund Raising.

Where are the Answers to those Tricky Questions?

In Stories!

From Master Entrepreneurs who have fought the good fights and have not only survived, but thrived, to tell their tales.

They’re Lined Up – Only on March 6 at Mumbai – to show the path at the APEX’14 Summit, India’s Premier Investor-Entrepreneur Interface. In Detail. With Drama. So that you’ll never forget.

Are you ready to get armed for the tough-but-definitely-worthwhile climb to startup success?

Click Here to Learn More and Sign up!

See you there!


If only Abhimanyu knew ‘The Art of The Exit’ as well…

IIMB EPGP Students want to meet startups

IIMB’s EPGP is an intensive one year full-time residential program designed for mid-career professionals with 7 to 15 years of experience.

During their placement process, some people are interested in pursuing their career with startup companies.

With the intention of connecting these people with startup companies, they are planning to organize a event on 29th Jan. Event details are available here.

Muscle Capital : Delivered

I am not a car guy. I had my last car for 15 years and put over a quarter of a million kilometers on it, but a couple of months ago I bought a Tesla. It felt like a piece of history so I had to have it. It is thrilling to be able to go 0-100km/hr in 4 seconds with only the hum of the tires and no engine roar. It is also fun to lift up the hood of the car to show off its “engine” when there is nothing there.

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, is an amazing guy. He is fearless, going after goals that defy conventional wisdom. His brain doesn’t register risk the same way most folks do. Even more fascinating is the fact that he is one of the few company builders that can focus on multiple spaces simultaneously and do a good job. Many entrepreneurs are able to build very different companies in sequence but few can do it simultaneously. His ability to attract and deploy human capital is outstanding.

When we started Tandem our biggest motivation was to be able to work side by side with passionate founders and help them be successful. Tandem was designed to be different from other forms of capital. We are company builders with capital rather than financial investors that can guide and connect.  We really roll up our sleeves and get to work.  Unlike Elon, we don’t have the ability to work simultaneously on many distinct spaces so we have chosen a narrow focus on a segment of mobile first companies. This focus and our ability to provide company building ‘muscle’ alongside patient financial capital – “Muscle Capital” – is what defines and differentiates our approach.

We have always wanted to work with Indian entrepreneurs and have been doing an Indian company here and there over the last many years. However a little over a year ago it became clear to us that the Indian market was becoming primed for significant activity in our space.  We have decided to actively seek Indian entrepreneurs looking to launch in the Indian and US markets

We will unveil more of our plans shortly, but as we begin this journey, Rohit Bhagat (my partner at Tandem) and I are visiting India from now through the 1st of June. We will be in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune. We would love to meet people who are passionate about the startup ecosystem.  Founders, Funders, Bloggers, Mentors, Angels etc.  Please send us an email at if you think it would be useful to meet. Please add a link to your Linkedin profile in the email.

If you are a founder who would like to be considered for funding, please complete an application and then send an email at the address with your company name in the subject line.


TLabs is organising startup mixer in various cities, applications open for Batch 4

It’s that time of the year again when TLabs goes to a lot of Indian cities and meet early stage startups and budding entrepreneurs. TLabs has now opened applications for 4th Batch (Fall 2013) and is calling all start-ups/entrepreneurs/founders/co-founders who have awesome ideas and are looking for support in nurturing their products into sound businesses.

TLabs plan to travel across the country over the course of next few weeks to meet future game changers, so please come and meet TLabs family for a casual mixer in your town!

What is TLabs mixer?

Mixer is an open forum that provides an opportunity to the budding start-ups to share their ideas, stories, concerns, challenges etc. from left, right and center with TLabs team, founders of portfolio companies and its mentors. There will be a few TLabs portfolio founders at each mixer to offer you some candid insights into how their acceleration experience helped them get to where they are today and what it takes to create successful ventures, manage challenges and raise money. Team would love to answer any particular questions about TLabs and Batch 4 application process.

Who can attend? 

Tech, mobile and Web based entrepreneurs who are interested in joining TLabs Batch 4 program and are looking to discuss their ideas, share their stories or ask specific questions about the program. Any founders/co-founders who wish to bounce off their ideas and are seeking some constructive feedback on the same from the audience are also welcome.

How do you register?

Here is a schedule of our May mixers, kindly fill this form to let us know when you would like to attend. In June we will cover Hyderabad, Kochi, Pune and Mumbai and will confirm the logistics for the same by the end of this month.

Date City Venue TLabs team
18-May Delhi TLabs office All
22-May Chennai Influx Interactive office Abhishek
24-May Bangalore Dataweave office Abhishek/Abhimanyu

Each mixer will be about 2-3 hours and the confirmation will be sent about participation. The mixers will be small and only up to 30 people so please grab your slot ASAP.

TLabs is kicking off its 4th batch in Aug 2013 and is currently accepting applications for the same. Your deadline to apply is 30 Jun 2013. Here’s the schedule in more details. If you haven’t yet applied to TLabs, please do so here: Batch 4 Application

Nielsen Report – The Global Consumer

Interesting report from Nielsen regarding the mobile consumer. Has a ton of data on mobile usage patterns, and includes India as a key coverage market. Happy reading!

Raising Venture Capital Workshop – Bangalore Dec 18

Radical Shift presents a half-day workshop on successfully navigating the venture capital funding process, delivered by a former venture capitalist.

