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Showing posts from April, 2008

Startup Funding: The Luck Factor – By Sanjay Anandaram

We hear all the time about the amount of money that's available to fund startups. For example, that private equity funds invested over $ 3.3 billion in just the first 3 calendar months of the current year. That VCs are always looking out for good deals as most of the plans they see merit little or no attention. That they invest in about 5-10 a year out of the 500-1000 business plans they get. And so on…But the truth is that a majority of deals that get funded are those that come through a referral or because the VC knows (of) the entrepreneurs; its natural because VCs don’t have the time to look at all the plans that they get to pick out the Rediff, Naukri, or Tejas Networks. Deals that come through some trusted source or through a trusted filtering process are therefore valued higher and rise to the top of the pile of business plans. It is therefore easy to see how many plans don’t get funded. And also how competitive the race to secure funding really is.

Given this situation, wh…

TIE-Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge 2008 opens for entries

Extracts from the Press Release:

Canaan Partners and TIE come together to launch the second edition of the TIE-Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge

Canaan Partners and TIE, today announced the launch of the TIE-Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge, a business plan competition open to early stage entrepreneurs from across the country.

Entrepreneurs from across India will have an opportunity to compete for business mentoring, access to early stage investors and recognition in the second edition of this unique business-plan contest.

To compete in the challenge, participants will need to download and submit their applications from The deadline for submission of the business plan applications is May 12, 2008.

Eight teams will be shortlisted based on their potential scale of the business, the strength of the team and sustainable differentiation in the business model. These shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in the final round in the month of June …

The Illusions of Entrepreneurship

Businessweek has an interview with Scott Shane, professor of entrepreneurial studies at Case Western University, and author of a newly published book with the above title.
At the individual level, the core fact here is the typical, median, right-smack-in-the-middle entrepreneur is a failure. The cost is everything associated with that. So if you start a business and the business dies, you could have been working for somebody else. You could have been making a salary. You could have had the stability—you wouldn't have had that kind of stress that comes from the up and down of running that business.

So there's the personal costs. From an individual level, the myth is that somehow if you manage to hit the average or hit the median, you're going to be fine. The reality is that the distribution is so skewed you have to hit the top for it to matter, and in fact, you have to hit the top 10% to have income as an entrepreneur better than what you would have gotten working for other p…

Do QCs on the VCs - by Sanjay Anandaram

India is an attractive venture capital (VC) destination today and the future will only get better. Many more VC funds will come in and entrepreneurs, at least the good ones, will be badgered by VCs for “lets-get-to-know-each-other-better” meetings. This capital availability and increased VC activity is good for the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem.

But, in all this hype and hysteria about round and about VC and entrepreneurship, something has been missed. Namely, that in as much as due diligence is performed by VCs on entrepreneurs prior to making an investment, a reciprocal arrangement needs to be in place for VCs. Wheat needs to be separated from the chaff, the genuine from the pretenders.

Classic VCs are partners in business, not purely opportunistic money makers. They see themselves as company builders, not just as investors. They don’t take short term stock market oriented investment decisions. They help build successful businesses, not spend time on financial engineering. In …