Inviting articles on Entrepreneurship for CSI Pune’s September Seminar

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CSI Pune is planning a half-day seminar on Entrepreneurship in September, and with it they will also publish their Desktalk newsletter, on the same topic. Anjali Gupta of Bookeazy, one of the driving forces behind the Pune OpenCoffee Club, is the guest editor of this issue of Desktalk.

You are invited to submit articles of interest to entrepreneurs, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in general. The following is a list of suggested topics, but feel free to write on any other subject that goes with the theme. The article needs to be submitted by end of August, to deodhar [dot] swati [at] gmail [dot] com.

The right advisor at the right time made all the difference.

The article must highlight the importance of getting the right advisors for the company early in its lifecycle, recognizing which advisors are necessary and when to listen to them. Or it could highlight a negative experience with bad advice. Also, the necessity to change or add advisors at different phases of the company’s evolution.

An entrepreneur must be very flexible and very stubborn.

Entrepreneurial judgment is the ability to tell the difference between a situation that’s not working but persistence will ultimately prove it out, versus a situation that’s not working and additional effort is a destructive waste of time. An article highlighting either situation or both at different times in the company’s life would be useful to compare and contrast.

Venture capital – the good, the bad, the ugly.

Understanding the mechanics of the VC industry. A profitable business need not always be venture fundable. Only certain businesses need and are suited for venture money. What else besides the money should be evaluated in a good VC?

Five Reasons not to start a company.

Article must highlight and recognize how much pain and effort it involves to start a company and then deliver shareholder value. Being good at something, working on my hobby, having a good idea, wanting flexible timing, or being good at managing people, are not reasons to build companies. What you build must have a path for sustained growth and profitability.

Avoiding the Founders’ bias.

Will your pre-starting work years really count or harm? Every company’s DNA is strongly colored by founders background and prejudices especially in the initial years. Those from a tech background will hire developers first and write code. That need not be the best way to approach the market. Experiences from tech entrepreneurs who’ve had to change themselves to be businessman and not technologists.

Product companies must embrace failure first and cash much later.

Building a successful tech product company i.e. build once, sell many times, is different from building a services company. Very rarely will your first product be successful, most of the times it will just tell you what not to do the second time around. Experiences and learnings from those who have switched from one to the other or built one type of company or both forms in the same company

It’s the stuff that’s not on your business plan that will trouble you the most.

It’s not the assumptions on the business plan but the unknowns that are not even on your sheet that entrepreneurs need to worry about. An experience highlighting how the unknowns unfolded and how to start looking for them early by talking to potential customers, partners or suppliers, competitors, etc.

How will Technology Entrepreneurship benefit India?

What technologies and/or companies will comprise of the next wave of social change in India? Will they still be service-oriented? Or, will they look a lot more like Products from the West with a distinct Indian flavor? The purpose of this is to suggest answers to the conundrum – is India really a potential large market for Technology Entrepreneurs?

India’s Export to the Rest of the World through Entrepreneurship

What is India’s contribution to rest of the World in this day and age? India’s unique problems, social structure, youth, education and culture have resulted in a very different impact on the rest of the world. The aim of this topic is to highlight and analyze startups/companies that have the potential of making a global impact by solving hard problems within an Indian context.

Is there indeed a fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid?

… that requires Entrepreneurs to make a paradigm shift in what is conventional thought? Are we doing enough to encourage failure, experimentation and retrial – all very necessary to encourage entrepreneurship at this level?

The art of the Start for to-be-Entrepreneurs

(and the state of that art in India): Starting a Company is hard, what with an extremely competitive environment and an unforgiving social attitude towards failure. The intention of this broad topic is to highlight the key elements of the startup ecosystem in India – How do I fund my dream (Angel Investors, Friends, Family, Bootstrapping, Venture Capital)? Getting a Business Plan together, what are the key elements of a good business plan? etc.

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