Bangalore, December 18, 2012; 9am to 1pm

  • Are you planning to raise external funding for your boot-strapped startup?
  • Are you an SME owner looking for venture capital/private equity to accelerate growth?
  • Do you want to evaluate the pros and cons of venture capital versus alternate financing?
  • Do you want to know what VCs look for in a business pitch?
  • Do you want to position your company and business to attract the right set of investors?
  • Are you unsure what a term-sheet involves?
  • Do you want to better understand valuation, dilution and key terms/provisions?


  •     Pros and cons of venture funding
  •     Types of venture funds
  •     How VCs make investment decisions
  •     When to raise, how much to raise
  •     Picking the right VC
  •     Do’s and Don’ts of the funding process
  •     Valuation & Dilution
  •     Term-sheet negotiation

4 Hours including Coffee & Networking.
Register now at:

Roseline Hotel, Koramangala, Bangalore

No. 14, 1st Main, 5th ‘A’ Block
(Near Sukh Sagar restaurant)
Bangalore 560095

Registration Price: Rs. 2,490
Early Bird Dec 10th Rs. 1,990
Seats limited. first-come-first-served

For more details email:
OR call +91 9945199021

In50hrs is Back. Bigger and in a City Near You.

 In50hrs : The Idea to Prototype Event

In50hrs the flagship Idea-to-Prototype event of The Startup Centre, has taken on a new avatar, with its learnings from the past four editions that were conducted in its city of Origin – Chennai, Over the Year.

From the demand that the team has been receiving, we are taking this event Platform to four different cities this year – Chennai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi. The event is getting kickstarted in its home city Chennai, Followed by Pune this Quarter.

So How does this affect an entrepreneur?

We see plenty of entrepreneurs who have amazing Ideas, but are rather reluctant to do anything about it because there is no nudge to get them to take that first step – to convert that idea into something that starts to work, the prototype.

In50hrs is a weekend event that brings together entrepreneurs with audacious ideas, kickass developers, and product designers together to build first version prototypes of the Product idea.

Over the past four events, In50hrs hours has seen more than 200 participants participate in the event, 100 odd prototypes being built and in its last count 20 startups that have emerged out of the same – not so surprisingly, quite a few of them being student startups.

If we can enable a student to become an entrepreneur, experience and learn how to build a startup in the most cost-effective and safe environment, then we have achieved our goal to support any entrepreneur with their crazy idea.

The event also seeks to seed some depth in the kind of ideas that are coming out of India. Opportunities around the mobile and internet, leveraging the mobile subscriber base – with technologies such as NFC, Augmented reality etc are quite under exploited. There are some rather large opportunities that are prevalent in the enterprise segment as well – pain points that we hopefully will see solutions emerge around in these events.

For More details, visit Registrations are open for Chennai and Pune. Early bird registrations for Chennai close on 6th July – This Friday. So Hurry.

What’s NXT : Digital Content – Where is Money – 3rd April 2012, New Delhi

Digital Content : What’s NXT – Where is Money

Britannica closing down its print publication after 244 years to focus on online version!  The number of Internet users in India – estimated at around 140 million today – exceeds the number of TV sets in our homes. Facebook, with its 44 million Indian members reaches more of us than any single TV channel, Doordarshan included. While YouTube, with over 31 million Indian viewers a month, is far and away our largest English television channel. Meanwhile Twitter and Google Plus each get to about 14 million of us in a month – a number that is twice the circulation of India’s largest newspaper.  Is Digital Content be next wave in the internet world post e-commerce / mobile vas …

What will work in Digital media and what won’t. With new paradigms of tablets, Apps and micro payment gateway  reshaping the CPM economy , its time to explore and understand new business model which will drive Digital Media in new age !

Meet / interact and understand key issues surrounding digital content at “Digital Content : What’s NXT”  conference and understand these issues from leading Venture Capitalists and digital publishers / editors about the future of Digital content in India.


Key Note address : Mahendra Swarup, President – IVCA

1.  TCM Sundaram , MD & Co founder IDG Ventures

2.  Sanjay Trehan, Head MSN India

3.  R Sukumar , Editor Mint

4. Alok Mittal, Cannan Partners

5.  Sreekant Khandekar , Chairman & CEO – Banyan Netfaqs

6. Mukul Singhal, VP SAIF Partners

7. Shailesh Vickram Singh, Executive Director, SeedFund ( Moderator)


Taj Vivanta ( Taj Ambassdor) Near Khan Market, New Delhi


Tuesday, 3rd April 2012,

Register Now.

Register here at

Andreessen-Horowitz raises $1.5B for its new fund

As the New York Times reported last week, Andreessen-Horowitz has raised, yet again, a Very Large fund.

Andreessen Horowitz (or a16z, as it’s sometimes called) announced today that it has raised $1.5 billion for its Fund III. The venture capital firm has now raised a total of $2.7 billion since its founding in June 2009.

Co-founder and General Partner Ben Horowitz has a post on his blog with some detail on the thought process behind this step:

Since Marc and I founded Andreessen Horowitz three years ago, we have raised $2.7 billion. That statement begs a few questions. The two most obvious are:

  • Why did such a new venture capital firm raise so much money?
  • How did such a new venture capital firm raise so much money?

And for the answer to those questions, read the post above, since it isn’t very condensable into a soundbite. 🙂