TiE-ISB Connect 2007 : 36 Indian startups to showcase their business plan

TiE-ISB is organizing it’s annual business plan showcase competition TiE-ISB Connect, which apart from business plan showcase, serves as a great platform for entrepreneurs to get the attention of not…

logo_tie-isb.gifTiE-ISB is organizing it’s annual business plan showcase competition TiE-ISB Connect, which apart from business plan showcase, serves as a great platform for entrepreneurs to get the attention of not only the potential investors but also leverage the networking opportunity TiE-ISB Connect provides.

The event is scheduled for November 14th -16th, and is expected to witness 40 leading VCs. 36 startups have been chosen (out of 300+ nominated) to showcase their business plans.

Here is presenting an interview with J A Chowdhary, President TiE, Hyderabad chapter and MD NVDIA Graphics. In this interview, he shares the vision behind TiE-ISB’s business plan showcase competition and his insights on entrepreneurship in India.

Q) Please share your vision/focus of TiE-ISB Business plan showcase event.
At TiE-ISB Connect we believe Business plans are a vital part of ventures started by entrepreneurs. At TiE-ISB Connect Business Plan showcase is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the creation, start-up and early-growth stages of businesses. And if those plans prove successful, individuals and communities both benefit.

TiE-ISB Connect received over 300 business Plans this year. Of which 36 ideas were selected by the selection panel for the VC Connect. Speaking about the idea behind the business plan showcase, J A Chowdary, President, TiE Chapter, Hyderabad, said. “As the economy is on a high growth curve, the competition for adopting new business strategies and attracting capital, to back, start up and growth companies have intensified, driving entrepreneurs to seek help from experts like those expected to attend the TiE-ISB Connect 2007.”

The response to the business plan showcase this year has been overwhelming and we have attracted some brilliant ideas. It’s a very diverse mix of plans. The sectors in which we have received the applications are from the emerging and sunrise sectors such as IT, Media and Entertainment. We hope to receive business ideas for other sectors as well. “It’s a very good way for new people to learn about building a business,” J A Chowdary says. “For an aspirant looking to get his venture off the ground, it would be a great way to get exposure.”

Q) Apart from Internet/Mobile sector, what are the other sectors of interest for TiE-ISB Connect event?
Besides Internet/Mobile this years event will focus on – Retail Industry, Life sciences and Healthcare, SIG – Biometrics and Identity Solutions, Infrastructure and Real Estate, Media and Entertainment and Emerging Technologies.

Q) Is this event only for early stage startups?
There are two categories this year

  • Start Connect – For early stage start ups and Idea Stage Entreprenuers
  • Growth Connect – enterprises who are seeking capital infusion (may be even second round of funding) to ramp up their businesses.

Q) What are the essential takeaways for startups? Please share the names of VCs who are attending the event.

The focus is to nurture and guide the next generation of business leaders. TiE-ISB Connect aims to be the Hub of all innovative Entrepreneurial activity. The objective is to create wealth and value for India by promoting entrepreneurship and helping entrepreneurs to build successful businesses.
The event is targeted to aspiring entrepreneurs, management teams of early-stage and growth-stage ventures from sunrise sectors, and business development service providers. It’s a very good way for new people to learn about building a business,

For start ups the event is a great opportunity to get the attention of not only the potential investors but also leverage the networking opportunity TiE-ISB Connect provides to connect with successful business leaders and mentors who may offer good business advice and mentoring to take the start up idea forward.

There are about 40 VC’s likely to participate in this years event. Some of the leading names are NEA-Indo US Ventures, Venture East, Sandalwood Partners, Google, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Clearstone, Cannan Partners, Greylock Partners, Blueriver Capital, Helion Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Seed Fund, SVB Global, Nexus, Yahoo, Mentor partners, Erasmic, Footprint and many other leading VC’s.

Q) What are the key differences you see in the number/quality/diversity of business plans that you have witnessed in the last few years
TiE-ISB Connect received 200 initial entries and 100 full business plans in 2006. Out of which 20 entrepreneurs were short listed to make presentations to VC panels and another 15 made elevator pitches to the VC group.

  • Eight of them received business leads and support in refining business strategy
  • Three of them have entered into strategic partnerships
  • Four of them obtained angel investments/ in advanced stage of discussion

One of the strong advantages is that the participants have been able to incorporate the experiences from TiE-ISB Connect in the business in which they’re going to be involved. Speaking about the Business Plan Showcase goal, President of TiE, Hyderabad, said “Our aim is to consistently add value to each of the new and upcoming venture enthusiasts approach to create successful business enterprises. Every one of business plan competition entrants wants to start an enterprise. TiE-ISB Connect effort is to create an entrepreneurship learning process that they can experience through out the event, which will ultimately help them take an idea from conceptualization to realization.”

This year the event attracted over 300 business plans out of which 36 ideas have been shortlisted for VC Connect.

Q) What are the key “must-have” elements that you see in a good Business plan?
For Idea-stage Entrepreneurs

  • Great idea and should have proof of concept that a viable business can be built around it
  • Research to prove the market potential.
  • Proof of concept/ prototype under development

For Growth Connect

Growth-stage enterprises, seeking capital infusion (that may involve even second round of funding) to ramp up businesses.

  • Been in the business for less than seven years.
  • Have a good customer base.
  • Have strategic partnerships.
  • Revenues more than USD 1.0 million.

Q) Your tips to startups who are attending this event?
The idea behind TiE-ISB Connect is to promote entrepreneurship. The objective is to encourage budding entrepreneurs, mentoring them and supporting them in their enterprise. At TiE-ISB Connect the focus is not just speaking about the function of money alone in business, it also involves assistance in various areas: management, strategies, building the right ecosystem, and sharing knowledge, apart from other factors that help build successful enterprise. The objective of TiE-ISB Connect is to build a solid eco-system that will expand the spirit of entreprenuership and we would like many young aspirants to take this opportunity to network and connect with successful business leaders and mentors.

“There are many exceptional start-up and growth companies waiting to flourish, and these entrepreneurs requires extensive support that TiE-ISB Connect provides,” said V. Chandrasekhar, Executive Director, Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (WCED) at the Indian School of Business. “We believe they are the companies to watch out for in the future.”

To be a successful :

  • Be focused,
  • Build the right team,
  • Adapt the right culture, and
  • Walk your talk

Q) What’s your take on entrepreneurship in India? In general, there is a lack of good nurturing system. How do you think should this improve?
Indian entrepreneurs are able to adapt to international management and technology practices very well. There is also an increase in transparency and companies are adapting global corporate governance practices. All this will help gain global acceptance for Indian companies and thus help expand entreprenuerial spirit in India as we go forward.

India, on the other hand is among the fastest growing economy and provides tremendous entrepreneurship growth opportunities.

On the other hand, marketing is a key area where Indian entrepreneurs are lacking. The ability to reach out, build huge brands and patenting IP etc. need to be handled in a much better fashion to be successful.

Initiatives like TiE-ISB Connect with a focused objective to foster entrepreneurial development will go a long way in building the right eco system for entrepreneurship. We try to achieve it through awareness programs, mentoring sessions, workshops and networking events.

As part of TiE-ISB connect, we have a Jumpstart your Venture workshop through which aspiring entrepreneurs can learn all the essentials from practitioners and academia.

All the best to startups who are attending the event.

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