Network to Succeed

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Browsing Ecosystem

Honey Bee Network – Grassroot Innovations!


I had the distinct privelege to catch up with Prof. Anil Gupta and learn more about his pioneering work with grass-root innovators and the Honey BEE Network. So what is the honey bee network?

The Honey Bee Network as mentioned on their site is a crucible of like-minded individuals, innovators, farmers, scholars, academicians, policy makers, entrepreneurs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). A Network having presence in more than seventy five countries, what has made Honey Bee Network tight knit and efficiently functional is its philosophy.

What is fascinating is that over the last sixteen years or so, the Honey Bee Network has lead the documentation and dissemination of local and traditional knowledge and innovations in not only in English, but also regional languages.The regional language versions reach out to the thousands grassroots knowledge holders, who otherwise would have been alienated from the benefits of knowledge, they themselves contribute in the first place. Acknowledging the very source of the traditional knowledge, the Honey Bee Newsletter and its regional versions carry stories of the local ingenuity with the consent of the knowledge holder. Another source of acknowledging the local genius has been preparing the database of the traditional knowledge and grassroots innovations and Honey Bee Network, over the last twenty years has documented more than 1,00,000 ideas, innovations and traditional knowledge practices. Honey Bee, true to its metaphor, has been the source of pollination and cross-pollination of ideas, creativity and grassroots genius, without taking away the nectar from the flower for ever.

So who are these innovators? Given below are some really cool examples of high potential grass roots innovators:-

1. Tea making machine : It needs to have control system to enable the mixing of tea, milk, sugar (and of course water) in the proportions one wants. It should be able to remember the preferences of different consumers for different moods with a smart card. tea has to be made in Indian style.

2. Washing Cum Exercise Machine : The innovation is a mechanical, semi-automate, pedal operated washing machine for clothes, which works on the principle of tumbling effect. The device comprises a cuboid shaped encasement, which rotates through a shaft integrated to pedals with a seating arrangement for the user. The operation facilitates physical exercise for the user. An Indian Patent no. (207634) has been granted to this innovation.

3.Gas (LPG) Operated Iron (Press) : The innovation consists of an iron box that is operated through LPG gas. There is an inbuilt automatic lighter for ignition of the filament in the iron. The box has a capacity of holding 1 kg of gas. The gas flows through a small copper pipe, the size of the pipe is such that 1kg of the gas can be used continuously for 24 hours. The flow of the gas can be regulated by a knob regulator. the iron gets warmed up within 2-3 minutes up to 45 degree C. The cost for operating the iron box for an hour is Rs. 1.8/- approximately. The low cost gas operated iron is ideal for tailors and washer men due to its cost effectiveness, and simplicity in design.

4.Compost Aerator : The present innovation relates to a compost aerator machine which can efficiently turn, mix, aerate and humidify the waste, for easy conversion of bio-wastes, to compost useful as rich manure in agriculture fields. An Indian patent no. (1717/DEL/2008) has been filed for the Innovation. His manufacturing unit is registered as Dhonshi Mechanization.

5.Automatic Pump Operator : The machine consists of three basic units:- 1.Water level sensor unit for overhead tank: It consists of two floats and electrical signaling unit. Based on level of water in tank (empty/full) different signals are activated and fed to control unit. 2.Water level sensor unit for reservoir/water source: In normal cases the pump starts once the water level in overhead tank falls below the threshold/reserved level and stops when it is filled up. Sometimes it happens that the water source is empty, which results burning of motor winding. Whenever the water level sensor unit for overhead tank sends signal to control unit for switching on the pump, this unit (2) checks the water level in the source and send feedback, also when the pump is running (overhead tank is not completely filled) but there is no water in source, it sends signal to control unit for switching off the pump. 3.Control unit: This is the main unit of the system, which receives signals from water level sensor units and switchs on/off the pump accordingly.

For More Details Click Here

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Ennovent launches its Online Global Network


The online network will connect entrepreneurs, investors and experts to make an impact at the base of the pyramid

ennovent, a for-profit enterprise, has launched its Global Network at This online network connects entrepreneurs, investors and experts to discover, finance and scale for-profit innovations for sustainability at the base of the economic pyramid. The Network will mainly focus on India and will cater to innovations in five key sectors: energy, food, water, health and education.

