200th 1M/1M Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Startup Mentoring Takes Patience
Of course, today’s roundtable is a major milestone in the history of 1M/1M. It reminds me of our baby-steps and experiments early on in 2008, long before 1M/1M came into being. There is always a bit of poignancy in celebrating such milestones.
You can read our synthesis: Mentoring Startups: 10 Lessons We Have Learned.
All I can say is that it has taken immense patience and commitment to get this far!
First up, during today’s pitches, was Denise Abulafia from Buenos Aires, Argentina, pitching Educatina, a for-profit spin on the Khan Academy concept with video content in Spanish for K-12 and college level education developed by educators in Latin America. The site has 3 million visits a month, and is trying to monetize by creating an online tutoring service around its content.
I really like the approach, and have long thought that online tutoring holds tremendous potential, especially when supported by quality content.
Then, Nishant Prasad from Bangalore, India, pitched Clean Fanatic, a service for cleaning sofas, carpets, and soft furnishings. The company will do about INR 20 Lakhs (~ $40k) for the 2013-14 financial year, and Nishant is trying to determine his growth strategy. He is particularly worried about trust issues, including theft. Indeed, the brand of the company will suffer tremendously if the workers go into people’s houses and start stealing things.
The West, of course, has seen plenty of branded cleaning services, and today, such services are cropping up all over India as well. They all face this issue.
Alright Guys App
Last up, Ashvini Kumar from Kharagpur, India, pitched Alright Guys App. The concept-stage company – an online chat app – is Ashvini’s third. He had two concepts before, and developed software and both of them failed.
My take: please do not develop software without validating your concept. At 1M/1M, we follow very strict validation methodology, and typically, you should be able to invalidate some bad ideas upfront without writing a bunch of code.
You can find the recording of today’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 theEntrepreneur 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.