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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

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 Institute Session: Getting Performance Management Right @ 25th April 2014


Managing employee performance at a start-up can be hugely challenging, with employees multi-tasking, making it difficult to set clear performance measures. With rapid growth, metrics change frequently and new goals and responsibilities get added frequently.

It is difficult to give individualized attention to employees and track their work activities. That said, managing performance is absolutely critical. With limited resources of startups, you want maximum bang for the buck. In large companies, under performers may disrupt goal attainment for their specific areas. But in a start up, an under performer could throw the entire company off track.

Start-ups battle with key questions on a daily basis related to performance management:
-How do I arrive at building the right scorecard for my organization?
-How do I effectively define the goals and objectives using tools like MBO etc?
-How do I build a high performance culture which incentives and rewards high performers?
-How can I using the performance management framework as a tool align resources, systems & employees to strategic objectives & priorities?
-How do I share feedback more effectively with employees which can reinforce the right behaviors and enhances motivation.

In an attempt to answer some of the above questions TiE institute is conducting an interactive session on the “Getting Performance Management Right”. The session will give you a comprehensive sense of the tools and frameworks for performance management.

The session will be conducted by a very experienced panel of entrepreneurs & experts such as Jyotirmoy Bose, CEO-White Spaces Consulting, Vivek Kapoor, Co-Founder, Dineout & Navyoug Mohnot, CEO, QAI. They will share practical tips and insights for entrepreneurs from their own experiences on how to use and implement effective performance management tools for organizations.

About the Speakers:
Jyotirmoy Bose
Jyoti has over 25 years of diverse exposure across Manufacturing, Financial Services, Information Technology, Consulting & Media industries. Jyoti brings strong conceptual & hands-on experience in enhancing organizational effectiveness, productivity and profitability for mid-sized companies. Jyoti also sits on the Board of a few IT Product & Service companies.

Vivek Kapoor
As one of the Co-founders of dineout, Vivek Kapoor heads the Operations and Sales team of a table reservation website that provides fantastic discounts for FREE, since its inception in 2012. Before embarking on a new venture in e commerce, he has spent a considerable amount of time offshore. He joined the Merchant Navy when he was 18 years old as a Cadet for two years with Vships. Post clearing his 2nd Mates for Foreign Going Vessels, he joined British Petroleum. His skills and expertise in Maritime Operations, International Shipping, Sailing, Ports etc. made him cap the safest ship award in the fleet during his tenure at BP shipping as a Safety Officer. Also, having sailed for almost 30 months as a 2nd Officer, he has been applauded with a Chief Officers Certificate of Competency from DG Shipping, India.

Navyug Mohnot, CEO, QAI Global
Navyug Mohnot is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. After his B.Tech from IIT, he went to the US on a fellowship, to do a PhD from the University of Rochester. He returned to India and set up QAI India to evangelize the concepts of Process and Quality. Over the years, QAI has pioneered the deployment of best practices in the area of Operational Excellence. Navyug has been awarded the IIT Alumni Award for “Outstanding Contribution to National Development”. In a survey by Dataquest, the leading IT trade press publication, he was recognized as 1 of the 50 leaders who have shaped and are shaping the Indian IT industry.

Date: 25th April 2014
Registration: 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Session: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Casurina Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
TiE Members: Rs 400/-
Non TiE Members: Rs 800/-
Register Here-

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GSF Accelerator:1st Global Accelerator Program: Applications Open!!


GSF now goes global with the launch of GSF Global Accelerator, a first-in-the-world cross-border accelerator program. 12 high-tech startups will be selected for the program: 8 from India and the rest through our strategic alliance partners in South East Asia, Eastern Europe and North America. These startups will join us on a journey of 13 weeks through India, Singapore, Silicon Valley, New York, Toronto and Boston. Its objectives:

Thirteen week program starts on May 5, 2014 and will run across:
Delhi & Bangalore: May 5 – May 31, 2014
Singapore: Jun 1 – Jun 7, 2014
San Francisco: Jun 9 – Jul 10, 2014
Toronto: Jul 12 – Jul 20, 2014
New York: Jul 21 – Jul 29, 2014
Boston: Jul 30 – Aug 1, 2014

Weekly agenda for each city during the 13 week program:
Mentor Office Hours – Tuesday
Three mentors come in for 2-3 hours each for one on one interaction with a few startups.

Master Classes/Workshops – Wednesday
One workshop of 2 hours with an expert to deep dive into specific topic

Ecosystem Outreach – Thursday
11am-1pm at a large Tech Company | 2-4 pm at a fast growing Startup
430pm – 6:30 pm discussion or informal mixer an Angel Group or Venture Capital firm

Friday – Monday Startups work on their products or go out on independent meetings

Demo Days
GSF Global program will return to each city for a demo day at the end of the program to showcase startups to investors and industry leaders of that city.

