Lo And Behold!! Here’s what happened in the first event of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell of IISER Pune ‘Dasham’.
The EIC, interviewed 10 Startup Founders on 31st May 2016. We tried taking a sneak-peek into the minds of modern-day founders who pursued untrodden paths to create something novel. We asked them to share nuggets of wisdom, and snippets from their wonderful journeys, to gather insight into the startup world. It was immensely intriguing and inspiring to learn of their experiences as well as the hardships they overcame to achieve their goals.
The suggestions by the founders could serve as a roadmap for aspiring student entrepreneurs when they start their own journeys. They will also help build contacts and develop close relations within the startup ecosystem.
1) Nisal – Anuya Nisal
“Be Confident, success may seem far when you are creating an innovative product but if you are willing to persevere long enough It’ll arrive eventually”
This tech-based start-up is developing bone void filler materials based on silk fibroid. The aim of this start-up is to provide a material and a method that can arrest bleeding from bony surfaces and simultaneously enhance bone regeneration.
According to Anuya, the competitive team committed to product development, plus a novel innovative product idea, and feasibility, are the three important points for raising funds. She deems it necessary to build a network with the customers to get continuous feedback in the product development phase. Start with a customer, understand the problem area, ask them about details and then develop the product keeping these suggestions in mind.
2) Fizzible – Vishal, Anoop
“The main revenue generation for any startup should not be money from an investor but to identify a market where customers are ready to pay from the day one.”
Fizzible was created by a bunch of engineers to solve the problems of price fluctuations, quality assurance and to become a one stop shop for all electronic items at affordable prices”, said one of the co-founder Vishal.
On team building, Anoop said interns play an important part of the initial team. They could contribute a lot in developing the startups in its initial phase for free. But they have to be assigned roles & responsibilities and a need freedom to work on the projects of their interests.
One should have faith in their work but customer feedback is a must at all stages of product development. “We should trust in God but believe in data.”- Anoop
3) LiveHealth – Abhimanyu
” 4 Q’s to ask yourself before starting up, ‘Is there a need for the solution? Are people ready to pay for it? Is anyone else is supplying the same product? Can your team make it ready?’ “
Mr. Abhimanyu is passionate about simplifying the healthcare system. He started Livehealth, which provides medical care through a mobile app and connects you with corresponding healthcare providers. It also provides the clientele with medical reports directly on the portal thus saving precious time.
On making your product appealing: “Identify the segment of your idea which lacks innovation and makes that segment the key feature of your product.” The initial marketing for startups can be achieved by referrals of the satisfied customers. If the customers are truly happy with the service then it will lead to scaling of your business.
4) Gharobar – Avani
“Better to pick a small market and grab it completely than to pick a huge market with less share”.
Connecting the world to home-based entrepreneurs- This startup changed the lives of many women running businesses from home by giving them greater exposure and introducing more customers online. Started with the aim of helping women; Gharobar has evolved greatly into a renowned place for entrepreneurs for redesigning their home business. Not only is it targeting women but also NGOs who have the privilege to sell their hand-made products.
When asked about idea verification she said, “You get honest views from your closest friends and relatives who are the biggest critics usually and it helps if you listen to them”.
5) AdSpark – Kunal
“In the corporate world, there are two sets of people, people who identify the problems and people who solve the problems but an entrepreneur should be both”
Adsparx is the second venture of Mr Kunal. It aims to provide relevant ads, enable the fastest time to reach the market and give high-quality experience by providing dynamic in-stream ads for online TV.
According to Mr Kunal, one should have a long-term vision instead of short-term money generation plans.
6) Buzan India – Maneesh Johari
“If you have a compelling vision, a learning mindset and are willing to think creatively, there are no roadblocks or dead ends, you’ll always find your way,” -Maneesh Johari
Buzan is all about training your mind to become more efficient with the help of a technique called “Mind Maps – The most powerful Thinking Tool”. Besides his own engineering industry CNC machines, Mr Johari joined hands with Buzan with the thought of contributing something to society. He is now the CEO of Buzan Pune centre and is passionate about spreading the awareness and use of mind maps in India. He is an experienced entrepreneur and has been in the start-up world for a long time.
About sustainability, he says: “To remain in the market you should be adaptive to the changes in the technology, and be ready to learn new things. For that an attitude of being a learner at any point is must(sic).”
7) PurpleChai Technologies – Vaishali Sharma
“In a Start-up, as a founder, you have to do all things(sic) on your own and for that, you need to be strong enough mentally”
Having the motto ‘Turning ideas into apps’, the ‘Purplechai Technologies’ is one of the upcoming mobile application developers in Android and iOS platforms based out of Pune.
Mentioning about the usage of open source codes she said, “The open source code creates more opportunities for new tech related startups for innovation and creates healthy competition.” She also believed that it is important to do market research in a continuous changing market and to improve ourselves time and again by changing strategies according to the situations.
8) RoughSheet – Jyoti and Mr Ankur
“Your team members should have the skills you lack.” – Ankur (Co-Founder)
This cutting-edge startup is truly a lifeline for us students. It is an online platform for the students preparing for company placement interview. Roughsheet provides them study material and mock aptitude tests. The algorithm will analyse your performance, determine your weak areas and give you personalised material to improve your performance.
Mr Ankur gives special attention to team formation. He also believes that if we work on the solution for a problem we’ve faced all our life, we’ll be motivated throughout your start-up journey.
9) Pune Open Coffee Club – Keerthi Kadam
“Hustling is the only way to market” – K.K
Having been in the startup world for about 7-8 years and a lead volunteer for POCC since past 3 years, Keerthi had a lot to share with us. Pune Open Coffee Club is a great example of a successful non-profit startup which strives in bringing together entrepreneurs across Pune. POCC provide them with a common platform to interact, discuss their ideas, get valuable suggestions, and make new and useful networks and connections which will help them to grow their start-up efficiently. As it is said “A lot can happen over a cup of coffee”
When asked about Importance of financial support he said: “In my 3 years of experience what I have learnt is that money is not an important part of a start-up because it’s all your skills that you have to put to work and I have learnt it the hard way… Don’t run for the money, instead, be creative, and try to get alternatives ways which doesn’t involve spending much money“
10) Townscript- Sachin Sharma, Sanchit Malik
“You should select the team who align themselves with the long-term vision of the company, should be full of enthusiasm and ready to learn, as the ultimate goal is to keep on improving every day.”
Townscript aids event managers organise great events. Their mission is to bridge the gap between organisers and enthusiasts by making event registration and ticketing easy. Anyone can create events, conferences, workshops or training programs and sell the tickets online through their platform. They also help organisers publicise their events by providing them with customised marketing strategies.
When asked for their best piece of advice for the growth of a startup they quoted Bill Gates,”It is important to not overestimate the things that one can do in short time and underestimate the things one can do in a long run.”
The main point that young entrepreneurs should take from this entire endeavour is that although the world of startups teems with danger and uncertainties, the existence of such exemplary people is a testament to the fact that one can indeed succeed.
This successful start to our first event, might be an indication of something remarkable. But there are miles to go before we sleep. Stay tuned for the pictures and videos.
Thanks to everyone who made this wonderful event possible. The founders of the startups, media center, all the three faculty members Prof. Vaidhyanathan, Prof. Sanjeev, Prof. Satish, Registrar, Mr. Nevse, our director K.N.Ganesh, Venture Center coordinator Suraj, and lastly Dr. Premnath for helping us out at every stage in making this event successful.