Some alchemists once were trying to make a potion of immortality, however they ended up in an explosion & ironically gun powder was invented. Later on the gun powder was mixed with different substances & various colors were observed which amazed people. The loud bangs of fireworks were then used to scare evil spirits away in those times. However today, the shrieking sound & smoke can scare even the good spirits. So today we’ll see the shortcomings of modern fireworks & where they lack, presenting the food for thought to the young curious entrepreneurial minds.
- Silent Fireworks –
Just think that if you are moving in the streets, unaware about the fireworks, & suddenly you see a bright light in the sky with a big bang from the sky. Sometimes even we get scared, right ? Then think about those innocent animals, what they have to go through, who have certainly no idea about all the chaos. People have started to realize it now & so have begun promoting silent fireworks, to reduce stress on animals & other live stocks. Many cities in Europe have completely turned themselves into “silent firework” zones. Catering to this need, new companies have started, like Setti Fireworks, Fantastic Fireworks have started developing silent explosives for different events. Quite fireworks depend on colors & choreographic release rather than use of gun powder to launch the display in air. The display isn’t far reaching as still it is unsuitable for very large crowd, thus work needs to be done to make celebrations pet & veteran friendly.
- Daytime Fireworks –
Fireworks are only enjoyed against the dark night background. But according to Ian Hardy at BBC, there are many corporate requests for daytime fireworks to create displays that could be visible in the daytime. Enabling daytime fireworks could be really useful for the events which get launched during the daytime – like outdoor sports events etc.
- 3D Choreography –
With the help of computer simulations & latest software’s, pyrotechnicians are able to view their shows with different audience perspectives & plan them accordingly. There are advanced software’s which can even compensate for wind & gravity. Designers can combine their blasts with musical scores then load the data into a firing computer that runs the actual show. But due to economics, there are only a fraction of events where computer fired shows happen. Innovations in choreography software’s across the spectrum would provide us with immediate benefits in the safety, quality of displays & thereby may provide economic benefits for better sales of tools.
- Drones –
In the recent past, to prove the point that “it’s not always the drone which should be looking at you – sometimes it’s the drone you should be looking at”, at Consumer electronic show in Las Vegas, Intel set the world record for most unmanned vehicles airborne simultaneously. They are ready to make the smoke filled & noisy fireworks, the things of past.
The speaker of the event was Ritesh Malik, a man who has started more than 26 ventures. Introducing himself as a man coming from a family doctors, he told us about the problems a guy faces in a Punjabi family (no offence 🙂 ) when he decides to take an unconventional road.
He shared with us his life journey, which he had divided into 4 parts – DVD, BBE, APS and FNP.
- DVD – Development Verbal Dyspraxia
A speech sound disorder in which a child has problems saying sound syllables and words.
- BBE – Bullied By Everyone
Due to aforementioned disorder he was the subject to jokes and was bullied by his school mates.
- APS – Asian Parent Syndrome
Having typical Indian Parents, he was forced to follow his family tradition of becoming a doctor.
- FNP – Face Not Pretty
I guess this one is self-explanatory.
He showed us with parts of his own life that persistence, perservance & hard work, anything could be achieved and this very quality is what led to his later success in life.
After motivating session he boiled his talk to serious business & discussed with us the most important ingredients of any start-up, i.e.
Product, Process & People
their priority being in this very order.
According to him, a startup should be –
1) describable in about 6 words
2) able to get a pleasing answer for “Will someone pay for your product?”
3) focus on design.
4) take culture as the key. No politics should exist within a start-up.
5) intolerant to meritocracy
6) fugal about time. It is the most important resource.
We all want to know the difference between corporate and start-up. Mr. Malik quenched this curiosity of us young readers by presenting us the following table –
Then he addressed the problem that strikes first in a young aspiring mind of an entrepreneur – “How to find investors?”
He wittily answered,“Investors never invest if you go to them.You build a great product and investors will approach you.”