GSF Global Mentors
Accomplished entrepreneurs, corporate executives, academics, VCs, Angel Investors, together with experts in areas like growth hacking, design and digital marketing from organizations like:
Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, LinkedIn, Zynga, Evernote, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, Canaan Partners, Accel, SoftBank, Y-Comninator, 500 startups, Intuit, Lyft, Spotify, InMobi, Nokia, MIT University, Stanford university

Applications accepted here: last date to apply 10th April 2014

posted under Accelerator, Accelerator/Incubator, Ecosystem | Comments Off

Round Up for 2013 – Venture Capital in India – The Summit Push – Alok Mittal


Its always great to see Alok’s perspective given that he is one of foremost and respected VCs in India. His perspectives on the trends to look out for in the year 2014 serves as an interesting touch bearer for the start-up ecosystem.

Largely his points revolved around taking global product innovations coming out of the Indian market see more such innovations at He also spoke about mobile application startups – given the large base of mobile consumers in India, and the nature of India as a mobile-first market, innovation in mobile applications could also lead to global leaders in the space. From an ecosystem point of view the strong performance of Indian startups on the exit front. 2013 marked a watershed moment as far as exits of technology venture backed companies such as Justdial, Redbus, GlobalLogic and Prizm.

Thirdly, 2013 reversed the policy tide to assist the flow of foreign direct investment in India. From relaxation of FDI limits to rationalization of GAAR, and from IPO facilitation to allowance of preferential clauses for investors, the silent wave of reforms in the latter half of 2013 has started to undo the damage that the regulatory arrogance of 2011/2012 had initiated.

I definitely agree with Alok and I believe the other major aspect is around the angel investing ecosystem which is definitely showing signs of maturity with several new angel networks, angel funds and more importantly angel investments closing. Overall there does not seem to be a better time to be an entrepreneur since both the micro and macro environments are riding on a friendly tide :)

Read Alok’s full article here –

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TiE the Knot – A Landmark in Early Stage Financing


Happy to share as part of the organizing committee of TiEcon Delhi, I helped launch “TiE the Knot” a first of its kind on-spot funding platform for early stage entrepreneurs. This exclusive forum a first of its kind in India created history & gave an opportunity to five shortlisted companies to pitch their business to select group of investors live on stage & covered by CNBC TV 18.

We received over 65+ applications for the program and after rigorous short listing and screening process involving senior TiE Charter members we showcased five companies to a group of renowned investors. Two of the five companies that were showcased received on spot commitments for funding right on the show.

Companies Showcased:-
•Happay – “Send & receive instant cash payments for peer to peer without swiping the card”.
•Incights – “Leaving identify thieves speechless, forget pins, password now comes authentication via your voice”
•Experifun- “Next generation science Kits selling to K-12 Schools promoted by entrepreneurs of IIM pedigree”
•Agastha – “A non-invasive device you can wear like a wrist-watch that constantly monitors your heart and gives an early warning of a heart attack”
•The Shopping Pro – “Confused while shopping? How about a live personal assistant who will not only help you shop but also ensure you get the right offers & rewards”

Investors Participated:-
Akshat Rathee, Nodwin Group
Anand Lunia, Indiaquotient
Dinesh Agarwal, IndiaMart
Gaurav Kuchru,Startup Super Fuel
Prashant Gulati, The Smart Start Fund
Shailesh Vickram Singh, Seed Fund
Sudhir Rao, IndusAge Advisors
Sunil Goyal, Your Nest Angel Fund
Vikram Gupta – Ivy Cap Ventures

For more details do write to Upasana at

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Ennovent Weekly Roundup


Ennovent’s weekly roundup which features an East-India educational institute that is providing education for over 18000 tribal children as well as Harvard and Stanford graduate, Jane Chen speaking about her company that keeps infants warm. In addition, we have an interview with innovation supporter, Sam Pitroda followed finally by the work STIR is doing to reform education in India.

This Indian Entrepreneur Lit Up The Lives Of 18,000 Children In Orissa
Poverty in India gets a lot of attention in the media. But these organisations tend to leave out the situation that low-income tribal people in central and eastern India, whose needs have been ignored for decades. However, Achyuta Samanta, founder of The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is trying to make a difference.

Founded in 1993, KISS has provided knowledge to over 18000 children.

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Full Circle: Bridging The Early-Stage Enterprise Investment Gap In India


Note: A version of this post was originally published on the Ennovent blog.

It is no secret that governments and large corporations often fail to adequately address the product and service needs of those living on less than $5/day at the ‘base of the economic pyramid’ (the BoP). Recognizing this clear market opportunity, many enterprises have taken on the challenge of bringing innovative and affordable products and services to BoP communities. While these enterprises are often branded as ‘social’, the reality is that despite their clear social contributions, they are just businesses responding to a high potential, yet fragmented, market.

Not unaware of the BoP market potential, this emerging network of triple bottom line-focused enterprises have attracted attention from angel investors and venture capitalists (VCs). Yet, despite the social and economic potential of these business, investors are following a fairly risk averse approach. Entrepreneurs often hear variations of the same line: “A solid idea, but it’s too soon for investment.” Fact is, despite their unquestionable social value proposition and strong financial potential, many early-stage enterprises responding to BoP markets have yet to demonstrate ironclad proof of concept – which leaves many investors uneasy.

