Last Saturday, on 11 January, 2017, at SAP Labs, Bangalore, it was a day filled with inspiration, passion, learning, motivation, networking and food with Headstart’s Startup Saturday event ‘Building the ‘A’ team’.
Headstart is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization committed towards fostering and building the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem that conducts Startup Saturdays, nearly every month on the second Saturday across India.
Headstart team says, “People and a great team form the lifeblood of a company’s success and more so for a fast-growing start-up that is building, breaking, and shipping products as quickly as they can.”
With this thought, for the February edition, they embarked on to the second part of their 6-month series of ‘How to Start a Start-Up’ with the theme of ‘Building the A-Team’. Last month, in January, the theme was, ‘Validating your Start-Up Idea’.
The event started with Sandipan Chattopadhyay, CEO of Xelpmoc talking about how the ‘The team is everything’. He touched upon the points like, how to have the right mix of tech and non-tech people for your start-up. He also spoke about good employee retention strategies and how an ideal co-founder should be. In his talk, he emphasized on the thought that one can only win when one knows someone’s got their back. He ended his session with, “Do not start-up for fashion, but only do so if you have the passion.”
Then, we had, Mumbai based TrussBot, and, Bangalore based SpotAxis pitch their products to the audience. TrussBot acts as a personal recruiter, while helping talent seamlessly grow relationships with the ideal co-workers. SpotAxis is a recruitment solution to collaborate with colleagues, manage career site, post jobs, attract talents, organise hiring process and take data driven decisions.
After the networking break, Rahul Chowdhri, Partner at Stellaris Venture Partners took over the stage and shared some useful tips about what VC/PE looks for in a start-up and what are the elements of a great team. He said that a VC looks for a great team which can address large market opportunities with a unique value proposition that makes financial sense. He also spoke about the how the market need to grow in swift pace and the unique selling proposition of the product should have a sustainable competitive edge and your business plan should have a long-term sustainability. In his talk, he also shared some pro tips about how to present a business plan. He spoke about the elements of a business plan, and what to add and most importantly what to avoid. He signed off saying that all entrepreneurs need to be honest about what they know and what they don’t.
Last, a panel discussion which included, Lalit Bhise, CEO of Mobisy Technologies, Ravishankar Shiroor, Co-Founder and CEO of Stellapps Technologies, and Atish Udayashankar, Founder of Skapari and City Lead of HeadStart Bangalore. They spoke about how an IIT degree or an MBA doesn’t matter, what matters is their capability and perseverance for the team. They also said that co-founders are people who target ideas and not each other. About starting up, Lalit Bhise said that, “Don’t take the plunge if you’re not secure with respect to finances/backup job options. Don’t leap without a safety net.” And Ravishankar Shiroor rightly concluded the panel discussion saying, “It’s a fantastic time to be an entrepreneur. Go for it head on.”
Photo Courtesy: Headstart Team