The session was humorous and brimming with information and insight about entrepreneurship, & which is evident from the answer he gave to a question of “How to find a co-founder? “, to which he replied, “A co-founder is like a wife. They are not found, they are the people you know inside out. Moreover, it is not necessary to have a co-founder, what is important is a good team.”
eDC was proud to host a person as knowledgeable and experienced as Mr. Ritesh Malik.
This program is the brainchild of the WEE Foundation. Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment (WEE) is an initiative in collaboration with IIT Delhi to strengthen Women Eco System. The WEE foundation invited budding Women across India to conceive an idea that can turn them into an Entrepreneur. Around 2000 applications came from all over India out of which 45 were picked for the Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Program. These 45 were invited to IIT Delhi to showcase their ideas before the various dignitaries who were invited by the WEE Foundation in association with FITT (Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer).
To inspire the 45 budding Entrepreneurs the Paralympics Silver Medallist Deepa Malik, who became the first Indian woman to win a Paralympics medal, was invited along with other dignitaries such as Prof Ramgopal Rao, the Director of IIT Delhi, Amitabha Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog, Shereen Bhan, the managing Editor of CNBC TV 18 to name a few.
Sarandeep Singh, the co-founder of WEE foundation inaugurated the program by taking a pledge that women shouldn’t be exploited by men in the future. He declared September 24, the day this event happened, as Women Empowerment day. He then invited each of the four dignitaries mentioned above to say a few words to the women entrepreneurs present in the gathering.
Prof Ramgopal Rao first congratulated the women Entrepreneurs on their success and wished them good luck. He then talked about how women are equalling men in every walk of life and quoted the Rio Olympics 2016 as an example. He felt that the IITs are the only institutions where women are yet to make their presence felt and hoped that they would make their mark on the prestigious institutions in the near future.
Amitabha Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog then went on to give various statistics on women contribution in the GDP of India. He compared these stats to the World’s stats and thus highlighted the state of women in our country. He said that change should come in the mindset of men and that they should start treating their women in a better way.
Shereen Bhan, the young editor of CNBC, in her own way described how women are discriminated in our country. She drove her point home by citing the state of Bihar as an example. She further said that the South Indian States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu etc have a much better gender parity and that trhe Northern states would do better to learn from them.
At last it was the turn of the much awaited guest on the stage, Deepa Malik , the paralympic medal winner. She was welcomed with a hearty applause and a loud cheer. She started off by talking about her Silver medal triumph and how she always believed in herself to achieve this wonderful feat. She said that she never felt her disability as the one causing sorrow but as the one that gave her the courage to move forward in life. She quoted several instances of her life through which she inspired the gathering present in the room. She further hoped that her medal can serve as an ibspiration to the differently abled individuals to break out from their social barriers and pursue their dream.
After these inspiring talks each of the 45 women were asked to come up on the stage and tel, a few lines about their idea. Each did so with great enthusiasm much to the delight of the audience.
At the end of the program, the participants went home with greater self- confidence and belief in themselves that they could achieve anything in their life inspite of all the difficulties and hardships posed by the society.
We had Mr. Vishal Chadha (an IIT & IIM Global business leader, with extensive experience selling to clients in Manufacturing, Financial Services & Retail verticals) with us to share with us his vast experience in the field of business planning.
“Any man who does not plan long, will find ahead trouble at his door”
He discussed with us, the need of planning & then went ahead to share the way of planning. He told us about the important components which comprises a successful business planning because “any fool can start a business, but it takes a genius to run one successfully”. To keep the complex things simple & understandable to layman’s, he used the support of some easy examples & elementary economics concepts.
Moving further, he provided us an insight to the creation of business plan & explained the jargons associated with it. Along with the modern examples of big firms like Apple, Amazon, Flip kart, he showed the importance of planning, & how these giants plan for successful utilization of their resources.
The entire session was kept alive with frequent questions & their prompt answers, which shifted gears and moved us to the depths of the topic. The end was marked with a big applause, for the kind of planning Mr. Chadha did – touching every nook & cranny of the topic, in a short span.
