Tag Archive for 'Ecosystem'

Delhi is the New Hub For Techs

I read this interesting article recently- about how Delhi is the new hub for tech startups– in Wall Street journal.

I am curious- what are the experiences/opinions of other members- who may have worked in multiple Indian metros on the subject.

Below article is a mirror of article in Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204485304576644220533569618.html
Delhi is the New Hub For Techs

MUMBAI — The National Capital Region, as Delhi metro area is known, has upstaged Bangalore as India’s biggest hub for technology start-ups, according to a survey released this week.

At least 220 technology start-ups were launched in the Delhi area over the past three years, compared with 159 in Bangalore, according to the survey conducted by YourStory.in, which tracks start-ups in India.

Of these, 49 start-ups in NCR attracted investors, while only 18 were able to raise funds from investors in Bangalore.

The survey is based on data from 1,057 start-ups across 16 cities. Most of these ventures are less than three years old, and 15% of them are older.

Launching companies is easy in Bangalore because mentors and facilitators provide a mature entrepreneurial ecosystem, but sustaining these ventures is difficult in the absence of financial support, said Shradha Sharma, founder of YourStory.in, which claims to have the biggest database of fledgling firms in India.

“Startups come up crazily in Bangalore and die just as fast,” Ms. Sharma said. “New Delhi and Mumbai companies have more access to capital than Bangalore. Seed- and angel-funding is minimal in Bangalore. Most companies still have to come to Mumbai for funding.

Also, companies in New Delhi’s suburbs of Noida and Gurgaon usually are started by professionals with experience working for multinationals. “The ideas are more mature, therefore the quality is high,” she said.

Startups in Delhi stand out in terms of business focus, said Ashish Sinha, head of Pluggd.in, which also tracks startups.

The Startup Chat. Every Saturday 10am – 5pm.

There is a lot of knowledge that resides among people, and not everybody is able to make it to real-life meets. In an increasingly connected world, it might make sense to make use of the technology that exists. There are also a lot of folks – aspiring entrepreneurs in tier II cities who do want to make it to the ranks, but do lack the know-how to move forward.

Here’s a means to solve that Problem.

Proto.in, along with VentureWoods and a host of other partners have started this online chat initiative called The Startup Chat. It will be live every Saturday between 10am – 5pm (IST) and people can connect to the site, login, and interact with people to get support in whatever they might be looking for.

It would be great to have the support of this community – as there are lots of mature and experienced entrepreneurs here. Do login and help out. And it would be great to catch up with all of you in real time as well. Look forward to seeing you there.

URL: http://chat.proto.in

Introducing – Startup Ecosystem

Reaching out to Venturewoods community to share an update from pluGGd.in

Am glad to introduce the Indian startup ecosystem – a neutral entity that serves as a platform for startups to connect to other startups/VCs/entrepreneurs etc.

We launched the startup directory around 5 months back and based on the feedback we received from users , we have revamped the entire site with the following:

Like any new launch, we are in the initial phases (theta mode!) and in the process of adding more data (more UGC, less editorial).

What we are essentially trying to do is to be the platform that connect startups across the country to help and benefit from each other – for instance, startups can share their updates/new launches, share resources (like office space) etc.

Request Venturewoods community to give the ecosystem a spin and share their feedback/comments.

Judging a really early stage start-up

From REALLY early stage, I mean a bunch of guys 3 or 4 years out of college, having quit their highly paying techie jobs, wanting to build the next big thing and get rich soon. I can really relate to the picture, as an year back, I really did fit the description. You know these people when you meet them. They have hazy ideas in their heads which they think are profound, and are filled with enthusiasm and determination to fight it out and “make it work”.

While someone who is “seasoned” can bludgeon these guys’ theories to death in 10 minutes flat, we can see that traditionally in the west, its guys with these kind of profiles who have gone on to create the biggest tehnological successes. While some amount of bludgeoning is definitely justified, I have a feeling that the “seasoned” lot misses one point while dealing with these start-up guys: Judging by reason, start-ups hardly have a chance of succeeding. Start-ups have disbalanced teams, no money, no background in business, and still, some of them go on to become phenomenal successes.

Then how does one judge a startup? On what parameters? My take is, a start-up should really be judged on three parameters that I have written about below. I’d love to have a discussion about this here, and see if we can add to this list. Here’s my list of parameters (in no particular order):

1. The Market: Start-ups trying to solve a problem that does not exist are so common. There should be a clearly defined market/need/demand for whatever the start-up is trying to do, whether it is a consumer internet portal, or an enterprise service or electronic gadgets. The “seasoned” lot must first look at the existence of the market, and estimate the size of it.

