140th 1M/1M Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Hybrid Business Models

By Guest Post at September 1, 2012 | 8:25 am | Print

140th 1M/1M Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Hybrid Business Models

140th 1M/1M Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Hybrid Business Models

During today’s roundtable, we discussed a diverse range of businesses, the best of which has a hybrid business model, with a deep understanding of e-commerce and physical supply chains.


First, Christina Hall from San Diego, California, pitched LocalFitTank, a service for fitness centers to market their under filled classes to consumers with special discounts. Christina has eight gyms working with her on the proof of concept, and currently is working with the hypothesis that they would be paying 50% commission for selling the unsold, perishable inventory.

Next CJ Singh from Boise, Idaho, pitched ExpertBooth, a site where consumers can connect with Legal, Finance, Counseling, and Psychic experts for advice. The good news about CJ’s model is that he is making revenues right out of the gate. Currently about 400 experts across those categories are on the network, and 40 paid sessions have been completed.


Then Michael Rosenberg from San Francisco, California, pitched smashdeck, a UI layer on top of Salesforce.com to seriously cut down the number of clicks needed to get an overview of task lists and related information. To me, this feels like a feature of Salesforce.com, not a company.


Also, Lincoln Liu from Singapore pitched Twizone. Lincoln claims that he will enhance the image of the high end car dealerships in Singapore. However, he wasn’t really able to explain how, and what is the core value proposition of his service.

Sparkle Fashion

Last up, Pranay Srinivasan from Mumbai, India, pitched Sparkle Fashion, by far the more compelling of today’s pitches. Pranay has an existing contract manufacturing business in the apparel industry, catering to foreign customers. He has identified an excellent opportunity to create an e-commerce service for rural and small town clothing retailers to source merchandise at lower rates, and with easier logistics using a tablet computer interface and an online catalog. The business is intensely complicated operationally, but also extremely promising and well analyzed. I love it.

For India and the emerging markets where labor is cheap, hybrid business models that effectively combine the power of the Internet with human components to deliver value and address pain-points, are extremely interesting. Sparkle Fashion is a very good example of such an opportunity.

You can listen to the recording of today’s roundtable here.


Sramana Mitra is the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative, an educational, business development and incubation program that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond.

She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, she writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. From 2008 to 2010, Mitra was a columnist for Forbes. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. Sramana has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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