This is the classic chicken-and-egg situation. Entrepreneurs need capital to build prototypes, acquire customers and reach a critical mass in the market; yet, investors will rarely support these businesses before the product and the business model is proven. Despite the global estimated BoP market demand of $5 trillion, many enterprises with truly innovative ‘game changing’ products and services fail to prosper – often because of lack of financial backing at the critical first phases. In addition to quickly flattening economic opportunity, this reality leaves low-income communities without the products and services they need to improve their lives.

Early-stage enterprises call for early-stage investors

In response to the clear demand for investment dollars tailored to the realities of enterprises working at the BoP, a recent surge of investors has emerged – willing to take higher, albeit calculated, risks. These ‘early-stage investors’ are more likely to take the market, technology and business model risks which are often necessary when supporting an enterprise in it’s infancy.

Recognizing the importance of these early-stage investors, in Spring 2012 Ennovent launched the Impact Circle

Read the full post here -

Pitch Your Plan to Renowned Investors@TiEcon Delhi 2012


TiE Delhi-NCR is hosting the Deal Flow Session at TiEcon Delhi 2012 which aims to provide a one stop platform for high potential entrepreneurs to present their business plans to some of the leading national & International investors to meet their funding objectives.

The investors present at the deal flow session are an ideal mix of prominent Angel Investors & leading Venture capital firms who are keenly looking at investing in high potential businesses. Over the years, the deal flow sessions at TiEcon have attracted a whole host of prominent Venture Capital Firms, Private Equity Players, Angel Investor Groups and HNI’s.

The plans received would then go through a short listing & mentoring process led by a screening committee with representation from renowned Angel Networks and venture capitalists. Feedback and suggestions given by the screening committee will be shared with the short listed companies.

In addition, our Angel Partner – Indian Angel Network would also be keen to look at the shortlisted entrepreneurs for the IAN incubation services. We believe this exercise would give the Investor Community a platform to look at the interesting investment opportunities to bridge the last mile.

Some of the investors who have interacted or closed investments on the TiE Platform are:
Indian Angel Network, Canaan Partners, Baring Pvt. Equity Partners, Omidyar Network, DFJ, Matrix Partners, Seed Fund, Blue Run Ventures,Mumbai Angels Network, Erasmic Ventures, Ojas Ventures, Evolvence, Gaja Capital, Gujarat Venture Finance, SIDBI Ventures, Punjab Venture Capital, Google, Intel Capital, India Value Fund, New Path Ventures, IndoUS Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Sun Group, Motorola Venture Capital, Lumis Partners, One97 Mobility Fund, RVCF, Sierra Ventures, Helion Ventures, SAIF Partners & many more….

Companies that would like to present their business plans at the above forum would be required to submit the same by clicking the relevant link given below.

For Angel Funding

For VC Funding

For any other further information please feel free to connect with Upasana Sharma – Mobile-+91-9810078395

SmashUp – Annual Startup Event – Delhi


SmashUP! is inspired by the thought of giving startup entrepreneurs the centre stage in a platform that will converge different stakeholders of the startup ecosystem in India. It will be a giant mashup of creative energy, product showcases, networking opportunities and an insightful agenda which will cover startup issues.


SmashUp - The Annual Startup Event

Why Should You Attend?

Showcase your big idea and make yourself visible in the startup community
Generate real customer feedback through product demos @ SmashUP! Expo
Interact with angels, VC’s and mentors
Network with hundreds of potential partners, customers, team members and more…

SmashUP! atmosphere and format will encourage startups to bond in an informal, open, interactive culture that will enable them to share & collaborate, help them learn from experience & create new ideas.

Agenda – Key Themes
• Power Breakfast: 20 leading CEOs meet budding entrepreneurs to share insights
• Keynote Panel: The Founder’s Dilemma
• StartUP! Marketing: Conjuring a Zero Budget Mega Marketing Campaign
• StartUP! Culture: Superglue that Attracts, Binds and Motivates High Performance Teams
• StartUP! Stories: Marquee entrepreneurs recount their early days of poverty, multitasking, jugaad and everything in between!
• SmashUP! Showcase – Top Shortlisted startups get an opportunity to present their ventures
• Incubate & Accelerate – Interact with leading incubator’s and startup mentors
• StartUP! Funding: Angels & VCs share tips & where they will put their money in 2012

Power Breakfast – SmashUP! agenda starts with a breakfast that will enable entrepreneurs to interact with experienced CEOs/investors/established entrepreneurs in an informal setting.
Confirmed entrepreneurs/CEO include:
- Raman Roy, Quatrro
- Dhruv Shringi,
- Rajesh Agarwal, MicroMax
- Ashish Rajpal, iDiscoveri

SmashUP! Showcase
Provides a platform for startups to gain visibility & attract investor attention apart from accessing mentoring support. Top 8-10 startups selected through an exhaustive shortlisting process will be given this opportunity.

Venue: Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon
Date: 10th Feb 2012
Time: 9 am – 6 pm

For more details contact Manish / 9971766455

posted under Ecosystem, Events | 1 Comment »
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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 Internet Services Pvt Ltd enabling the best startups leverage the power of cloud.

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