TiE launches All India Road Show on women Economic Empowerment

captureThe entire startup ecosystem is well aware of TiE and its programs for the benefit of the entire clan of startups. TiE Global is one of the world largest not for profit organization with the mission of fostering entrepreneurship.

This organization aims to get bigger and better in 2017 and keeping that in mind, they have launched the “All-India Road Show on Women’s Economic Empowerment through Entrepreneurship – Project AIRSWEEE.

The program’s objective is to unleash value creation amongst aspiring young women in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India by empowering them with knowledge of Entrepreneurship. The initiative has received funding support from the US Mission in India, US Department of State. Though the program will be conducted in 5 different locations of the country, yet participants from all over the country can apply to be a part of this.

Locations –

  • Telangana – Warangal
  • Tamil Nadu – Coimbatore
  • Rajasthan – Jaipur
  • Maharashtra – Nagpur
  • West Bengal – Durgapur

Each area will invite 25 participants and 5 participants from each group will be selected to receive 6 additional months of mentoring from USA and India based mentors through video conferencing. It will be a 3 days workshop.

Workshop format:

  • DAY 1 and DAY 2: In-person Mentoring by USA based experts who will travel to India
  • DAY 3: Mentoring by India based Expert

This AIRSWEEE Program has been initiated with a mission to promote entrepreneurship as a career option for women in smaller cities in India. Keeping in mind the fact that the entrepreneurs are from small cities and may not have a lot of funding to cover for the program, the organizers are going to bear all the costs are for this program – the program is free for the participants including Food, lodging and other logistical support.


Benefits for participants

Early stage women entrepreneurs will be highly benefitted by the expert guidance of U.S. based and Indian Origin Entrepreneurs advice and guidance. Participants will receive complimentary membership to the local TiE Chapter for a period of 1 year (In the case of Warangal workshop they will receive membership of TiE Hyderabad).

Event details:

  • To participate, you will have to fill the application form. You can fill it here.
  • Registration deadline: 27th January 2017

Women entrepreneurs from all over the country are invited to utilize this one of a lifetime opportunity. A women Entrepreneur can choose any city to participate.

5 bad habits to let go to succeed

capture“Success comes to those who work towards it!”

This is a well knowing saying and it actually holds true. Mere working will not make wonders happen, you have to work in the right direction and in the required ways to achieve the success that you have foresighted.

As an entrepreneur – you have a great idea, you have investors ready to invest, yet you are not able to achieve targets as per you potential! Wondering why? Well, to be frank, it might be because of the below thoughts and actions that you consciously or unconsciously imbibe in yourself and your daily routine –

#1: The fear that you are not perfect

It’s OK! Trust me, nobody in the world is perfect. Even Steve jobs had made mistakes and so did Mr. Ambani! Allow thyself to create things that are not perfect. Make multiple drafts of a single action plan, even though you know you won’t include some or most of what you’re doing. You always can edit what you’ve begun. Greatness comes from many failures and do-overs.

#2: You get distracted very easily

If just one call or a single push notification can take away your focus, then you’ll have to change this action IMMEDIATELY! To change this, avoid taking lot of short breaks. Do not interrupt yourself once you sit to work on serious and important things. Plan your things, and include breaks in the plan. Breaks will be the only time that will allow you sometime to make those phone calls, answer back to all pending texts and emails.

#3: Alarm rings? GET UP instead of hitting SNOOZE

This is where the procrastination in you begins. Just from a simple snooze of your alarm – it could be a wake up alarm or an alarm to remind you of something. Hitting the snooze will only make you lazier and will postpone your things that you were supposed to do at the moment. Several studies have shown that 15 minutes of extra snooze time in the morning won’t help you feel less tired. Scientists found a long time ago that you need deep REM sleep to recharge and have concluded that, “Snoozing actually makes you more tired and fatigued. Even worse, it wastes time you could spend drinking water, showering or exercising — activities all shown to increase energy levels.”

#4: You MULTITASK at most times

While multi tasking is good, it isn’t recommended at all times! Sometimes, there is a need for you to focus on one single thing at once to attain perfection in it. If you prefer to multi task everything at all times, you tend to miss giving attention to detail and this might result into huge blunder at some point. Studies have proven that multitasking reduces the amount of short-term memory you retain from your task. Over time, this reduces your amount of long-term memory as well.

#: 5You kick start your day with full energy that gradually tends to lower by the end of the day

Most people are at their best earlier in the day, before they’ve reached the brain fatigue of afternoon and evening. This is only because you have over stressed yourself during that day, that your body has no energy left by the end. It can also be because you have been sitting in for too long! In a sitting position, the spine becomes less flexible and in turn this puts strain on the lower back, shoulders and neck. It also reduces blood flow to the brain and lungs – and when this happens how are you going to expect your brain to function as quick as it would have otherwise?

Change all your bad habits become they have become your regular routine. Changing everything at once can seem to be impossible, but if you focus on one thing at a time and try to improve bit by bit, there will be one day where you will be far away from all the bad habits that you have today. You can’t outwork unhealthy patterns. The best way to ditch a bad habit is to embrace a good one in its place!

