Last week, I was an invited mentor to the Startup Pulse event, organized by Inc42 . It was an interesting experience for me personally.
1) From the start of 2015, I've been keenly following the India start-up ecosystem, and keen to play a part. This was my first opportunity to do that!
2) I was the only woman mentor to be part of the 16 mentors! :)
3) Looking back, this opportunity landed at my door-step purely by the power of my writing and networks. So there is power in words and the power in networks.
Some lessons I took away from the event:
1) Dream Big, The Vision Matters | Key to taking the start-up route is to dream big, and think of how your idea can solve a problem, change the world and make a difference. Others might not agree / support, and that is probably the best indication that you are on the right path
2) Understanding the overall "business/ financials" is important | You need to know how to make money, and how to make money work for you. Some comes from learning and some from experience. But key is to stay on top of numbers
3) The idea matters, But execution even more | So you need to have a great team to take your idea to reality. Invest in the right founding team. That can be the only reason for you to have a fair shot at success
4) Women Entrepreneurs rock | I'm also totally amazed to see a new breed of no-nonsense women entrepreneurs who know what they want and how to get there.. Totally kick-ass women, and first time I am seeing many of them - who are surely but steadily growing their businesses...
5) Embrace Technology | I'm always happy to see how so many solutions are based purely on the power of technology . Some of them have used it in ways that will really blow your mind. I love how so many innovative mobile apps are coming up every single day! I also love how there are so many "marketplace" apps.. Like neither do they own the consumers / suppliers - They just build platforms to bring everyone together - from art, to education, to legal help.. range / diversity is awesome...
6) Age Matters | Average age of founders is between 24 to 30 years. Mostly single / newly married. I think your risk taking appetite reduces with age, unless you have nothing really to lose
7) Personal Finances should be planned | Don't get into loans, EMI's, etc. / buy things you don't need / can't afford. 3 years don't expect to take home too much, Have a fund to take care of regular expenses.. That way, you are not worrying about how to pay the bills..
Just my thoughts. Comments welcome..