196th 1M/1M Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Do Your Competitive Analysis
During today’s roundtable, we had a wide variety of businesses.
First up, Hary Kalra from Santa Clara, California, pitched Positive Axis, a recruitment concept whereby he wants to build relationships with some candidates and represent them with employers.
The closest comparable, although a far more deeply thought through business, is DeveloperAuction, a brainchild of 99Designs founder Matt Michiewicz.
Next, Karan Ahuja from Mumbai, India, pitched Choiceman, a comparison shopping engine for gadgets that not only do price and feature comparison, but also user experience comparison. We discussed the implementation at length, which I believe is extremely challenging.
The market is also thoroughly crowded. The closest comparable that came to my mind is Wize, a company we profiled a long time back.
Then, Clark Richter from Chicago, Illinois, pitched Channel Navigator, an information service a la Hoovers/ D&B for the IT channel market. I fully resonated with the fact that there are many IT vendors looking for channel partners, and there is no reliable service to do the research on who are legitimate potential partners.
Last up, Lindsey Guest from San Francisco, California, pitched BeautyArmy, a beauty personalization service that takes profile input and configures a personalized store, drawing from the product catalogs of thousands of online beauty merchants.
The business model is affiliate fee plus sample subscriptions, and the company is already doing $830,000 in revenue (bootstrapped).
Lindsey wants to raise money now. Her financing strategy seems off to me, though. Given her metrics, she needs to raise a Series A, not seed, and certainly not on a convertible note.
Also, I had to fly out right after last week’s roundtable, and didn’t have a chance to recap the presentations.
Here they are:
Misha Beskin from Israel, pitched Feedback Sign, a customer feedback gathering platform for small retail, hospitality, restaurant type businesses. The closest comparable I could think of is Medallia, a company that we’ve covered extensively on the 1M/1M blog.
Also, Varoon Rajani from Pune, India, pitched BlazeClan, an Amazon AWS consulting services company out of India that is ramping nicely and is doing about $500k this year. We discussed growth strategy for the business, including how to productize parts of the business, rather than just depending on services.
You can find the recording of last week’s roundtable here.
Sramana Mitra is the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative, a virtual 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.