Founders at OCC, and a few break through Insights

December 23rd will be one of the memorable days in the history of OCC. For the first time since the inception in August, we had more folks who are founders/co founders of companies than those who are planning to. There were 7 startups and the discussions that ensued was simply of real quality. There were two key insights from this meeting. Read on for more.

We had an informal discussions for the first forty minutes then we decided to get on a round where each of the founders talk about their startups.

DyAnsys is a medical instrumentation company. Gunasekaran a co founder is an active participant of both OCC Chennai and OCC Bangalore was present. DyAnsys is mainly into manufacturing and marketing low cost medical instruments.

udrool is to launch it's products in first quarter next year. The co founder Vaasu had some great insights into Marketing and why all startups should have a marketing guy in the founding team. Later on in the discussion he provided some great insights. udrool is the company which has a few products in pipeline and has technological offerings from a consumer perspective in the domain of sales, content aggregation etc.

adventure advertising solutions is a web design, graphic design, marketing, brand building company. Harsha one of the co founders is a very passionate guy. These folks have done some good work and are on an expansion path.

Steadfast has a product called Pactus is
"an application aimed at SMBs handling product sales, service and contracts. It is an “easy to install and simple to use” CRM Software".We had Anand, one of the co founders with us. An organically built company, now on the way to move to the next level.

flipkart is an online book store. It boasts of pretty huge collection of books and decent UI for the site. The founders Binny, Sachin launched this a few months back and have done a good job so far.

maxheap is a technology company and they are launching a product in the sphere of social networking. They launched a networking site for residents of an apartment by the name Common Floor. An interesting concept of building a site for an existing community of apartment owners. Sumit and Lalit the cofounders have done a good job and with the vision they have for the product let's keep our fingers crossed and watch them.

muziboo the original music sharing site which promises to get you an audience. Prateek and Nithya who recently got featured in Economic Times for their startup promis to provide an audience for your latent musical talents.

Take Aways:
i) Include a Marketing person in your founding team. Most of us being techies ignore this fundamental requirement that we need good marketing folks on the floor. Vaasu has rightly pointed out that there is a huge gap in Indian startups in the founders abilities in technology and marketing.

ii) This is one of the favorite topics around. What social networking models will work out. maxHeap with their CommonFloor is doing something that I haven't seen any of the Indian social networking startups do. Provide a platform for already existing apartment communities. This and ensuing discussion let me to the following key point on what kind of social networks will succeed in India.

Traditionally we in India have a a large number of communities. My family network, my work network, and a lot of other networks. We are different from the western society in that, we are a community based society than an individual based society. However, what we see in the social networking space is companies trying to push the US specific individual social networking platforms in our community based society. What we need is products which identify the problems which existing communities face and address those issues. CommonFloor is one step in this direction. I am sure companies which figure this out will be the ones which will make a mark.

iii) The other hot discussion topic is the gap between the VC's and the angel's in India. We all agree that their needs to be more and more angel's than VC's. But, most of the discussions stop at discussing this point than offering a solution. Vaasu has a very good idea which I feel is very practical and will take the entrepreneurial activity in this country to a different level. For now read on how Vaasu addresses the issue.

"India needs not USD 40 billion VC funds, but 40 million angel funds. There is an imbalance that needs to be addressed in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem.

google had a Ram Shriram much before they had a VC. What India needs are many more such Ram(s). Where are they ? There are just a handful of angels or angel firms to to the dozens of VCs. A clear imbalance in the ecosystem.

A proposal should be made to the Govt of India to give a tax break for anyone or any company that makes a seed investment with a ceiling of USD 1 million. Or be even bolder and pardon black money that gets invested as seed capital The administrative mechanism can work on similar lines of giving money to charity.

This will inspire the many hidden Rams, who want a little incentive to make the leap. Bodies like TIE and NEN can channel these seed funds, as individual angels might not know the process.

We need the support of the press to champion this cause along with Entrepreneurs. Imagine an India bustling with entrepreneurs ! Isn't that what built America ?

Brood over it. A simple but very practical stuff according to me.

I will write about this in more detail in a later post.

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