The Global Network offers the following benefits for individuals and companies:

•Entrepreneurs – Showcase your solution and attract investors and experts
•Investors – Present your fund and find potential investments and experts
•Experts – Offer your service and get business or volunteer opportunities

A unique service of the platform is called Requests, which allows members to crowd source resources from the network. A seeker posts a request for support, which ranges from looking for volunteers, lawyers, accountants to raising funds etc. This request is sent to relevant members in the network using a matching algorithm. A connector (someone who knows of help) or a solver (who can directly help) responds with their support and gets the promised reward. Seekers are asked to pay a fair price to ennovent for making the connection to the solver, a new revenue model called FairPay.

ennovent also offers Challenges to clients to discover entrepreneurs with the best solutions to solve local problems of sustainability at the base of the economic pyramid. Each Challenge awards the best solutions with an investment, grant or a non-monetary reward. Connectors who nominate winning solutions can also receive a reward for the nomination!

If you are an enterprise with a solution, an investor investing to make an impact or an expert offering services, the Global Network will help you fulfil your needs.

Register for free at to make an impact!

About ennovent
ennovent promotes for-profit innovations for sustainability at the base of the economic pyramid. We bring together entrepreneurs, investors and experts to discover, finance and scale up the best innovations in energy, water, food, health and education. We are guided by strong ethical values and strive to fill a valued niche in the effort to solve problems of sustainability in developing countries.

For more details you can contact Archana Verma at

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In Conversation with the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem!


Last week I spent most of my time in Mumbai meeting some very passionate entrepreneurs, investors and other key players in the ecosystem.

1. Prof Girish Saraph, CEO & Founder, Vegayan Systems – His story is an absolute reflection of the determination, courage, perseverance exemplified by true world class entrepreneurs. Prof. Saraph started this company in 2005, and managed to keep the company afloat by bootstrapping and its only now that after countless testing/pilots etc that he has got revenue pouring into the company. Again a clear testimony that you always get the fruits for your labor. Today he is doing successful revenue generating projects with companies like Vodafone and others.

So what does the Vegayan Systems do? It essentially is a supplier of advanced networking products and integrated solutions that enhances the functionality, performance and management of core IP/MPLS networks. It provides software overlay solutions, which encompass network operations, traffic engineering, analysis, planning and service provisioning. Vegayan offers solutions for both service provider and enterprise networks.

2. Sasha Mirchandani – Kae Capital – Sasha better known as the founder of Mumbai Angels, a passionate investor who has done several early stage deals. Mumbai Angels which started with 10 investors (including founding members), 1 investee company (mkhoj – now inmobi) and 0 employees, has now grown to 75 members, 17 investee companies (with 4 successful exits/funding). Sasha focuses on consumer internet, mobile, media, entertainment and knowledge process outsourcing and is an active investor in this space.

3. Vishal Gondal, CEO & Founder, Indiagames – Was a gracious host for Triggr the Game a technology event platform that we organize every month on different themes. The previous editions covered “Triggr the Web”, “Triggr the Products”, “Triggr the Mobile”. In 1999, he founded Indiagames, then a five member team. Today he leads a global operation with over 300 employees and offices in Mumbai, Beijing, London and Los Angeles making Indiagames one of the leading mobile game companies globally. He is recognized as being instrumental in starting and growing the Gaming Industry in India. Besides being a successful entrepreneur Vishal is also an active angel investor! Read his post on “Playing the Number Game” where he talks about his personal experiences in successfully executing his business plan and making his entrepreneurial journey a true success.

Key Lessons:-
1. Compass and not a navigational map
2. People and not numbers
3. GUT not the BRAIN
4. Trust v/s qualifications
5. Journey not the destination
6. Story not a Formula
7. Relationships and not deals

Do check out Vishal’s Blog – God in Chief

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[The Startup Centre] Call for Resident Programme Closing soon


My dear friend Vijay Anand has launched the Resident Programme which is a Co-working Initiative by The Startup Centre. The initiative is primarily driven to accomodate founding teams of early stage startups that are probably working on their ideas, and prototypes and in most circumstances stand to benefit in the company of like minded entrepreneurs who are also building products.

