Network to Succeed

Network to Succeed.

An App to Aid in Networking – Handshake Business Networking


You just came to attend an industry events ready to network. In the crowd around you at the event, there are potential co-founders, investors, or a tech guru. But how do you find and meet them?

Well, now there is an app for that Handshake allows you to scan all the people around, zoom in on who you should meet, quickly research their profile before you approach them, and automatically record meetings and exchange cards.

What is it?
Handshake is an app for the business networker, combining the power of a business card with location-sensitive discovery across your social network. Unlike traditional business cards or social networking sites, Handshake lets you present your brand powerfully; provides rich context when you meet someone, by showing shared contacts and meeting history; and lets you discover your contacts currently present in your vicinity.

Handshake enables you to stand-out in the crowd and:
• Be discovered as a mentor or start up-CXO,
• Find a co-founder or angel investors,
• Find and catch-up with a contact you have not seen in a while,
• See who that stranger next to you is, and who you know in common,
• Study a person’s profile before you walk up and say hello.
Experience the power of location-based data-driven social discovery!

Enrich your Networking
Handshake allows you to discover relevant people also open to connecting, currently in your location. It enriches your networking by mining your already existing social networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, as well as to grow your network by discovering more people you should meet and know. Further, the App shows you common contacts, interests and affiliations — to enable you to find bridges to help initiate and further a discussion. You will always have a better context when you meet someone next time.

Please note that the App will display only publically available information.

How it Works
Handshake is a cross-platform app. At conferences, airports, and other crowded locations, it allows you to find people you might wish to meet, and who are also open to networking. Push f a button to get to know more about the person you are meeting, including common social contacts and affiliations (such as company, school, or professional association). Exchange your smart business card with others, automatically record meeting history, and manage your contacts easily across all your devices.

Download the App on Google Playstore or IOS – Just search for Handshake Business Networking

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Secrets of the highly-engaged employee


Your enterprise is not alone in facing this problem. A survey done by Gallup between 2011 and 12 revealed that in India, a mere 9 percent of employees are engaged, 60 percent are not engaged, and 31 percent are actively disengaged.

if you recall Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it postulates that human beings have five types of needs: physiological—the basic need for food, water, and sleep; safety—the need for security of employment etc; love and belonging—the need for friendship and belonging; esteem—our desire to feel confident, strive for achievements and seek self-respect; self-actualization—the need to be creative, to be a problem solver.

Could it be that your enterprise merely fulfils your employees’ physiological need by providing them a salary that takes care of their basic requirement of food, water and shelter? That it does precious little to satisfy the next three needs— safety, love and belonging, and esteem?

Read the full article here – LINK

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TiE the Knot – Call for Applications – Apply Now


“TiE the Knot” in its third edition, will provide high potential companies an exclusive platform (tech & non-tech) who have demonstrable products/offerings to raise their first seed investment. In the last edition held at TiEcon Delhi 2014, four high potential companies post extensive screening raised on-spot invest commitments in a high impact televised format anchored by CNBC TV 18.

Why Apply:
Opportunity to pitch to a highly renowned & hand-picked group of individual investors
Opportunity to receive investment commitments on the spot
Service providers & experts to facilitate deal closure & documentation
Extensive mentoring/prep for the final pitches

Application Criteria:
Registered Indian entity in operations for at least 3 months
Preference for early revenues and if pre-revenue should have developed a demonstrable fully functional product or prototype which can be demoed.
Looking to raise up to maximum of INR 1 crore (equity)
Preference for startups who already have a pre-existing investor lead or are sponsored by an Angel network.

The final shortlist of 5 entrepreneurs will get 10 minutes to make a pitch to the investors. The investors will ask pertinent questions on the business and take a call whether they would like to invest or not.

See last years show coverage here: TiE the Knot

Priyanka Agarwal (Wishberry) TiE the Knot is essentially India’s “Shark Tank”, but, with much friendlier “Sharks” who aren’t just angel investors but also valuable mentors and advisors. The true value of TiE the Knot isn’t in the funding but in the tremendous PR & brand building it offers on a national scale, which would otherwise be unaffordable for fledgling startups. Wishberry is proud to be the only startup to have raised Rs. 4 crores at TiE the Knot 2014 with unanimous participation of all the “Sharks” on the show!”