Hyderabad Goes Lean! #GetOutOfTheBuilding

On an average, there are about 300 million people trying to establish about 150 million businesses worldwide. One third of them will be launched, so we can safely assume 50 million new firms being born per year, making it 137,000 new businesses – worldwide, every single day!

To an entrepreneur, his startup is always a million-dollar-idea and has every potential to be the next “unicorn”. However, perception and reality are two different things, facts state that 3 out of every 4 startups fail and the investment goes down the drain. But what if there is a mechanism to stop this, to better the success rate of these entrepreneurs, and give them the power to validate their ideas before they actually make their investments? With this motive, Trevor Owens and Grace NG, co-founded a global mentorship program for seed stage ideas – The Lean StartUp Machine! This intensive three day workshop is NOT a hackathon. It is an aggressive method that teaches entrepreneurs and innovators to build disruptive products by implementing various lean methodologies.

This April, Microsoft brought The Lean Startup Machine to one of the top cities in the Indian Startup Ecosystem – Hyderabad! By stroke of luck, I was glad to be a part of the process and befriend 40 odd people participating with me and learn from their experiences.

Javelin_15Day 1 : The Javelin Board

The workshop kicked off with interesting pitches for 50 seconds by each participant, portraying the problem they wanted to solve. In awe inspiring interiors of T-Hub, ideas started pouring in. From simple solutions like letting clothes on rent, to more tech-heavy ideas like giving weather forecasts for the aviation industry – in no time there were myriad of ideas with different colors and flavors in that single room. By show of hands, the top 9 ideas made it through and all teams were given the fastest tool to go lean – The Javelin Board!

Being an ardent sports lover, I chose an idea that catered my interest. I happen to play badminton with my coach every morning and we often end up fighting whether the shuttle touched the boundary or not. What if we play with a shuttle that blinked every time it went out of the court? I pondered over the solution – and ‘YES’ was my answer. All geared up with my team, I ran my first lean experiment in 5 minutes! Just like the other teams, we developed on our problem hypothesis, solution hypothesis and marked out a series of assumptions which were core to the success of our business idea. I left for the day with the memory of new names, new partners and an idea in mind!

tumblr_maru141C1q1qa45zvDay 2: Get out of the Building!

It was time for me to run the experiment live! The difficulty lied in going up to a random person, figuring out his pain point and extracting information about his experience. Under the guidance of Rohith Veerajappa, Co-Founder at Wow Labs, I crafted the art of talking to our customers and how to use the data from customer exploration. And then – I got out of the building!

With the sun right above my head, my team and I headed to all those places where we could possibly find badminton players. We spoke to them, trying to understand the schedule of their practice sessions, how they wished to make the sessions better, and how important it is for them to know if the shuttle touched the boundary. After interviewing 15 odd players, we realized that none would actually wish to use an electronic shuttle. Having invalidated our idea, we came back to the building, hoping for the next solution.

Our food sponsors, ‘Built2Cook’ made sure to keep our tummies full, and I sat with my team again to analyze the next solution : What if the boundary blinked??

For this validation, we stepped out of the building again and repeated the process. With intriguing interviews and chit chats with players, our results proved that 13 out of 16 players wished to play in a court with electronic boundaries that actually blinked! Conclusion : Our idea turned into customers!

IMG_9750-e1439907057320-199x300Day 3 : Show me the Money!

Heading out of the interiors again, our task this time was to collect cash, emails, or any substantial record that people would want to pay for our service. We approached the Gopichand Badminton Academy for our final validation. Making our success criteria stronger, 3/4th of the players we interviewed wished to pay Rs 500 more on their memberships to implement our product. Conclusion : We got the money!

My day ended with delivering a presentation on the entire process and sharing the learnings.

The experience:

While entrepreneurs have their perceptions about customer problems, the Lean methodology helps get a reality check and validate the idea with real world customers before you invest into it. Once you have identified a genuine problem, that is when you focus on finding a solution, a solution that is also commercially viable.

I went into the program without any induction into the startup space. However, The Lean Startup Machine resonated with me. It offered me an entrepreneurial and energizing atmosphere to learn about startups and how to do it right. I was surrounded by others who were similarly engaged, mentors who understand Lean Methodology, and a fun atmosphere to sum it up as a memorable experience, igniting the passion of entrepreneurship in you. You not just enjoy the LSM experience but you come out of it as a more mature and confident entrepreneur.

Today I have an idea of developing life hack products. But I’ll have to test that hypothesis first.

Learnings for an entrepreneur from Kohli!

As Indians, we are currently drunk on the name ‘Virat Kohli’. Staying glued to our seats, when our man on strike, we always prove our loyalty towards the enthralling stroke play.

Having said that, there is a lot more than just ‘fan following’ behind this name.

Virat Kohli is a right handed Indian International cricketer and an occasional right-arm medium paced bowler. After representing Delhi at various matches, he captained India driving them to victory at the 2008 Under 19 World Cup at Malaysia. He debuted in an ODI against Sri Lanka at the age of 19 and is the recipient of many awards like the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012 and the BCCI’s International Cricketer Of The Year. Coming a long way, we all know the aura he possesses today added to the humongous list of die hard fans!