2. The Techonology: Most techies will try to solve problems with extreme use of extreme technology, because thats what they are good at. Now that, in many cases, causes problems. For instance, it might increase costs so much that it might make the product or service prohibitive for the market. Its very critical to correctly judge the technology the start-up is using.

3. Enthusiasm/Guts/Desperation-To-Succeed/Human-Qualities: This is what separates the men from the boys (Sorry, I didn’t intend to be sexist here :) . An assessment of this again comes from the gut, and you know these guys when you see them, and have talked to them for just five minutes. This is the magic sauce that makes a start-up succeed. It is very critical to correctly evaluate this.

Other than these, I know that an infinite number of holes can be punched into any start-up’s theories. Is doing that right? I would love to know what you think.

Tech company social network- vator.tv

Vator.tv is a social network for technology startup companies which
gives entrepreneurs a platform to connect with Investors, Acquirers
and Media.

Vator.tv gives Investors useful tools to keep track of companies and industries that interest them, and provides a revolutionary interaction platform to discover the best investment opportunities in technology.

http://vator.tv/

Startup School 08 Videos

Startup School is an annual free conference for hackers interested in startups. This year notable speakers included Mike Arrington, Marc Andreessen, Jeff Bezos and Paul Graham. The website is http://startupschool.org/

The videos are at http://omnisio.com/startupschool08

Where Are India’s Innovative Companies, Products and Solutions?

Interesting Post

Where Are India’s Innovative Companies, Products and Solutions?

India produces some of the brightest minds in technology, science and medicine yet has not demonstrated any truly large scale and breakthrough innovations in those fields. more here

I mean…..why NOT fill the gaps?

Fostering Innovation in India

Even after all these years of the so-called IT revolution, India is still struggling for a business/company that has created intellectual capital and has thus created a true enterprise with roots in research and development. I think its about time to take stock and figure out why.

No one would dispute that India has all it takes to create sustainable, world-class IP businesses. We have the requisite manpower. We have the intellectual prowess. We have the infrastructure (at least at few places). And we have people who can be effective leaders and mentors. All the pieces of jigsaw puzzles are there. Someone just needs to put all of them at one place at the same time.

This is where the story becomes interesting. People are scattered across geography and time. And these pieces don’t know that they are parts of something bigger and they all can play a role. Even if they realize that they can take their ideas to fruition, they don’t know where and how to find complementary skill-sets. We need something, a system probably to help these people come together.

Reminds me of classical markets. Every buyer knows that they will find the best sellers at the market place and every seller knows that they will find the most generous and knowledgeable buyers at the market. Everyone converges to the market and everyone goes back happy.

A look at all great places to work would reveal that people thrive in presence of great minds around them. Everyone learns off each other and collectively the tribe becomes stronger. Starting with Microsoft, moving on to Google and now Facebook, most technology people want to be at a place where they can be pushed and challenged by their peers and they can enrich their experiences. Microsoft, Google and Facebook are like above-mentioned markets. Programmers, Coders, Managers and even Chefs are jumping the gun and looking for better place. A place where all great minds converge and learn off each other and grow individually (and obviously to a place that gives them stock options).

India today needs someone to create such markets that enables people with complementary skills to come together and get them start talking to each other. Events like barCamps, OCC, MOMO and websites like VentureWoods, pluggd.In are doing it to some extent.

And now the questions. Are they really sufficient? Are they enabling people spread across geographies to come together? More importantly so these people have complementary skill sets? Any critics? Thoughts? Opinions?

P.S.: The title might be an misnomer … Originally posted here.

Start-up Ecosystem : Mobile Monday Bangalore

I have been participating in Mobile Monday Bangalore for an year and half now. What started as a few geeks in a cafeteria event is currently a huge community commanding respect from everyone. Today, speakers from all over the world vie to be part of of the community !

But that’s not what I call success, there are plenty of such “eco-systems” currently mushrooming in India.
What I like the most about Momo Bangalore is that it has still managed to retain it’s original form as a “By Entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs” organization.

Lot of the credit for that is due to the organizers. They have remained the very friendly and easily approachable face of Momo Bangalore throughout all it’s transitions.