Pawan Gupta (Curofy) “Finding the right Angels is very important for an early stage startup. But at that stage their energy is best focussed on building the product than find-ing Angles and investments. TiE the Knot provided us with the perfect platform to reach out to some of the very best entrepreneur-turned-Angels in the industry. The sheer pace at which we could raise our funding round from amazing people was unbelievable. We also received great publicity through TiE and CNBC telecast helping us create a buzz. Tie the Knot is highly recommended for early stage startups.”

Zuhaib Khan (Shopatplaces) “TiE the Knot provides a wonderful platform to bring startups in front of the entire nation and the right investors. It does a stupendous job of crafting fairy tales out of sheer air. One moment you could be a small team which be-lieves in your idea and in the next you could have intelligent money backing you, the right mentors on board and the entire nation cheering for you, to disrupt entire indus-tries, to put your own dent in the universe.

Date Milestone
20th February – 31st March 2015: Call for Applications Open
15th April 2015: Top 20 shortlisted companies selected for Prelim Round
15th April – 25th April 2015: Mentoring & Refining of Pitches of Shortlisted Applicants
27th April 2015: Prelim Round with Interested Investors
4th May 2015: Final Five Finalists announced
8th May 2015: TiE the Knot Session

Interested entrepreneurs are required to submit a brief 5 minute video pitch and their business summary to Amit Verma at For any queries please contact Amit at +91-8750847502.

posted under Competitions, Ecosystem, Entrepreneurial Spirit | Comments Off

Closing the Loop on what you Commit!


My friend Paritosh Pathak has touched upon an important topic when it comes to building long term relationships and strong networks – the aspect on “Closing the Loop”. In his words he says in the area of networking effectively, whether it is building new relationships or strengthening the existing ones, communication plays a very vital role. Communication is quite a big topic in itself and in this blog we are going to talk about one small part of it. There is no real name for it but I call it ‘The Loop’.

A loop is opened when we commit that we are going to do something or when we are involved in something where there is naturally an action required by us.

For example he further illustrates
When you commit to a person that you will introduce them to someone, you open a Loop and when you connect with them you close the loop. When you receive an email to which you are required to reply, a loop is opened and when you reply you close the loop.

The point is well taken even if you don’t have the time to do what you committed atleast get back to the person with an acknowledgement or an apology.

Read his full post here

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Idea to Paper – Dreams to Reality!


Having spent more than 10 years in the entrepreneurial ecosystem including my own stints with a resturant chain, event management start-up to a US based E-tech startup. I have had the distinct privilege of understanding from the two of the major constituents in the funding game that is the Investor & the entrepreneur.

One of the major challenge which resonates across all entrepreneurs irrespective of the vertical & scale especially in the early stage invariably revolves on the issue of “Funding” or raising money externally outside the closed circle of FFF (Family, Friends & Fools).

While a lot has been written; debated about this very core issue, the journey towards successful entrepreneurship begins with an idea, but without a strong business case behind it “ideas are actually dime a dozen”.  What is actually needed is a rigorous exercise of putting your idea to paper – perhaps the first critical step towards entrepreneurial success & venture funding.

Idea to Paper

For an entrepreneur however trivial it may sound it’s extremely essential to translate his idea to paper as one of the first critical steps towards building a comprehensive business plan & vision path for his venture. The journey from being a mere idea in one’s head to paper is not an easy one, as it forces the entrepreneur to think with clarity, logic & see the opportunity in its totality.  This exercise is not just a funding application but actually a vision document for your venture, several entrepreneurs having done this exercise saw for themselves the potential & the gaps in the opportunity that they wanted to pursue. Hence if you are serious about your idea & you feel you are on a big opportunity start putting it to paper not for anyone else but yourself.

