Startup Tuesday Episode-1
The Indian government is aggressively promoting startups and entrepreneurs by introducing several schemes. But if you are an entrepreneur or looking to step into entrepreneurial shoes, you know launching or running a startup is not a cakewalk.
From having the right idea to onboarding the right people in your core team, you are likely to face several challenges along the way. If you can relate to all of this, you have arrived at the right place.
Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO of StartupLanes dedicates one hour from his time every week to help entrepreneurs with their startup-related questions. He is among the top 15 in the world for Venture Capital and startup consulting, rated by the 100s of users who took his paid consulting.
Shishir has researched for three years while writing his book ‘Startup Easy’ which has immensely helped him in gaining domain expertise. With a purpose to help and encourage fellow Indian entrepreneurs, Shishir is conducting ‘Startup Tuesday‘, a one-hour zoom QnA session for 100 people free of cost.
You can ask him anything about startups, funding, traction, pitch deck, angel investors, VCs, and much more. In the first episode of ‘Startup Tuesday’, Shishir answered several questions from existing/budding entrepreneurs. Keep reading for the details.
Q1. How can I start a biotech startup and connect with the right people?
Shishir: Start by taking inspiration from other successful startups in the segment and understand their model. After conceptualizing, go for the minimum viable product and focus only on building the basics. Click here to listen to the entire answer.
Q2. How can I approach a B2B investor?
Shishir: You have to first prepare your pitch deck which is the most important document and then visit the StartupLanes website to understand the entire process of funding and apply for the same. Listen to the entire answer here.
Q3. We have a proven business model with established profits. How can we strategize to raise funds for expanding nationally and will getting external funding obstruct our style of business?
Shishir: None of the big companies have survived without any external funding because business is about money. And while you approach external investors to raise funds, you need to have a particular model in place. Click here to know if approaching external investors is a good idea.
Q4. How can I expand my cable TV and internet service providing business and raise external funds?
Shishir: No investor can have any control over your business until and unless you give them the control in the first place. This depends entirely on the term sheet where terms and conditions are established. Click here to understand the difference between conventional and innovation businesses and how you can raise funds for them.
Q5. How should we conduct market surveys to identify our target customers?
Shishir: Start by identifying your potential customers and identify a small sample size before creating a survey. For the survey, first, verify if the customer is facing the problem that you’re targeting and then market your solutions. For learning more about market surveys, click here.
Q6. To raise funds in a seed-stage startup, should we approach angel investors or venture capitalists?
Shishir: The first round of funds should always be raised from the 3 Fs- friends, family, and fools. If you successfully raise money from them and utilize it properly, you can go ahead and approach the angel investors. Click here for the complete answer.
Q7. How should I value my company and what kind of equity I can manage?
Shishir: There are nine methods of valuation and I have propounded the tenth method called the Fair Share method of valuation which is based upon A to Z-26 points. This includes your team, the management capabilities of the team, the idea itself, the disruption element, your competition, your SWOT analysis, etc. Click here to learn more about valuation.
Q8. How can we take our startup from the POV stage to the MVP level through all the regulatory hurdles and connect to the market?
Shishir: The best way to do this is to sign up with a partner who already has these kinds of licenses and then go for a fixed contract. Click here for the complete details.
Q9. My startup is doing well and I’m looking to expand it nationally and internationally. When should I think about generating external investment?
Shishir: You should immediately look to raise funds because no company can grow without external funding. You can start by raising angel funding, followed by VC funding, PE, and pre-IPO funding from a VC. Click here to listen to the complete answer.
Q10. I am looking for debt funding for a cleantech startup. My startup has an order book information of LOI. How can you help?
Shishir: You can apply through Startuplanes website and we’ll definitely be able to raise funds for you.
Q11. I’m running an on-demand cleaning and utility service company and looking to venture into B2C. What will be the right time to approach investors?
Shishir: If you are generating 85% of your new business organically through references, then it is the right time to approach investors. Click here for the complete answer.
Q12. How can I find the best co-founder? Is incubator a good approach to start my project?
Shishir: You can find a co-founder through different forums or communities. You can also join the StartupLanes community free of cost. Click here to listen to the entire answer.
Q13. How to get patents and copyrights in the Indian and international market?
Shishir: For the international market, there is a mandate pack and if you go about this arrangement for one year, your patent will be treated as an international global patent. After that you have to register your patent in each of the markets you will be operating in or you have the risk of competing. Click here to know more patents in the Indian market.
Q14. We are a self-funded manufacturing company looking to expand our business. Should we go for other partners or create a dealer network ourselves?
Shishir: You can build a model similar to Oatker and sell directly to the consumers through Amazon. You should focus on D2C. Click here for the complete answer.
Stay tuned for upcoming episodes from ‘Startup Tuesday‘.
You can join Shishir in the ‘Ask Me Anything’ session every tuesday. Click here to register now.
Don’t keep wondering about funding, you can also raise funds. Learn how to raise funds here: Yes I want to raise funds.
If you are an emerging startup and are looking for investors to raise funds, StartupLanes has its own angel network and investment banking services and is connected to angel investors and VCs in 15 countries that ensure that our member startups have easy access to external funds to scale up constantly.
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