The Resident programme, will function in batches and the call for applications for the first batch are open and will close on April 22nd. They are looking for 10 – 15 Teams (20 individual in total) who will be working out of the TSC premises. This would be out of our premise in Chennai at the Alsa Mall in Egmore.

There is a certain cost attached to it. Single Founders working out of there will be charged a monthly fee of Rs. 7500 and Two founder teams will be charged Rs. 10,000 per month and the period of this service is for a period of six months. The intent is that in six months once your prototype, and first set of clients are identified, and as the team expands, it might be time to move out. And Yes we are purposefully leaning towards two founder teams (a startup might be too much for one person)

10 Compelling Reasons for You to be Part of the TSC Resident Program – I could not but agree more on this, we need similar initiatives in other cities in India.

1.Imagine a Hackathon/BarCamp like environment everyday of the year! It’s Entrepreneurs working as if their life depends on it everyday—sitting, maybe at the edge of their seats, at home reading TechCrunch and wondering what’s happening in Silicon Valley. At TSC, you are not alone; you’ll have buddies who are entrepreneurs themselves, some of them at the same stage like you.

2. A group of Entrepreneurs who have their “babies” (ideas just taking shape as a startup) at the same stage of business progression similar to yours provide a fantastic “buddy” support system to sharpen your idea and deepen your business value proposition. Most ideas simply are shallow to survive the first cut of market reality. But you’d have to be around awesome Entrepreneurs, like at TSC, to help you craft a go-to-market strategy like a knife through butter.

3. Entrepreneurs learn something new everyday, and they learn things the hard way, maybe through experiences. But how about making your learning curve shorter? With a group of Entrepreneurs around you to give their experience in TSC, you will refrain from a mis-steps straightaway. And learning something new from their experience is invaluable. If the beta testing of TSC is anything to go by, we are learning something new, just by being an observer.

4. The Hub at TSC aggregates the energy of the Local Startup Ecosystem and cross- functional learning. Don’t miss out! Be at the Centre of it.

5. Share and Borrow the skill sets of each other at TSC. If you are a designer, trade that skill for someone’s skill to architect your system. We know you might not have the money to hire people, but you might have a skill to trade. Hustling is part of the Startup process.

6. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. It may be a moment’s weakness in which you might give up or laze around a target. At TSC, experienced Mentors are around to poke and nudge when required, to keep you on target. They won’t do your work for you, but will certainly keep you on track when you need a voice of reason.

7. Form the Apex of the Startup Ecosystem and the Benefit of Association, with a brand that carries the trust of people who have been pioneers of the Indian Startup Ecosystem. Need to say more?

8. Leverage the TSC brand to attract talent, be it interns or a workforce to take your vision forward.

9. Public opinion would tell you that we are based out of a location that’s quite close to the heart of the city—in a kickass address, with proximity to eateries that are up through the night and importantly at a cost that is startup- friendly!

10. Did we tell you that we have an accelerator programme coming up? Rumor is that some of these companies will make the cut to be part of that, if not, still go on to become great companies in their own way.

So there are less than four more days to go, so please the earlier you apply, the earlier you get a meeting, and the verdict. Make use of it, before its too late.

Applications are open at

For more details on The Startup Centre log on too:-

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Kanwal Rekhi – Reasons for the Success & Failure of Businesses!


Creating a successful business is more than just waving a magic wand and hoping to hit a home run. So how does a small company become successful? Contrary to popular belief, the success rate for small businesses isn’t all that bad. The latest statistics show that “two-thirds of new employer establishments survive at least two years, and 44% survive at least four years.” This is a far cry from the previous long-held belief that 50% businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail within five years.

While a lot has been written and debated on the factors that go into making a business successful, we have the privilege of having the master practitioner – Kanwal Rekhi to help us decipher this universal phenomenon and get clear insights which will go a long way in helping our business be a success.

