Startup Connect 1.0 at LBSIM

LBSIM hosted Startup Connect 1.0 recently. The hall packed with entrepreneurs both current and
aspiring and students from different colleges was more like a pot brimming with
questions and ideas. And why not? Who would want to miss the delightful and
rewarding opportunity of interacting with the likes of Mr Saurabh Kochhar, the
CEO of Foodpanda and Mr Sameer Grover, the CEO of Crown It to name a few.
The day began with Mr Sameer Grover, CEO of CrownIt initiating a discussion on
An Indian in Every Chip: Get Set Go“. He shared with the audience his
experience of having had a perfect job in the States, but then leaving it all
to come back to India and starting something of his own. One of the things he
kept emphasising on was that there is no alternative to hard work, especially
when one is getting into building his own start up. “The one thing that one
loses on becoming an entrepreneur is not the salary, but the sleep!
” he said
accentuating the point that work is play and play is work. The audience had
questions galore and he patiently answered each question gladly. He was
followed by Ms Rajeshwari Hariharan from Rajeshwari and Associates and Mr Sai
Sushan
, a cyber law expert who dealt with the legal angle of things. They
enlightened the audience about the Intellectual Property guidelines and what
all an entrepreneur can do and should do to safeguard his idea and business.
Mr Sahil Jain, co-founder of DineOut and Mr Vikram Upadhyay, Chief Mentor of
GHV Accelerator then engaged with the audience on “Evaluating a Business Idea“.
Mr Jain focussed on the fact that your idea will work depending on whether you
are solving a problem, if yes, the degree of uniqueness of your solution and
are people willing to pay for your solution. Mr Upadhyay, answered questions on
how one should approach an investor for funding and what are the criteria an
investor bases his decision of funding on. One of the most important things
that make a difference is the team of the startup. The investors would want to
see whether you have a team that can be moulded or not and whether your team is
really passionate about the idea you’ve come up with.

Following a session of High Tea was the
cherry on the cake when the dias was graced by Mr Saurabh Kochhar of Foodpanda
fame and Mr Sandro Stephen from the Indian Angel Network. They took up a
technical session which was aimed at the nuances behind raising funds for
start-ups. Mr Kochhar cleared in the very beginning a widely prevailing
misconception that business is NOT for fundraising, but for addressing core
problems. He explained that one’s approach to meetings with investors is
imperative and makes all the difference. One has to show the maturity of
understanding the gap and the ecosystem. A life saving hack he gave to budding
entrepreneurs here was that they must go for at least 2-3 meetings with
different investors before having a meeting with the investor they really have
their eyes set on, so that they’re well prepared with all potential questions
and their answers. He reinstated the fact that the team is everything reasoning
that it is only the team that remains constant in the business environment, so
one needs to choose one’s team wisely. One of the key points Mr Sandro Stephen
made during his interaction was that one should approach investors for funds at
a slightly developed stage of the project. This is because the investor would
generally ask such questions regarding the project which would require some
amount of execution of the project for answering.

The conference aimed at clearing the clouds of doubts floating in a lot of
people’s minds and indeed it did. Questions put up by the audience were
unending, and each query was dealt with till the questioner was satisfied.
Startup Connect 1.0 was undeniably successful ushering in a quiet revolution in
the minds of the audience. 

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