VisionWiz had a Q&A with its founder Sramana Mitra, Founder of One Million by One Million.
1. What was the impetus behind creating such a tool?
sm: Since the fall of 2008, we have been hosting FREE online strategy roundtables on Thursday mornings, 8am Pacific Time. On June 30, we will be hosting our 89th roundtable. During each 60+ minute roundtable, up to five entrepreneurs pitch their businesses and ask questions and receive real-time feedback and coaching.
All attendees can join in on the conversations via a live chat. Based on coaching over 400 entrepreneurs at these roundtables, it was obvious to me that there is a set of questions that most early stage entrepreneurs are struggling with, and we have designed an extensive curriculum to address these issues. This self-assessment tool is based on those questions and that curriculum.
2. Who do you see as being your primary/targeted user?
sm: We work with all sorts of tech, online, and mobile businesses. We also work with outsourcing companies, online education and healthcare IT companies. Cloud computing is a big part of our portfolio. All these categories are essentially aligned with the major trends of our industry today. We have a very specific methodology of lean, capital efficient entrepreneurship, and we don’t really like startups that need to raise gobs of venture capital out of the gate.
As you know, 99% of the startups that go out to raise money get rejected, and we focus on helping our entrepreneurs learn how to play this low probability game efficiently and well.
3. Do you have statistics on whether or not this new system has seen much traffic?
sm: Based on just one week’s data, the new tool seems to have climbed to the top of our content pages. So I have to believe we’ve hit a nerve with it. In general, I think it would be a lot better for entrepreneurs to calibrate themselves against the tool before going out and hitting an unnecessary wall and wasting investor meetings.
4. What other sorts of tools do you offer that are similar to this one, if any?
sm: The One Million by One Million program consists of a comprehensive set of tools and services for $1000 annual membership fee. The fee includes the assessment tool, and also has an extensive curriculum (core and electives).
We recommend that entrepreneurs spend 50-60 hours digesting the curriculum, and they would have a very structured, clear view of their roadmap. In addition, we have the public (FREE) and private roundtables, that are essentially strategy consulting sessions. We also make investor introductions, customer,channel partner, media, and analyst introductions, and pretty much connect all possible dots for the 1M/1M companies.
It’s a powerful program, and we already have a good number of very satisfied customers. One of our entrepreneurs just won a $40k grant from Microsoft. Others have found large channel partners, or extensive exposure to the constituency they are trying to reach, including investors. We do a lot of work with positioning, one of the weakest areas that I see startups are constantly struggling with.
5. What Basically You Aim For?
We aim to nurture a million entrepreneurs to each reach a million dollars in annual revenue and beyond, through education, incubation, strategy consulting, coaching, mentoring, business development, media outreach, and access to capital.
Register here for Self-Assessment Tool For Entrepreneurs
Riley McderMid has worked for The New York Times as syndicated reporter where she covered venture capital funding trends across Silicon Valley and the larger start-up community.
In past, she has worked for Markets Media Deputy Editor, contributing author for Venture Beats and also worked for MarketWatch as investment banking reporter where she covered investment banking and private equity trends.