Startup Lesson ‘Fundraising, Starting up, Scaling up, Sales & Marketing and Exits’ @ TiE Summit

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur wondering how to start? Have you already started and need funding? Is your funded startup facing challenges of managing investors and scaling up? Then this is the lesson that has all the answers from some successful entrepreneurs and the investors. Its real, it’s honest and it’s your best chance to get real word insights from the successful entrepreneur like Kunal Bhel, Vishal GondalMohit Dubey and investors (Prashant, Alok Mittal & Anand Lunia). This lesson is your best resource to get it first hand and really understand how both sides of the table work.

by TiE Mumbai
1 year, 11 months ago

“The only aspiration we had we wanted to be an entrepreneur that wanted to build a company that was considered successful” Kunal 

 “I stared up when I saw a man die of malaria in a remote village in an attempt to solve the problem by tele-medicine it did not work out. At CarWale, we saw a problem in used car market and started to solve it without a clue, I didn’t even know that VC exists” Mohit

I started programing and developing a game when I was 13, I learned all by myself. Somehow I used to pass my exams, do my sports, program games and have all the time to do whatever I want. Then somehow I launched a game during Kargil war where you can shoot at Pakistani intruders approaching you. It was a one sided game where India could never lose. That gave us 200k hits in 1998. Vishal
TiE Entrepreneurial Summit 2012 Smashup Chambers Part 1 'Fundraising, Starting up, Scaling up, Sales & Marketing ...
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The art of Pitching

“Be real, be yourself, don’t prepare too much but have you facts right, the need for a polished business plan is a myth” PK

“Introduce yourselves with some validation reference, who you are is most important” Anand/Mohit

“What problem you are solving, for who, why is it of valuable to solve that problem and what is your credential to credential to solve that problem” Alok

You are funded and targets are not achieved

“Be transparent, tell your investor everything, the devil is in details and demonstrating that you are trying everything. As long as you are making progress in some way it’s fine” Mohit

“There was not a single quarter Mohit met his targets but at the same time there was not a single quarter we ware uncomfortable” Anand

What happens if it’s just not happening? 

“Entrepreneurs’ should plan a honorable exit, may be just a notional exit. It’s important to show a logical end on the resume. It lets you come back and start again” Anand

“VCs do invest again in failed Entrepreneurs”

“The residual teams of failed startups are great asset. This is how investors builds their database of good people” PK

How to leverage the investors?

“Go to specific person for specific for specific problem, not every thing” Alok

 “Can you do this for me? Rather than I am stuck here what should I do” Mohit
TiE Entrepreneurial Summit 2012 Smashup Chambers Part 1 'Fundraising, Starting up, Scaling up, Sales & Marketing ...
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“Entrepreneurs need to build exit scenarios based on acuities in their space. M&A is the most preferred exit options. What is important for VC is to see potential of a scalable business” Anand

“Entrepreneurs should not over emphasize the exit as investors like to invest in founders who are love what they do and will stay on for a very long time” PK

“Inventors know that the Entrepreneurs are not sophisticate enough to talk about exit and that’s fine with us” Alok

"Entrepreneurs must remember that the exit is for the investors and not for the founders. 

TiE Entrepreneurial Summit 2012 Smashup Chambers Part 1 'Fundraising, Starting up, Scaling up, Sales & Marketing ...
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“Identify that one thing that you want to focus on at CarWale we focused on helping a used car buyer to find a car and then we focused on putting up content such as; how to find good used car; how to evaluate a used car; how to price a used car” Mohit

“You should identify your needs in terms of weather it’s people, capital, advice or just plane viral traction and chase them with absolute brutality till the time you get it. It’s very hard to put a framework around what gets business to be successful there is no blue print as such. Therefor we must try to understand what is working and what is not working as early as you can” Kunal

“You don’t spend time in building a PR story, you spend time building a great business and PR story comes out of it. Personal profiling does not make sense to me. If you need build the right product, build traction that gives PR credibility and pointers otherwise even if you get coverage it helps the business” Alok

“It’s very important to personify your customer, so customer who plays my games is a 18 to 36 year old male, lives in a smaller city, owns a Rs 8000 mobile phone is a fan of Salman Khan. They prefer to talk in their own language but try to speak english and they use abusive language” Vishal

“You need different process at different time while scaling up, but there is no specific point when you say now I need process. When you identify something that is creating viscosity or friction you fix it with a process” Kunal

“For me it’s more about people than process. There is good process and bad process for example budgeting is a good process, hiring in a certain way is good process but saying how we should put up banner would be a bad thing to do” Mohit

“Rather than process we need to set up goals for people and measure them on daily basis” Vishal 

TiE Entrepreneurial Summit 2012 Smashup Chambers Part 1 'Fundraising, Starting up, Scaling up, Sales & Marketing ...
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“Startup should the core of Sales & Marketing function; however they may need external expert help in areas such as communication design” Alok

“No one can ever sale it better than the people who build it” PK

“This term sales people is a myth; created by FMCG companies. Satrtups don’t sell products; they need to sale their own passion and dream” Vishal

Brand Building

“One needs to understand the value of investing in their brand from the word go, brand is everything.” Kunal

“To be a brand you need to own a word in consumer’s mind,  like search for Google, social media for FB,  energy drink for RedBull…” Mohit

“For any brand the most important thing is the identity, the logo, the colors and how it is represented” Vishal

Moving sideways from original Vision

“Early stage efforts and investments should go in figuring out what is the product and what is the market and how they fit together. I look forward to entrepreneurs’ who want to figure it out rather than being dogmatic about the original vision” Alok

Spending obnoxious amount of money on customer acquisition

“It’s not a philosophical question; its pure math. If you can figure out the economics of customer being profitable to you then you should just go and spent whatever it needs’ Kunal

“If the business has inherent network effect, than you need to spend the money ahead of the curve… if the business is linear like in most eCommerce business; the spending should happen based on numerical goals” Alok

Watch the video for detailed insight into all the above issues.

TiE Entrepreneurial Summit 2012 Smashup Chambers Part 1 'Fundraising, Starting up, Scaling up, Sales & Marketing ...
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1. Why do a startup?
2. Pitching and Managing Investors
3. Building Exit Scenarios for Investors.
4. The Scaling Up Challenges
5. Sales and Marketing
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