January 22, 2008

Ten tips for Effective Presentations

During the initial session of HeadStart, I just remembered about what Guy Kawasaki conveyed in one of his presentations that "When you are pitching someone, you should ensure that you have a backup copy of the presentation in either a USB or some other device".This is what was missing during some of the presentations in Headstart where presenters had to spend some time in making things work smile

While reading "Entrepreneur's Toolkit from Harvard Business Press", just came across an interesting article on Making effective presentations , which are listed below:

1. Don't hand out anything until the presentation is over-your audience will look through the materials and not listen to you.

2. Explain the deal right from the start. For example: "We are raising $X by selling common shares at $Y per share-that represents a Z percent stake in the company."
With this, the prospective financiers will want to know how you came up with the Z percent figure and why you priced it at $Y per share.

3. How is the company valued and how did you figure it out?

4. Who currently owns what share or percentage , and what did they put into the company in return for those shares? What options or warrants have been issued or proposed?

5. Explain the idea and competitive niche as if your prospective investors were customers to whom you were selling the product or service.Don't give a technical explanation.

6. A chronological marketing plan is critical.Explain in detail [not in generalities], how you are going to produce the sales.

7. Describe in detail how the investor's money would be used.

8. Explain why the current management team is successful and if, they have a long stint of successes.Why do you need Angels or VC's.

9. Don't tell them that the exit strategy is going to be an IPO or a private sale to another company or merger unless, someone on your management team has done that before, or unless you have the details as to how the goal would be accomplished.

10. Have your current financials available for examination, no matter how ugly they are.

Lastly, if anyone is planning to startup on your own or join an early stage startup, than this book is a must read since, it would take you through the complete process in a startup right from starting up to raising money to Equity distribution and so on.....

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January 21, 2008

HeadStart in a Nutshell ...

Had a very busy and Entrepreneurial Friday as well as weekend !!!.There was an interesting Entrepreneurship event at 'Indian Institute Of Science,Bangalore' namely HeadStart.

Though the dates of HeadStart and Proto overlapped with each other, there was quite a decent crowd and a great Panel [which included Entrepreneurs as well as VCs].Hats of to the organizers of the event !!!

Though, I could not blog the event live, there were certain very interesting topics , some of which I have recorded on my PMP smile and are given below:

Ram Shriram , Founder of Sherpalo Ventures:
Ram Shriram expressed his views on Internet and the changing scene of Internet. He also touched upon Mobile v/s internet and why the mobile market is so hot in India smile

He was on a webcast from his Menlo Park office and it was a great privilege to listen to this initial investor in Google...

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Srini Vudayagiri , MD of LightSpeed Ventures:
Srini Vudayagiri gave a very interesting presentation on Identifying and validating business opportunities. His presentation covered on all aspects of Opportunity, right from Ideation to Delivery. It also gave a lot of insight into how VC's fund, how they are smile and some of the other aspects of VC funding !!!

The most interesting question that he asked the audience was "Which is the largest VC firm in the world".....and guess what, the answer is Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)

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Ganapathy Subramanium, Ex VC & founder of MyDuniya:
Ganapathy Subramanium, founder of startup MyDuniya and an ex VC with ICICI ventures and JumpStartup, gave an interesting session on Startup Funding.The most interesting statement which he made during his entire session was : "There are 3 kinds of people who would fund your business at a very early stage namely 3F's [Friends , Family, Fools]" .... So, is he referring Angel Investors/Seed Investors as Fools wink Enjoy the complete session below...

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a. There might be some disturbance in certain , part of the audio so please bear for the same.But definitely these sessions are worth listening !!!
b. Harinath Pudipeddi has blogged the event live and is an excellent reference of the entire event.You can refer to Day 2 sessions here & here and Day 3 sessions here & here.

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January 13, 2008

Nano : Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid ?

First of all , to start on a personal note : Had been away from my life(or should I say My blog for close to a month) with lot of things happening on the other side of my life. This would be my very first article in the New Year and by no means is ThoughtsPrevail dead smile and the article , which would mark the start of my New Year [of blogging] would be the People's Car : Nano

Just as Prof CK Prahalad says "There is fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid [BOP]" and with close to 300 to 400 million people lying in the Middle Class arena, there is always a market of a product/service , which is targeted to this class of population.First it was Reliance which brought us the so called People's phone; ask any engaged person and the only way "They" would be communicating with each other is Reliance[cheap , convenient and great plans].Things changed and suddenly we have seen every person be it Paanwala, Saabziwala [vegetable seller] in India carrying a mobile phone !!!

Would the same revolution come with the so called People's car Nano. This is definitely a proud moment for India and IMHO, there is also a Social Entrepreneurship attached to the Nano.Social in the sense that it would make CAR accessible to the common man but at the same time, we need to ask ourselves "Is our Infrastructure ready for the Nano?". There are number of blogs and newspapers that have already mentioned about Nano, but one article in Economic Times was very interesting:

Small excerpt from the article :
Clearly, populism and massive state subsidy can’t match a well thought out business strategy that has profit as the motive. And as CK Prahalad, the management guru who’s inspired many of the Tata Group’s low cost, affordability-based products and services, would readily point out that looking for fortune at the bottom of the pyramid is not an altruistic mission but a way to sustainable profitability.
As the article suggests , there is a lot of fortune at the BOP since, you get the Social Entrepreneurship angle working in your favor. There are already other automobile makers who have decided to join this bandwagon but for the time being Nano can enjoy the first Mover advantage smile .

First it was Reliance , Air Deccan and now it is Tata's Nano who have hit the BOP , so now only time and middle class would decide the fate of the Nano...till that time, let us keep our fingers crossed and hope that this Nano at least fares well than the rotten part of Apple [ the Nano ] wink

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