Kanwal Rekhi a serial Entrepreneur, Angel Investor & Venture Capitalist is the Managing Partner at Inventus Capital, an early stage VC fund. He has invested in over 60 start-ups including Exodus Communications, Apptivity, Zietnet, PlaceWare, HealthAtoA NexTag Ambit Design, Versata, Instantis and Sierra-Atlantic. Kanwal is also the founding member of TiE.

Kanwal was awarded the 2010 Haridas and Bina Chaudhuri Award for Distinguished Service in April 2010 by California Institute of Integral Studies. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1987 by the Arthur-Young/Venture magazine. He was named to the Board of Advisors to the President of Michigan Tech and in 1997 was honoured with a doctorate in Business and Engineering.

Join us on the 25th of March, 2011 at PHD Chamber of Commerce as per details below:
Registration: 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Networking Hi-tea: 4:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Session along with Q&A: 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Delegate Fees:
Members of TiE – Rs 200/-
Non – Members – Rs 300/-

To register please click here

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TiE Investor Meet – Featuring SAIF Partners


TiE Delhi-NCR is hosting the Investor Showcase an initiative to connect investors to high potential entrepreneurs. The Showcase will highlight one investor and provide a unique platform for entrepreneurs to understand the investor’s areas of interest & investment philosophy.

This showcase will feature SAIF Partners, one of leading investors comprising an enviable portfolio that comprises MakeMyTrip, One97, JustDial, NSE and Network18 among others.

The Investor Showcase will enable you to discuss your current & future growth plans and funding requirements with best of breed investors. Needless to say, the limited seats on offer will run out fast! Confirm your participation now to get to know SAIF Partners like never before and interact with some of the investee companies to get a first hand account.

Date: 3rd March,2011
Time: 7pm followed by cocktails & dinner
Venue: Magnolia, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

For More Details & Registration Click Here

About SAIF Partners

SAIF Partners is a venture capital firm that is sector and stage agnostic. SAIF is extremely active in early stage technology-enabled businesses. SAIF was the first institutional investor in companies such as MakeMyTrip (Consumer Internet), One97 (Mobile VAS), JustDial (Local Search), and HomeShop18 (eCommerce). The fund has strong experience of investing in companies at an early stage and helping them through multiple rounds of financings and eventually an IPO.

SAIF is growth investor in companies like Catmoss (Apparel Retail), Speciality Restaurants, Network18 (Media & Broadcasting), TV9 (Media & Broadcasting), Veta (Education), SIFY and IL&FS Investmart.

SAIF currently manages $4.0 billion across funds and is actively seeking investment opportunities in early stage and growth stage businesses.

What can the budget do for the angel ecosystem?


Saurabh Srivastava has beautifully articulated a set of core recommendations which should go a long way in encouraging the angel and entrepreneurial ecosystem in India. He argues for a thriving MSME sector we need to create a policy environment that would encourage the creation of more seed funds or early stage funds.

Couple of highlights from his post on

- Getting higher equity participation to facilitate better debt-equity mix;
- Encouraging MSMEs to go global and increase their exports;
- Entering into foreign technical collaborations for improving competitiveness.
- The government could have a program on the lines of the highly successful Yozma scheme which was responsible for triggering off early stage funding in Israel, by using some public funds to create more early stage venture funds in the public private model. Similarly, some public funding could be used to help spawn more business angel groups in the country to complete the entrepreneurial ecosystem for nurturing SMEs.Setting up of a separate SME Exchange or platform in an existing Stock Exchange to provide exit route to an angel or venture capital investor, along the lines of AIM, UK.

- Allowing listing of angel/venture capital Funds on the existing Stock Exchanges. This is critical as such funds invest in a seed stage company which is unlikely to be able to go public or be large enough to be acquired in 3 to 5 years. However, the typical portfolio of 15 or 20 investee companies of such a fund would collectively have the required valuation net worth and listing the fund would provide a return to the investors thus encourage more such funds to come up.Besides this there are non-financial issues like liability of an individual Director on the Boards of angel or venture capital Fund which need to be addressed.

To read the complete story, click here.

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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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