A modern Entrepreneurship definition is all about transforming the world by solving big problems like initiating social change, creating an innovative product or presenting a new life-changing solution. What the entrepreneurship definition doesn’t tell you is that entrepreneurship is what people do to take their career and dreams into their hands and lead it in the direction of their own choice. It’s about building a life on your own terms.
Headstart Network has relaunched the Gurgaon Chapter with their Flagship Initiative Startup Saturday on “Basics of Entrepreneurship” attended by close to 140 attendees. The purpose of the event was to address the struggles of an Entrepreneur in their journey as they need to wear many hats like salesman, fund-raiser, paymaster, logistics, project manager, tech guy and many others.
The session started with the Talk given by Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO of Awfis Space Solutions, on the most burning topic viz. “Why Startups are moving out of their Garages and taking Co-working Spaces?!” The key insights from his talk were:
· Co-working spaces are built with flexibility in mind from the start. The co-working industry was born out of the need for today’s workforce to choose how and where they want to work, and perhaps more importantly when they want to work. Co-working operators give their members the freedom to choose when they plan to utilize the space based on overall business needs and affordability.
· If set up properly, these spaces will already have an established, prospering, vibrant network of professionals already sharing desks and services. Connections between individuals and teams within a co-working space happen organically, as everyone is able to share insights and knowledge that foster collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas and professional networks.
Followed by the talk, the session proceeded with a very informative panel discussion on “All about Funding” headed by Abhishek Mohan, Vice President @ Sequoia Capital and Shailendra Ahuja, Director @ Aviant Capital Advisors. The session was moderated by Ojasvi Bhatia, City Lead Gurgaon Chapter.
Below are the few questions answered by these Industry experts about funding:
Q: What is the right time for raising funds for an early stage Entrepreneur?
A: There is no right time to raise funds. When there is a need and if the Entrepreneur is ready and confident about the idea, that can be considered as a right time. However, at the initial stage, it is highly recommended to go for Bootstrapping as the source of Funding rather than going to an Investor to fund in exchange for Equity.
Q: What are the top traits VC’s look before investing in a startup?
A: 1. Business Model
2. Background and Experience of Founding Team.
3. How big the problem is that the startup is solving.
4. Early engagement and love that the product is getting from suppliers and consumers.
Q: What Entrepreneurs can do to be successful?
A: 1. The Entrepreneur should really be passionate about his/her idea of solving the problem as the journey of starting up is extremely hard and if you are not passionate enough, you will definitely give up.
2. Business Model of the startup should not be vague. It is expected out of the Founders to have a considerable amount of Domain Experience in the field of the business the startup falls.
Q: What an Entrepreneur can expect from the Investor post Funding?
A: Investors can definitely provide an invaluable support to Entrepreneurs in building connects, technology support, marketing support, providing guidance, hiring etc.
After Panel Discussion, the next session was about “Getting Accelerated” taken by Aditya Dev Sood, Founder of Startereum. According to him, launching a startup is one thing; accelerating growth and expanding is an entirely different challenge. Startup accelerators are an excellent way for early-stage startups to get up to speed quickly, identifying their best growth strategy and a reasonable plan to achieve it.
Some of the benefits that can be achieved by getting accelerated are:
· External Validation of the idea
· Building connects within and outside the community
· Investor access
· Renting Office Space
· Risk Management
· Accelerated Knowledge
· Motivation and Morale
Vinayak Mishra, Principal Associate at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. addressed the topic on Legal issues a startup is subjected to. According to him, before one starts a business venture and also during its operations, it is imperative to know the External Business Environment where it operates. External Business Environment consists of Political, Economic, Technological, Legal and Ecological Environment which encompass aspects of government policy to tax holidays. All these are out of control of the Business but have a major impact on the everyday operations as well as the overall functioning and growth of the Business. In the Startup Business Environment in India, a startup needs to keep track of the Regulatory Environment, Tax Regimes, Legal Issues, and necessary Compliances to be met which would ensure the smooth running and allow startups to avail all the benefits that the Government is offering to make startups in India a success.
He explained the importance of a startup Term Sheet, types of contracts, Intellectual Property laws that concern a startup, Business Finance laws that affect everything from Foreign Direct Investment to Angel Investors and VCs, etc.
Before you Startup: Lessons Learnt
The most awaited and relatable session of the Startup Saturday event was the Journey shared by Jasveer Singh, Founder of Qik Rooms. He believes that Entrepreneurship is nothing but a state of mind and it’s all about attitude which is totally reflected in his course of action while building his first product Sparehousing.com. The seed of the idea behind Sparehousing.com was sown when he had a chat with his PG owner about the profit he made through room renting despite of the complaints his roommates had. The emergent need for financial support and the fear of failing were his biggest strengths during his tough times. The biggest learning that Jasveer Singh gave to early-stage Entrepreneurs was, “Don’t chase the Investor for funding. Give your best shot and come back and keep on building your product. Remember you are not a beggar. It’s always important what will I learn from the Investor.”
Without any tech background, he successfully achieved 2 exits of Sparehousing.com and Zozo stay. He is now working on his third venture Qik Rooms which has a presence in over 60 cities and has partnered with more than 250 hotels.
Since our inception in 2007, we have built a grassroots level ecosystem in 23 Indian cities and organised over 1000 startup events focused on networking, mentoring, hiring and fundraising. Our work has played a role in getting over 10,000 new ventures off the ground. Some of the young startups that made their early stage demos on our platform are now unicorns. Cumulatively all these companies have created over 20Lk jobs and added over 148,000 Crores to the Indian economy.
You’d be surprised to know, Headstart is almost entirely run by passionate volunteers. We have a bold vision for India, and as empowered citizens we do whatever little we can do, to further it.
Shefali Singh Bhatia