I have highlighted some learning’s especially from a venture investor perspective which might help you to align your thoughts & make the transition from a mere idea to paper.

a)       Overall Space- Identify the overall space in which you are operating in what is the size of the market & the opportunity.  You should be clear on how big the market, most entrepreneurs that I have meet seem to be conservative in the size of the opportunity which does not go down to well with the investor, typically investors for the sake of an example would look at a business which has the potential to scale to Rs 100 crore in the span of 3-5 years with a clear exit strategy. While defining your market you must be careful in identifying how you validate the overall space, investors are interested in the space that you are specifically operating in i.e. so it may be a billion dollar market but what really is your market potential 1% of a billion dollars? If you are in the social impact space besides the large market opportunity you have to elaborate on the actual social impact you are able to create on low income people in India.

b)      Defining Product/Service- You need to clearly highlight the product or service that you are building try & cover critical points like  -whether its going to be removing pain point for a customer or is it adding value to an existing product/service etc. Essentially is it a necessity for the end customer or something which may or may not dramatically make a difference to his/her life?

c)        Customer???- Identifying who your customer is extremely important let me illustrate with an interesting example of an entrepreneur who manufactured a motor which would help the cycle rickshaw puller to propel faster & with less effort. The question then arises who is the customer in this case surely not the cycle rickshaw puller- he does not have the paying capacity or even the rickshaw owner who is probably going to earn the same amount whether the cycle rickshaw puller can propel faster or slower,  hence extremely important to identify the customer. Once you have identified customers put down a detailed go to market strategy on how you will tap into new customers as well as retained new ones.

d)      Competition- I have heard a lot of entrepreneurs talking about that I have no competition the reality more often than not that there is always competition, you should look beyond the obvious & actually do a complete SWOT on your competition or potential competition, lessons & learning’s from competitor experiences can  be very rewarding when you are putting your plans together. The key is to look at what are the alternatives your customer has even if today they don’t have access to your service or product.

e)       Value Proposition/Differentiator- The importance of clear value proposition can never be understated, a first mover advantage does not guarantee sustainability of the business, you need to think of creating value proposition it could be  through building intellectual property, differential market entry strategy, innovative processes etc. The point being that there has to be a clear differential & value proposition in what you are trying to do.

f)         Team- We have often heard investors say Team A with a B plan is always better than a Team B with a A plan, this especially holds true for an early stage venture when the investor is actually putting in his money solely on the team, it’s the team which breaks & makes the venture. So when you are putting your thoughts to paper highlight who are the other team members, what is their background & experience, what is the value that each core team member is going to bring to the table – this important because the investor must have faith in the team’s execution of the idea.

g)      Financials- At this stage you do not need to go into a major number crunching operation, keep it simple cover the basics over a 3 year time horizon like top line/bottom line, head count, profitability when? You must also clearly highlight the amount of investment sought & for what.

h)      Risks- What are the risks with the venture while we know in common jargon of market risks, competitor risks, technology risks its always a good idea to pen these down & more importantly how will these risks be mitigated, examples of early set backs & their handling is a good idea to evoke investor confidence.

The above is not an exhaustive checklist for a business plan but simply some key points to keep in mind while documenting your idea. So whether you are talking to potential customers, investors or co founders it always helps to document your thoughts for a better chance at success.

You can also check out my slide share presentation on this.

posted under Business Plans, Ecosystem | Comments Off

TiE the Knot – CNBC Telecast


Had great fun in organizing this year’s “TiE the Knot” at TiEcon Delhi 2014, in partnership with CNBC TV 18 which provided high potential companies an exclusive platform to raise investment. After a rigorous selection and mentoring process four high potential companies pitched to a select group of investors who made on-spot invest commitments in a high impact recorded televised format@TiEcon Delhi 2014.