No matter how many books you read on starting your own business and being a successful entrepreneur, there’s nothing like a visual guide to help you embark on this journey. Recent years have seen an onslaught of popular television series revolving around startups and entrepreneurs that are making it to every young entrepreneur’s ‘must watch’ list. So we thought we’d give into the practice and come up with our own. So here’s presenting a list of some great TV shows which will bring out the entrepreneur in you.
Released in 2015, this series literally became a ‘viral fever’ since it was the first time on Indian Television that a Drama-Comedy series had its primary theme as entrepreneurship. The show revolves around four young men who work typical corporate desk jobs – the standard nine to five hours, one-thirty lunchbreaks followed by a smoke only to come back to their tiny cubicles and work on the same code
or report for the next five hours again. The show grabbed substantial attention right from its pilot episode when the protagonist, Naveen, gets super drunk and calls up his boss in the middle of the night and quits his job. He wakes up the next morning, freaking out. But, luck is on his side because an idea that he has been brewing for the past couple of months, with his two closest friends, falls through. A series of ups and downs follow. Naveen convinces his friends to leave their stable corporate jobs, they dodge investors who try blindsiding them, create the perfect software and harbour ego-clashes and friendships – in short, everything that a first-time startup founder is bound to experience. With its ridiculously humorous one-liners and equally comic characters, TVF Pitchers is a must watch for any first-time entrepreneur.
Although you fell in love with Martyn Burke’s Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999), that’s not the one we’re talking about here. Silicon Valley, a TV series released in 2014 that is fast approaching the limelight is a comedy series that showcases the inner workings of life in the Silicon Valley. The show revolves around six young men who co-found a startup company amidst the heavy competition in the Mecca of the Business World. Three seasons of this invigorating series are out while the fourth is set to air in 2017.
This series, starring Adam Brody and Martin Freeman, is set to be released later this year, and just its cast is enough to excite anyone! It’s unique and interesting concept makes it stands out from its contemporaries. In this show, a banker from Brooklyn, a Haitian gang lord and a Cuban hacker put their heads together to raise a potential multi-billion dollar business on ‘digital currency’, that could revolutionise the future of money itself. Can’t wait? Neither can we!
How I made my Millions
A CNBC original, this show leads you to the greenroom of the business world, where after the curtain fall, the biggest businessmen and women reveal how they took ordinary ideas and turned them
into extraordinary businesses. Most of these center around businesses that have crossed the $1 million mark. Aired in 2011, How I made my millions showcases the typical ‘American Dream’ and tries to
show that if you have the idea, the resources and the willpower, you can make things happen.
This much-watched series shows that being a successful entrepreneur isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It broadcasts the raw, challenging and often ugly side of starting your own business. The show revolves real-life businessman Marcus Lemonis, one of the biggest sharks of the business world and his decision to invest money into struggling companies and turn them into highly profitable entities in returns for a percentage of both business and profit. It is a great in-depth lesson for all entrepreneurs, as the first part of the show a tutorial of sorts where they show you what NOT to do as an entrepreneur. The motto of the show emphasises the three P’s – People, Process and Product – the triangular mantra of success for any startup founder and members.
eDC IIT Delhi introduces its Campus Ambassador programme on a pan India scale to reach out to over 1 million college students, faculty, entrepreneurs and startup enthusiast through its events. The sole purpose of these Campus Ambassadors is to promote Entrepreneurship Activities in their Campuses among their friends and Batchmates. There are multiple incentives for top campus ambassadors apart the unique learning opportunities presented by the initiative……
Visit our website to register for the Program:
People who have recently been in touch with news related to startups might have recently have heard about all the furore over startup valuations. From Snapchat’s 20 $ billion valuation to Flipkart’s recent fall in valuations to Uber’s 66 $ billion valuation, startup valuations have been a hot topic for media in the recent times and a lot is being said about the logic behind these valuations. Well we won’t give you our take on these. Instead we hope to help you make your own opinions, so if you have been wondering how these are actually calculated just sit back and read our second article in the series eDC101: Startup Valuation
So what actually are Startup Valuations?
