The three pillars for a successful startup are people, vision and capital. After covering the People aspect in May and vision through our flagship event Headstart Insight, Startup Saturday Mumbai’s June Edition focussed on funding.

Our aim of creating an enabling environment for startups and budding entrepreneurs seems to be bearing fruit with the number of participants crossing 150 this time around, with most of them willing to stand or sit on the floor throughout the event to learn from our great  speakers and connect with peers.

The event was lined up with four great speakers and two lightning pitches to help the audience understand the various aspects of funding.

SSMUM

Our first speaker for the day was Edul Patel, co-founder of Niffler. Edul spoke about the pertinent questions that run through an entrepreneur’s mind while raising funds.

An entrepreneur should raise a seed fund only when he has a rough idea and is still working on market fitness. An entrepreneur should not go with the flow and raise money only when it is actually required as equity is the costliest thing to give away. The amount of money one should raise would vary on as to where you are with respect to your product being market ready. Incubators help in the very early stage and provide great mentoring whereas seed funds or angels provide funds when a rough idea of the product is present. Venture capitalist are a low interference, high capital proposition provided the product us ready. Moving on to the other end, an investor looks for the problem being solved as well as the scalability of the product. They look for the team’s capability to solve the problem at hand as well as the gumption to take risks. He also spoke about various other aspects related to funding and ended the session by offering free coffee coupons and jobs at Niffler, details of which are available on our Shoutbox.

Our second speaker for the day was Dinesh Goel from Aasaanjobs. He took on from Edul and provided an interesting aspect to raising capital. Like Edul, he emphasised on getting the time right, which the entrepreneur will know when their product is market ready. It is also important to choose the right investor and not run after money as a wrong investor can spell doom for your startup. Always look for investor who does not impose their ideas on you and looks to work as a team. If the investor has worked in a similar domain, it only helps your startup grow the investor network. Another aspect which he highlighted upon was working out the termsheet at the time of signing to clear out any cobwebs which could jeopardise your startup.

Next up, we had Grex as our first lightning pitch. Grex intends to build the country’s first stock exchange for unlisted startups. It has already managed to get on-board 500 investors and will be able to get another 500 in 2-3 week. The whole idea behind Grex is to encourage public to participate in growth of startups and they seem to be well on course to achieve the same.

Hero was our second lightning pitch for the day and has been started to solve the pain-point of a customer having to go through multiple platforms for various services. Hero intends to bring all of them under a single platform using artificial intelligence and mobile messaging. Hero gave an exemplary pitch using role play where they had two of the members of the audience enact roles to help understand their idea better to the users. Their lightning pitch was a great success with one member of the audience even getting a McD burger.

Post the break, we had Sunny Sablok from Matrixlaw speak about the legal aspects related to funding. His session included a detailed talk about entity nature while setting up and also spoke about the benefits and drawbacks of the same.He emphasised on maintaining correct documentation and structure from day one as it helps during evaluation by an investor. He spoke in length about structuring options during funding and explained with practical examples about FDI in startups vis-à-vis Amazon, Snapdeal, Junglee and Flipkart.

Our last speaker for the evening was Anubhab from Zimmber. Zimmber is in the process of raising funds and he spoke about the path undertaken by his team for the same. He asked entrepreneurs to give themselves a timeline and be true to it to chart their growth. He also spoke the positives aspects of investors. This gave the members of the audience two varied perspectives, one where Edul and Dinesh have raised initial funds for their startups and Anubhab who is in the process of raising them.

None of the Startup Saturday events are complete without the networking session at SP Jain bistro and this was no other with budding entrepreneurs cornering our speakers and clearing their doubts as well as bouncing off ideas amongst each other. With half of the year complete, and covering all the important aspects of starting up, Startup Saturday Mumbai, now moves to an exciting space for the next six months. Watch out headstart.in for a plethora of events planned to keep the entrepreneurial live and kicking in Mumbai…

Written and Compiled by:

Vibhav Gupta

Volunteer at Headstart Mumbai