TiE the Knot Finalists:-
Wishberry: wants to leverage the power of crowd sourced funding & validation to spur creativity & innovation in the country. Not only in technology, but also in film, music, theatre, design, food, etc. So far Wishberry has mobilized Rs. 3.5 crores in funding from a global community of 8,500 funders across 52 countries.
Curofy: is a medical networking app that enables communication between doctors. With Curofy, doctors can easily find other doctors, call them with a single tap, and connect to collaborate on patient cases. The app is exclusively for doctors and is thus spam free.
AirStream: provides universal access for all your multimedia and files from all your devices and cloud services. They believe in simple thing. If it is your content, you should be able to access it from any device no matter where it is stored. They have over 300,000 people in using AirStream from over 200+ counties.
Shopatplaces: delivers Authentic Products from Places Famous for them, at the doorsteps of customers. You do not have to travel any longer to get authentic Pashmina shawls from Kashmir, Bandhej apparel from Gujarat, Pearls from Hyderabad and so on. Possess handpicked locally sourced products from more than 18 states of India. Relive the nostalgia and feeling of belongingness to your roots through Shopatplaces. “Famous Places. Best Buys.” only for you.
Catch all the action on CNBC TV 18 watch promo

The full episode will be telecasted on CNBC TV 18, Young Turks Program on these times:-
1st Nov, Saturday – 11:00 am & 7:30 pm
2nd Nov, Sunday – 12:00 pm

Hope you enjoy the show :)

posted under Business Plans, Competitions, Venture Funding | Comments Off

TiE the Knot@TiEcon Delhi 2014


Looking forward to one of the most exciting sessions at TiEcon Delhi 2014. Top 5 finalists will pitch to a renowned group of investors to raise investments for their ventures.

TiE the Knot 2014

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High Potential Start ups Looking to raise First Seed Investment @ TiEcon Delhi 2014


“TiE the Knot” at TiEcon Delhi 2014, will provide high potential companies an exclusive platform (tech & non-tech) who have demonstrable products/offerings to raise their first seed investment. Five high potential companies will be shortlisted and will pitch to a select group of individual investors who will be looking to make on-spot invest commitments in a high impact televised format.

Why Apply:
•Opportunity to pitch to a highly renowned & hand-picked group of individual investors
•Opportunity to receive investment commitments on the spot
•Service providers & experts to facilitate deal closure & documentation
•Extensive mentoring/prep for the final pitches

Application Criteria:
•Registered Indian entity in operations for at least 3 months
•Preference for early revenues and if pre-revenue should have developed a demonstrable fully functional product or prototype which can be demoed.
•Looking to raise up to maximum of INR 50 lakhs (equity)
•Preference for start-ups who already have a pre-existing investor lead or are sponsored by an Angel network.

The final shortlist of 5 entrepreneurs will get 10 minutes to make a pitch to the investors. The investors will ask pertinent questions on the business and take a call whether they would like to invest or not. At the session, there will be key service providers like accredited legal and financial firms to help with structuring of the deal and possible issuance of a term sheet.

Important Dates:
Date Milestone
8th August – 16th September Call for Applications Open
25th September Top 25 shortlisted companies selected for Prelim Round
25th September – 3rd October Mentoring & Refining of Pitches of Shortlisted Applicants
3rd October- Prelim Round with Interested Investors
12th October – Final Five Finalists announced
17th October – TiE the Knot Session@TiEcon Delhi 2014

Click here to download the template

Interested entrepreneurs are required to submit a brief 5 minute video pitch and their business summary in the attached format to Amit Verma at For any queries please contact Amit at +91-8750847502

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Structure Your Networking!


The other day I was chatting with my good friend Paritosh Pathak (Networking Guru) on how we can do effective networking. One of the things that clearly dawned on me was while we shout from roof tops on how we want to network more effectively or expand our network how many of us willing to spend the time and resources to do our homework?

If you truly want to expand your network you need to work at it! People who have wonderful networks have invested considerable amount of time and effort to not only expand and connect with people but significant amount of time in maintaining relationships. Its the retention of the networks which is key and in a very hectic and transaction driven world this becomes even more of a bigger challenge.

Paritosh believes and I can’t agree more with him that you need to set yourself a weekly networking time budget. It could be from an hour to how much ever you like for it to be. Then make sure that you exhaust your networking time budget even if there is no networking event. Don’t limit yourself to networking at events, go meet your clients, your prospects, have a coffee with those with whom you couldn’t close business, meet an advisor.