Valuation is simply the value of a company. The Value of a company is evaluated based on the need to give a certain price point to the value added by the startup to the existing system. This is an extremely essential exercise for both the entrepreneurs and the investors as it determines the price of buying into a certain amount of equity from the shareholders. This base is used by the entrepreneurs for raising funds for the company and by the VCs to evaluate how much equity can be traded for the funding.
So before we jump right into the mechanics of how these are actually evaluated let’s just understand the economics of valuations from an entrepreneur’s perspective.
There are 2 types of valuations:
Pre-Money Valuations and Post- Money Valuations:
Lets understand this with the help of an example.
Let’s say company A has developed a prototype of a product . Now the company determines it need Rs.2cr of capital to develop and market the product for consumers. It approaches VCs and angel investors for the same. Now one of them agrees to fund them and gives them a term sheet (The term sheet is the document that outlines the terms by which an investor (angel or venture capital investor) will make a financial investment in your company.) which has the following terms of investment:
“The LLC A will receive an amount of Rs2cr. at a post-money valuation of Rs10cr. ”
Didn’t understand all the technical jargon in the above statement? Well worry not! Let’s break it down and try to understand what it really means.
In simplest terms it means the investor will receive 1/6th of the company’s shares.
HOW?- Let’s Work it Out
The investor determined the company and it products worth Rs.10cr. (Let’s for the time being forget how).Post money means that the amount of equity that the investor receives is valuated post the funding. This means 2/(10+2) = 1/6 of the equity. Of course there are other terms of investment such as preferred stock options, Terms of dilution for future rounds etc. but this is what it broadly means.
Now then what is Meant by Pre-Money Evaluation?
It simply means the investor receives equity without adding the funded money to the value of the company. In that scenario the investor would have received 20% equity. (2/10)
Now that we understand the basic nitty-gritty’s of valuations, without much ado let’s directly jump into the mechanics of valuations.
image source: http://fundersandfounders.com/how-startup-valuation-works/
So Really How are these Evaluated?
Startup Valuations is an art rather than a science and is the reason behind the variations behind difference in opinions and even different valuations by different firms. There is a lot of room for assumptions and educated guesses. (Yes you read it right! Guesses!.)
General this exercise is carried out by corporate lawyers, accountants and VCs. Now all of them follow different processes and hence if you get startup valued by them you will definitely find difference in their results. Lawyers are generally hired by the startups looking to raise funding and go by the potential of the team, future cash flow projections and product potential, and often tend to overvalue the company in order to get the possible deal for the company. Accountants generally rely on hardcore data and current revenues etc. which in a startup isn’t meaningful as the real value of a startup lies in its potential for growth. They therefore tend to undervalue the company based as they underestimate the future values of the company.
VCs generally rely on cash flow projections, market sizes etc. to value startups.
Though everyone has their own methods of valuations, there are some broad parameters which everyone uses and we are gonna list them now:
- Traction:Quite intuitively a fast growing company will be more valuable than a company whose rate of growth is stagnant. Apart from the rate of growth the base for that groth rate is important. Apart from that experienced investors will obviously look at the metrics such as daily active users, rate of retention, churn rate etc.
- Reputation and Experience: The brand image of the company and the founders matter a lot and the amount of funding they get at what valuations is often determined by that. Often serial entrepreneurs as well as established companies starting new verticals get higher valuations. Ex. CureFit started by (senior) ex-flipkart management recently got 15$ mn. Funding within 6 months at a high valuation.
- Revenues: Even though we stated that the real value of a startup lies in its growth potential and viral coefficient, the current finances of the company do matter. If the unit economics of the business aren’t too rosy, then obviously the valuations won’t be too high. If the business is in a bad shape even though it might be raising huge amounts of revenues but if its burn rate is uneconomical then obviously the valuations would be affected.
