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Showing posts from June, 2009

Qualcomm's QPrize competition for funding business plans in India

Qualcomm Ventures, a division of Qualcomm, has announced a global business plan competition called QPrize, with the aim of help the winners with funding to translate their business plans into reality. The competition invites entries from India, China, Europe and North America for business plans that accelerate wireless technology development in any of the following business sectors:

* Consumer/enterprise applications and services
* Communication devices
* Semiconductor and component technologies
* Mobile platforms
* Digital media and content
* Healthcare technologies and services
* CleanTech

The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2009. A winner will be selected from each region. These 4 winners will each receive US $100,000 of convertible note funding and will be invited to the Qualcomm Ventures CEO Summit in San Diego, California to compete for the Grand Prize in November. The Grand Prize winner will receive an additional US$150,000 of convertible note funding.


Blind Spots - By Sanjay Anandaram

The CEO was a highly qualified and experienced person. He had returned to India over 3 years ago to start a company with his own funds. For family reasons, he had set up his company in a town about 100 miles from Bangalore. He was now struggling to grow beyond the initial customer or two. Customers weren’t comfortable with doing business with a company located in that town; Payments from customers took more time than usual; it was hard to recruit talented people in the smaller town; Communication infrastructure wasn’t the best resulting in loss of efficiency and productivity. It was hard to find people in his town who were aware and knowledgeable about how things worked in national and international business. And that there was no PR firm in his city to help generate visibility for his company. In short, according to him, the reason he was struggling had everything to do with the location of his company.

In the course of the conversation, he also mentioned that his company had built a…

Dealing With Status Quo

Last week, I wrote about the entrepreneurial mindset challenging status quo. Challenging status quo and embracing change can take many forms and operate at many levels; but the presence or lack of an entrepreneurial mindset is apparent in the smallest of things or in everyday operating situations.

Here’re two real life examples regarding status quo.

Some years ago, a well known and very experienced Silicon Valley VC was visiting a small and young business in Bangalore that was raising capital for funding its growth in India and overseas. The company was building a high-tech component for the telecom equipment sector. He met the US educated CEO and his team, visited customers and the manufacturing facilities. Everything seemed to be fine with the visit. However, the VC declined to invest. He had noticed that the CEO’s office had typewriters and not computers! He had also noticed and learnt that the CEO’s business card didn’t have an email id, that the secretary took printouts of emails …

Fear of Status Quo? - By Sanjay Anandaram

I came across this interesting question in an in-flight magazine: What would your life be like if you lived it without any fear?

It started me thinking about fear and how the primal emotion impacted us humans.
To be sure, fear has helped us survive as a species. Early man feared wild animals, for example, and that helped him stay away from them. Fear also played a role in early man’s migration as fear of a place or surroundings forced him to seek out more comfortable environs.

Fear of death or harm also forces radical and unnatural behaviours (fight versus flight) that help ensure survival. Fear also forces our imagination to work overtime in fanciful ways. All of us, at one point or the other, have been afraid to enter dark, silent and secluded areas because of the fear of the unknown. It is the anticipation of a terrible act that causes us to react. Charles Darwin concluded that fear is an ancient instinct that helped propagate the human species.

Fear of the unknown, of rejection an…