My company is being incubated by Microsoft ventures for the Accelerator Program. Its been an exciting one month, and another couple more to go. The things I have learned just being around the founding teams of 16 start ups, mentors, established players in the industry as well as entrepreneurs who have “made it big” has changed caused a paradigm shift.
We have been meeting a whole bunch of angel investors and venture capitalists. Reputation has it that these are the biggest, meanest sharks out there. They are interested in one thing, and one thing only: MORE MONEY.
They expect your baby business [which you love, which grows, which changes every day] to be some kind of inanimate black box. This black box – doesn’t matter who, what, where, when or how – but they want to put in $100 and get back $150. And they want it quick.
Knowing everything we knew, we created our PPTs, full of numbers, charts, proof that our idea could be that little black box they were looking for.
Standing infront of them. The first question they asked us was: “WHY?” Why this business, why did you start it? Why do your customers need it?
We looked at each other – this was so unexpected.
After that meeting, I talked to the rest of the companies – and the first question thrown at them was the same.
And when you ask that question, the most exciting stories come up. Answers like:
1. I wished I knew how to dress better, but can’t afford a stylist.
Business: Voonik.com ; your personal stylist online for free
2. I wished my mom could sell her home cooked food and it could reach out to more people:
Business: imly.in ; an online store where home chefs can set up store fronts and foodies can discover home food around them
3. I wish I could access my contacts from anywhere
Business: Intouch ; a way to auto sync your contacts from all your accounts across all email ids, phones, tablets etc with a single app.
What I love is that they changed their “I wish” to an “I do”.
We all use these same words, but more often than not, our wishes remain wishes because we are waiting for someone else to fulfil it.
The biggest businesses, the best entrepreneurs and the things that have shaped out lives started with a wish. Next time you say these words, you may want to think about how many other people may have the same wish, and you might just have the idea that changes the world.
Happy wishing, happy changing the world.