- A case in point is that of Jabong. 3 years ago it was valued at 1$ billion and was almost bought by Amazon at that hefty price. Fortunately for Amazon that deal never went through and valuations were as low as $ 100 million about 6 months back. Now that the company reported profits , albeit minor($0.2 million), for the first time this quarter there are again talks about it being priced at $300 million and reported negotiations for sale at that hefty price.
- Market Size: If there is a huge potential or existing market for your product (quite logically) your company will be valued more owing to the possible high cash flow projections given reasonable amount of market penetration.
- Valuations of competitors: If the companies in a similar business as yours is valued higher and your fundamentals are stromg and comparable your valuations will be as a rule of thumb higher. An example is that of Snapchat. It has been gaining a lot of traction lately and was valued at $20 billion, while SpaceX perhaps doing a much more valuable and revolutionary business is valued at $12 billion. While people who understand the business of the companies might be bewildered at this but this is a case in point for the above fact. SpaceX has no real competitors except BlueOrigin and govt. agencies which haven’t been valued yet and hence an absolute valuation is extremely difficult. Snapchat’s valuation on the other hand is based on valuations given to other social media companies such as facebook, Whatsapp etc.
While there are other parameters that are used in startup valuations these are essentially the ones which can broadly determine the price of your company.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the fascinating world of startup valuations and continue reading our series. You can send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org about any shortcomings you found in the article and we will definitely incorporate those in our future articles.
Recommended Reading: Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Dick Costolo
Author: Kunal Aggarwal
The first thing we would like to clarify about funding is:
While there has been a huge amount of hype in recent times about fund-raising and all, unlike popular perception, startup funding is not a guarantee for success, neither should it be the aim of a startup… It is just a milestone achieved by the team trying to disrupt some industry using that capital and in many successful cases is not even pursued initially… (called BOOTSTRAPPED Startups) like MailChimp and AirBnB.
so let’s cut to the chase and see what are the various rounds of funding:
- Bootstrapping the startup : Often when a product is ideated, initial investment until a minimum viable product is developed (MVP- will maybe discussed in detail in a later article) is put in by the co-founders using their savings, lending from relatives,friends etc.
- Seed Funding/Angel Round & Pre-Series Rounds: After a MVP is developed and the team is looking to expand team and market the product to the early adopters, the team looks for seed investments from angels in return for equity.. These angels are generally entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators or individual VCs. Very rarely do institutional investors take part in angel rounds although.lately, these firms have been trying to catch the trends early and starting to take part in angel rounds also.
- Series A: This is generally a bigger round of funding when the product has gained certain amount of traction and requires capital to tap into new markets, develop new features, expand team and market the product… The valuation of the startup is officially first determined in this round and is used as base for all further rounds. Generally early stage and growth stage VC Firms take part in series A.
- Series B & Beyond: The company requires further capital to expand, grow and accelerate and uses the money to fund these plans.
- Mezzanine Stage/ IPO : The company has reached a certain level (Generally at least Unicorns,i.e billion dollar valuation) and needs to raise money. Often companies at this stage take the company public by listing their company on the stock exchange and raising money through equity released in market.
We hope you found this article on the various rounds of funding informative…. Our next articles will be on valuations….
-By Kunal Aggarwal
A quintessential business plan and being able to communicate effectively with various stakeholders including potential investors, partners, customers and employees is necessary to make it big in the industry. Here’s a recipe to present your venture in the best way possible.
- Idea- To convince, you need to present the soul of the business, your idea in a compelling way. Begin by telling the problem that your idea solves and why it stands out from the crowd. You could perhaps tell a story to include all aspects of the problem, and how you plan to solve it.
- Successes- To build some credibility right in the beginning, you must cite the small steps that you’ve successfully taken. And if you’ve already started off, including your sales, product launches, contracts, key hires makes a strong impression.
- Market- It is essential that you mention the specific market that you are aiming at, and why your solution is a significant advancement on anything that’s available presently. You should discuss the size of the market, the past and how it’s expected to be in the future.