The second tip that Paritosh offers is to Strategize! Beginning of every week, strategize who are you going to meet this week. Plan the conversations that you are going to have and what value can you create for them. Plan ahead and fix meet at least a few days in advance so that you know how you week is looking like.

I would recommend you check out Paritosh’s Blog and if you need serious strategic advice – you should definitely connect with him.

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Artha Venture Challenge 2014 – Apply


The Artha Venture Challenge is an interesting opportunity for social enterprises – a national challenge seeking to identify and reward up to 15 social ventures in India.

The Artha Venture Challenge is an intensive 12-month program that is designed to social enterprises to raise investment of between INR 30 lakh to 100 lakh (USD $50,000 to $200,000). The AVC makes it easier to attract early stage, patient capital by providing up to INR 30 lakh (USD $50,000) of match funding. AVC works with early stage social enterprises to build a compelling growth story, finding investors, making strategic connections and supporting you as an entrepreneur during the journey.

AVC is looking for up to fifteen ambitious social ventures to grow their enterprises to deliver impact at scale in India. Ventures selected as part of the Artha Venture Challenge cohort will get:
• The exclusive opportunity to apply for INR 30 lakh (USD $50,000) funding if matched by at least the same amount in co-investment
• Exposure to a closed network of impact investors
• Connection to a network of experienced entrepreneurs, specialists and business leaders
• Investment readiness support including pro bono legal services
• Profiled as ‘one to watch’ amongst the top fifteen most high potential social entrepreneurs in India
Enterprises based in India operating in agriculture, energy, water, livelihoods and other sectors that have completed proof of concept and are seeking growth investment are invited to apply. Nominations and applications are open until June 11, 2014.

The enterprise selected as part of the final cohort, will receive tailored access to experienced mentors, connections to a closed group of impact investors, significant media coverage and the opportunity to pitch for USD 50,000 in equity investment if matched by the same amount in co-investment.

Feel free to submit your application by this week. Given your work, I encourage you to review the selection and eligibility criteria in full and take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Should you have any questions regarding this challenge, please feel free to contact us.

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This is a forum for entrepreneurs and professionals to connect, learn and grow with each other. The objective of this blog is to give you access to relevant resources, business opportunities and networking opportunities to enhance your entrepreneurial and professional lives.

About Author:

Digbijoy has a wide ranging experience across diverse sectors, initially started his career in education marketing with reputed educational institutes and then subsequently joined the advertising and events industry to execute several projects including a state election campaign for a national party, conceptualizing and running a restaurant chain in Delhi and several other projects.

He joined the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE Delhi), where he worked for over 3 years and drove various key initiatives like mentoring, deal flow, marketing, sponsorships etc and left his last position as Associate Director of the chapter in 2008 to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. He subsequently joined techTribe- India largest Career Networking platform where he served as director strategic relations and drove unique initiatives and partnerships for building and sustaining community engagement. Post techTribe he co founded an online supplemental education start-up – TenMarks Education INC. which was acquired by in October 2013.

Post TenMarks he lead Ennovent India as its country director which is an innovation accelerator. Ennovent provide services to accelerate innovations for sustainability in low-income markets in developing countries. It specializes in helping clients discover enterprises with novel solutions, develop business models to start-up enterprises, provide finance by facilitating early-stage investments and grow operations to scale profit and impact. Since 2008, Ennovent has worked with over 4,800 Network members, 15 Circle members and 10 Solution clients to accelerate over 80 innovations in 10 countries.

Currently Digbijoy Co-leads the Startup Program for Amazon Web Services enabling the best startups leverage the power of AWS infrastructure.

Digbijoy also plays the role of Supporting Evangelist ™ to TiE Delhi-NCR the leading TiE chapter in the world and select startups like Breaking Barriers, Just Rojgaar, One Tree Spaces etc. He also regularly contributes to entrepreneurial blogs and publications and is often quoted by leading publications on impact Investing and social entrepreneurship.

Digbijoy is a B.A. Hons Economics, P.G. Diploma in sales and Management, an MBA from MDI Gurgaon (Executive) and has done a venture capital program in ISB.

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