201st 1M/1M Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Investors Fund Businesses, Not Concepts
During today’s roundtable, we had a couple of formal slide presentations, and a number of shorter dialogues.
First, Thelson Richardson from Miami, Florida, pitched Direct Dialect, a language teaching application. Thelson started off by saying that he wants to build 700 products that covers English to Spanish, Dutch to French and every other permutation under the sun.
I spent the allotted time explaining to Thelson, this is not how companies are built. He needs to build ONE product and figure out how to bring it to market at the face of serious competition from players like Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur.
Thelson, also, has the same misconception about funding as we see often from many other entrepreneurs: he thinks he can raise money based on a half-baked concept. Forget about half-baked concept, concept financing is not even viable these days for fully baked concepts.
Later, Aknath Mishra from India, pitched Perkmart, a network of retail stores in rural India that, instead of being stocked with merchandise, would have a computer display with an operator who helps customers order goods online.
What’s missing from Aknath’s analysis is what those products would be. Naturally, it would not be products that the local kirana store carries. There needs to be differentiation and scarcity for villagers to want to try a new, unfamiliar method.
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 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.