This Startup Saturday (Pune) was perhaps the most interesting one, since it dealt with funding. One of the most notable aspect of today’s meet was the contribution of audience was as remarkable as that of the dignitaries on the dais.

The dignitaries were

Dr. Ganesh Natrajan of Zensar technologies

Vikas kumar , co-founder of Brainvisa and currently associated with Pune Angel network

Kaushik Gala, Business Development Manager for venture centre, NCL

Apoorva Sharma of Indian Angel network, handling the Western India region(Pune for interested folks) of Indian Angel network.

Ganesh Natrajan has always been a prolific speaker with a touch of humour. I remember the first time I attended his talk about 4 years back when I was in the final year of engineering, were he had come to inaugurate the project competition. The message sent across is still etched in my mind, “No matter what you do the bulb should glow.”

He shared his experiences with startups he had been involved. To summarise it in 3 lines it would be

  1. Have absolute clarity and sheer confidence in value proposition.
  2. You should be able to get your value proposition across the table in 30 sec, your value proposition should be that crisp and clear.
  3. Most startups fail because of under capital. Never start unless you have right amount of capital to start business. You don’t want to worry about the rats in your office, when you should be focussing on the business.

Next speaker was Apoorv Sharma. He spoke about the Indian angel network and their achievements. Some numbers for interested folks.

  1. An investor would typically offer investment of Rs. 2-5 crore for a stake close to 20%.
  2. They get close to 250 application for funding across India every month, out of they seal close to 1 deal.

Next speaker was Vikas Kumar. Based on my previous interactions with him, his gyan is always simple to absorb and common sense to understand.

He quickly wrapped up his talk underlying the importance of writing down a crystal clear business plan.

Just turn the tables and put yourself in place of the investor. If you get more than 250 applications a month, most likely you would want to focus on 10 ideas you would understand in a span of 30 secs. Then you would most likely fund the idea which you understand would be the most profitable, after all you are not running the business to promote missionaries of charity.

Get your business plan vetted from in your domain. Rationalise your thought process, make the business plan crisp and clear.

Well as they say brilliance lies in simplicity, which makes you think “Why O Why didn’t I think of it earlier, it was plain common sense”

Kaushik Gala.

Kaushik Gala gave a brief about the scheme run by government to nuture entrepreneurs. You can find more details on http://www.venturecenter.co.in
He also talked about the Sidbi risk capital fund, which provides capital to promising enterprises on a friendly term. There is also a scheme called .
Also a fund is setup by by reserve bank of India called cgtmse, which disburses loan to SMEs without collateral. More information on http://www.cgtmse.in/

– Written by Chaitannya Mahatme