Some people may find it annoying, but I think I must write about this.

Almost a month back, I received an Email from NEN for participating in the  hottest startup contest. I looked at the website and was impressed by the participation. What was annoying was the classification of a “startup”. I could see companies founded in 2003 with 70+ employees nominated by NEN with expert rating 8+ ??

Today I was planing to fill the form sent by NEN and suddenly I see an email from an unknown “startup” –

 I, on behalf of my company, request you to find few minutes out of your busy schedule and vote us for Tata NEN Hottest Startups 2008 contest. Your vote matters!

The TATA NEN Startups Awards are the first ever people’s choice Awards to recognize the highest-potential startups in India: young companies with great potential to grow; with the ability to change their industries;  companies that will create jobs and drive economic growth.

You can vote a***.com online at**

…. More SPAM <snip>

CEO and Chairman …

And I swear to God, I hate spams. Specially from a CEO and on a Sunday morning …

IMO, this raises some questions –

  1. What distinguishes a “startup” from a “businesses”. Can a new Kirana shop call itself a startup ?
  2. Is “People’s Choice” genuinely a good thing or just means of involving people and promoting spam ?
  3. Shouldn’t mentorship be an important part and motivation factor for such competitions ?
  4. Is cash rewards a good thing to offer. I can see Eureka has it, But I also feel that it again leads the BPlan makers to project arbitrary stuff on paper ?
  5. Shouldn’t entrepreneurs be judged by entrepreneurs and not “respected jury” from some college or MNC ?


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