Business Delhi India New Delhi Technology

Calling all Startups!

Startup Saturday Delhi is just around the corner. We’re holding our next event on the 14th of March at the American Center from 2pm to 6pm. The goal of Startup Saturday is to give startups a place where they can showcase their products and their businesses. Our goal is to also allow entrepreneurs and those considering a life as entrepreneurs to share information, learn from each other, and be a part of building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India.

If you’re a startup or know of any Indian startups that would like to publicize their products/services, please fill out the Demo Nomination form so we can get you on the Startup Saturday Delhi agenda.

Looking forward to seeing you at Startup Saturday Delhi!

Business India Startups Venture Capital

Skin in the Game

I was reading an interesting post on Gaurav’s blog about founders of startups taking significant paycuts when raising funding from VCs. i was going to post a comment but am having some trouble connecting to Gaurav’s blog.

VCs in India are applying what they’ve learned operating in the US and Europe to an economy and economic conditions which are very very different. This isn’t to say Gaurav is right and Sundar and Krish are wrong. However, there’s probably a medium that is a bit more amenable to both sides. VCs need the founders to be up to their eye balls in the business for many reasons. However, having a founder who is financially struggling, on top of all the other issues related to doing a startup increases the risks associated with the investment. It is conceivable for a founder with significant negative cash flow to throw in the towel and pack up her bags or worse, to stay on and throw themselves into a deeper and deeper grave, potentially filled with debt.

On the other hand, most entrepreneurs start a business because they are confident of their abilities and they are sure they can hit a home run ( or a century for all the cricketers out there ). Ideally, an entrepreneur will raise money from a VC when the business is moving in the right direction and there is revenue coming in. The founders might need the additional money to grow exponentially, diversify, or gain the valuable advice of an experienced team. Hence, it’s important that the founder takes a substantial pay cut in order to show the investor that they are “believers”. What “significant cut” means is relative. To a VC, a 75% cut is significant but to the entrepreneur, 25% is significant. At the end of the day, the entrepreneur must decide how much control she is willing to cede to investors and how costly the capital raised will be. A good negotiator might convince investors that it’s in ther interest to give the founders a 10% paycut from market rates.

Each founder has to evaluate their financial position and decide whether the delayed gratification is an economic reality and if they can afford to do it. If they can’t, perhaps it’s time for them to leave the bargaining table, or worse, leave the business.

Business Misc. Startups

VentureVoice’s VC Yellow Pages

Greg Galant from VentureVoice has got a great post with some very useful information from top VCs. Take a peek here.


A Passage to India

Emblem of India
Nusair asked that I start blogging about my experience in India over the next few weeks. I have toyed with the idea of doing a podcast and/or blog of my travels and of the whole process of doing a startup. I arrived in India in the beginning of last week. I’m here to determine what the Indian consumer Internet industry looks like with the hope of starting a company to service this industry in India. This is my inaugural post on my Passage to India.

I have started exploring what kind of startup infrastructure exists in places like Bangalore, New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), and Chennai. I will be examining Bangalore and New Delhi up close and personal but for the moment, I’ve decided not to look at the other three places, partly because of high churn and burn rates, as well as personal factors leading me towards Delhi and Bangalore.

Bangalore is probably the worst (for tech companies) when it comes to high turnover but it appears to have the highest concentration of talent, with the possible exception of Hyderabad. New Delhi isn’t quite known as a technology hub and it is quite a bit more expensive that places like Kolkata. Mumbai isn’t quite the best place for a technology company, in my very humble opinion. Mumbai is run my financial institutions, much like New York City. All these institutions pay well and hire up any potential engineering talent. This engineering talent, along with people with financial experience jump jobs every 3 – 9 months for sunstantial salary increases. I’ve seen this immense turnover at a previous company I was at. Though, my area wasn’t impacted by the high turnover, the company and customer service was being hurt very badly.

Kolkata is much less expensive than New Delhi, Bangalore, or Mumbai. However, it also has a very small talent pool relative to the other cities and many engineers in Kolkata see a technology job there as a stepping stone to a “real” engineering job in Bangalore, Hyderabad or Chennai. This, obviously, isn’t always the case but it is quite common.

Over the next few weeks, I will be detailing thoughts, insights, and questions that I am facing and dealing with in determining whether India is the place for a consumer Internet application or should I heed the advice of others…. “Go West Young Man…”


Venture Voice Startup Workshop Part I

Greg and the team at Venture Voice have just put up, episode #36 of the Venture Voice podcast. This episode focuses on the Venture Voice workshop which I had mentioned here. I mentioned to Greg that he should consider having similar workshops in other cities. I’m sure people all over would really enjoy and appreciate this workshop.
Head over to Venture Voice and listen to the podcast.

technorati tags:, venture voice,

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