- Team- What drives a ship is the sailors. Its obligatory that you convince your audience that the team and people you’ve hired are the right ones. Also it shows the skill sets that you have.
- Marketing strategy- Describe how you’re going to convince the customers to buy your product. In depth discussion of the sales strategy and how you’re going to reach out to the people is an imperative decision.
- Revenue Model- This is perhaps the part that investors look forward to the most. You need to build a credible and convincing revenue model for your product, keeping in mind the other players in the market.
- Funding- You need to tell the amount if money that has already been invested in your venture and what further funds are you looking to procure and what you intend to do with it.
- Exit Strategy- If you’re looking for high capital to be invested in you, people who are investing would definitely look for how you drop the anchor when going gets tough. If you plan to get acquired, go public or some other alternative.
We present a rendez-vous with Himanshu Choudhary, the man behind Zuppit. A great load to take in, absorb and implement!
- Name of Startup
Zuppit Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
- What is the startup about? What does it deal with?
We are developing different types of technologies around content to deliver enhanced and quality experience to consumers on mobile platforms. With gigabytes of content being generated every second, it is imperative that some mechanism must be devised to bring coherence to that data.
- What according to you is the USP of your startup? Why do you think people should avail the services provided by your startup?
It is the technology we have built. Our technology is language flexible and can generate quality content from scores of sources. Also, we strive to provide our customers with top notch user experience.
- What was the inspiration behind launching this startup?
“Technology is best when it generates and adds value to the society.”
Consumption of content with technology will definitely enhance reading experience of people by providing them with exactly what is required – nothing less, nothing more. We intend to launch products in verticals like – News, Health, Education, Law, Finance & daily use, thus, empowering people to do more.
- What do you want to say to budding entrepreneurs who are still shying away from following this unconventional path?
If you want to learn and explore don’t be shy, just try. Because, at the end of the day, it’s not only about earning money and building a company, it’s also about the adventurous experience and the learnings you take away from failures and successes alike.
- How do you plan to /did you pitch your idea and convince the VCs when you are still attending college?
There are two important things VCs look at before giving you money – Team, Market.
It is very important to get both the things right. If you have this right, hard work and dedication will be more than enough to pull you through.
Coming to pitching – with the IIT Delhi brand name, it is easy to score meetings, how you perform is up to you.
- What are the challenges that you’re facing?
The biggest challenge I have faced is to start. Taking that big leap of faith is the most difficult thing that you do while starting up. But, once you start, once you do take that leap of faith, everything falls in place. Even if you are stuck somewhere, there’s always someone (a friend, a senior, an alumni, etc.) who would love to help you out.
- What motivates you to give up the ‘safe’ path of taking up a job and instead start off from scratch?
I just want share great lines of Tony gaskins with you guys “if you don’t build your dreams someone will hire you to build theirs”.
- Where do you see your venture ten years from now?
I would like to see my company successfully generating value for the society and still yearning to do more and more.
- What role has the college and city played in assisting and providing you an environment for setting up your venture?
IIT Delhi is the place which makes me whatever I am today. The support from friends, professors and alumni has helped me make this leap of faith and succeed in life. Apart from this, I was connected to eDC, IIT Delhi and attended various events organized by them which helped me align my thinking process and meet like-minded people and investors.
- What other activities in college do you think would encourage more people to start with a venture of their own?
Strive to do best in whatever you are doing. Attitude is what matters most. If you have that never dyeing spirit, you will definitely succeed.
- How do you network with other people outside the campus?
Events organized by eDC inside the campus and other entrepreneurial networks outside the campus helped me build a good network. Apart from this, a big support comes from IIT Delhi Alumnus. It’s always a delight to help out fellow IITians, my seniors supported me, I would love to support anyone who comes to me.
- What is that one thing in your idea/venture that you think is different and is going to stick with people?
The products we have built, create immense value to the consumers by enabling them to do more.