Let me just talk about ourselves. We at Mobisy started as just another start-up with an idea around a year back.
Getting any attention or help in any other “eco-system” was proving a tough task. Momo Bangalore acted like a true “Mentor” to us. Right from finding information regarding standard start-up processes to getting a demo arranged, networking with VCs, Partners, Customers… We were offered help at every single step. All that with a smile and no cost ! How many organizations can claim to provide such a level of altruistic service to budding start-ups in India?

In my personal opinion, we need many such organizations to spur on real innovations here.

May the ‘Momo Bangalore’ spirit live on.

Disclaimer:- I am just a participant in Mobile Monday Bangalore and have no vested interests whatsoever with it ! Opinions expressed here are completely personal.

The Pyramid is actually a Lollipop.

Everyone, and Just about anyone with a background in Economics and can understand the market will tell you that a healthy market is supposed to be somewhat close to what C.K.Prahalad defined and popularized as – atleast here in India – a Pyramid. But is our economy, atleast when it comes to the Industrial sector anywhere close to it? Hmmm… One has to really think about that one.

I am not even for a second going to even go near the point of saying that I am enlightened here with this revelation that our economy is not a pyramid. Infact, this conversation has been initiated, argued, debated, chewed and spat on in most economic forums in the country and everyone is very well aware that we dont have a healthy Pyramid. I am just thinking through, what it means in terms of repercussions to the industry as a whole and to the entrepreneurial community.

Let’s start from the basics: The pyramid usually has about three segments. The 20% of the huge corporations and conglomerates, and the rest 80% which are pretty much the SME segment and the Startups. Now, do the numbers really add up? I’d have to think about that one, yet again.

During a conversation with a friend recently, the conversation revolved around which city provides a better atmosphere for a startup, from a perspective of providing that initial feedback, customer insights and etc, so that there is clarity past the ideation stage before the prototype is built. I had this perplexed look on my face trying to figure out if there is yet a city which provides that here in India. While most do cry out “Bangalore”, if you ask me, that city is the most startup-unfriendly territory that I am observing.* Whilst there is a very active group of people, and some with disposable incomes, who have started an entire community of unconference events and discussions that surround that, very little is happening past that. Bangalore, as per the count that we have on the number of startups, measures quite low. Salaries are high, infrastructure is expensive, branding is a very costly affair, attracting talent is a dance on the pole – let alone quality talent, and there a dozen startups fighting for the starving number of resources who are available and will actually provide that high caliber value for a startup. On the number of new startups that are emerging, the city ranks quite low. But at the sametime there is quite an active number of “startups” in the city which have been lurking around for a while – and when I say a while, it means for roughly around a decade. They have neither joined the SME alliance, nor are they really a newborn child. And this is essentially the company of alliance that is available in most places to get “that initial feedback” that we were discussing about. When these companies themselves are struggling to make that jump after a decade, I am not sure what sort of real feedback they can provide their new wave, that is coming up. I do hope that you understand the conundrum that we are facing here.

So that roughly puts things in perspective. If you break down an industry vertical, lets say the internet space, we have the likes of the public sector companies, and then we have companies such as Rediff and Indiatimes which form the bottom hemisphere of the lollipop, and then there is this ultrafine line of companies which are not more than a handful, which are to be the SME and startup companies put together. Lo! and behold, not the pyramid, but the lollipop. And in this Lollipop economy, the upper circle is competition and fiercely guards anything, anyone from the bottom is trying to pull. Feedback, and initial discussions are absolutely out of the question in most cases.

This is a concern, cause in an efficient ecosystem, I strongly believe that Incubators will have much less of a role to play. If knowledge was freely available, and people could catch up over a cup of coffee to vet out an idea, and that validation process could happen over conversations in a much more fluid manner – eventually leading to mindshare, market traction, talent referral, intial client base and even funding, then there is absolutely no need for a third element to facilitate this. Today, Incubators become an essential part of this conversation, since they are the only ones who can moderate and manage the intellectual property talks that are carried out and have any say with these bigger guys, who if they wish could squish these startups in as much time as it takes to blink.

It is quite beautifully put: Markets are inherently conversational. The more conversations we have, the faster we mature, and we need to have them in a much more open manner with all our cards on the table and as early as possible – if you are building a startup, or contributing towards the ecosystem. But unless the economic bifurcation by quantity and numbers is a pyramid, and not a lollipop, it is going to be a tough stroll up that mountain as we grow.

*While it is my opinion that, if a valley-type of ecosystem comes together in India it will be in a tier 2 city such as Pune or Hyderabad, that’s a conversation separate for another day.

Note: Repost of an article.