Keeping aside the large number of fans, the individuals who aspire to become like him, budding cricketers on his path and the increasing number of followers on social media; there is plenty to learn from the man for entrepreneurs aiming to establish startups!

The start from a quandary : The beginning of a successful story comes from a dilemma between the heart and mind. Prem Kohli, Virat’s father suffered by being bedridden for a month due to brain stroke. As fate would have liked it, he passed away in the middle of a crucial Ranji trophy tie against Karnataka. Virat scored a brave 90 despite having two minds on making his debut in the season. He ran to his father’s funeral immediately after the match and this unfortunate event was the step start to his career.

The real fight always lies in whether to step on the pitch or not. Juggling between thoughts, it is always ‘a clear head’ that gives you your answer. Be it for a cricketer or an entrepreneur, it’s the will to take the challenge within you that will give you the push and courage to capitalize on your startup idea; the voice that says it’s time to start NOW!

virat kholi 6(2013)

Hunger to perform : When you win the World Cup, you have to go back to training immediately – to win it again! It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, you gotta stay hungry for the process. If Kohli stops his training, he will never be able to win another match for India. For the person he is, he realizes this well. Continuing strenuous training sessions, he follows an unapologetically aggressive and athletic personality to keep himself fit, so he can mould his career the way he wants it. He lets the world know he is hungry for it.

It is very similar for the case of entrepreneurs too. Only if you think like a hungry person, you can behave like one. Taking massive actions and surpassing expectations in the journey of setting your startup is your trick to a successfully built organisation. The attitude of “they need me more than I need them” will cause a nose dip to the growth journey in your startup.

The adaptation of the pitch : In awe of Kohli’s batting against Pakistan in the World T20, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said in praise of Virat Kohli, “He understands how he is supposed to bat in different wickets to score runs. We all know once he gets going, he always converts it into a big innings which I feel is one of the most important things for any youngster.”

An entrepreneur deals with new clients everyday, clients who might not understand what you are going to say, clients who have issues like more features or less cost, clients who may appear smart but are not. Similar to a cosmetic thing, the top surface may look good, but when you roll a wicket, underneath it is moisture. But let’s face it, you need them! Every moment of every day, act like your life depends on every transaction and ADAPT to it. If you have to tell someone that you really want his or her business, well then, you probably are doing it the wrong way!

To have an uncommon name in the common world isn’t easy. To be an entrepreneur with break-even, profits coming your way, clients turning to you, being a magnet for customers, and investing at the right place comes from intelligent minds. Have the courage to learn from people, and you are at the right way my friend.

“Whatever you want to do, do it with full passion and work really hard towards it. Don’t look anywhere else. There will be a few distractions, but if you can be true to yourself, you will be successful for sure.” – Virat Kohli, Batsman, Indian Cricket Team


10 reasons Why You Should Apply for Startup Leadership Program Now!

“The Startup Leadership Program or SLP is a highly selective, 80-hour, 6-month world-class training program and lifetime network for outstanding founders and innovators.”

For me SLP is like a playground for current and future CEOs, a coveted alumni network that I am proud to be a part of and a startup ‘finishing’ school that brings the best out of you.
The Hyderabad chapter has classes on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays and initially I was apprehensive if I would be able to devote that kind of time. I was surprised that I was actually looking forward to these sessions. SLP, in our founder Anupendra Sharma’s words, “ SLP is a bit like Hotel California…you can get in any time you want but you never (want to) leave.”

startup leadership program hyderabad

My take on why you should be a part of SLP.

1) SLP evaluates you, not your ideas!
This was what that had impressed me when I was first deliberating on applying to SLP. I once heard somewhere that ideas are like buses. If one leaves, you can still catch the other. So it is the ‘people’ that makes the difference to the idea and I would, any day, prefer to be among a class full of exceptional people than great ideas.

2) Diversity
Our class had a diverse mix of students ranging from 22 years to 40+ years. The youngest member started straight out of college and was in the tech space, while the oldest came with an experience spanning 20+ years, more than 3 MNCs and several countries, and was involved in media and marketing. There were technologists, marketers, financial analysts, entrepreneurs from the services industry. If this is the kind of diversity that one chapter could bring, just imagine the diversity that exists through the entire SLP network!

3) Tereko Jaya Aunty maloom? Lalloo Uncle maloom?
Network! I have met so many new people and heard new ideas during SLP. Apart from the loads of learning that I could take away from SLP, one of the best things is the network I could create while being a part of SLP. I not only had access to the network of fellow SLP had created but theirs too! I know that any time I need any resource they are just a text away. Cold calling is passé. Making connections is in vogue. We have a whatsapp group that buzzes with enquiries not just for startup resources but for auto trolleys and DTP places too 😉

4) One biiiiiig global community
At SLP, you are part of a group of 1000+ members from across 26 cities and 11 countries; one big community of knowledge, skills, experience, CEOs and future CEOs. Networking is not just running into people at events and shooting out ‘nice to meet you’ emails, it’s about relationships and relating to them. SLP, just like the strong alumni network of any alma mater, works hard to nurture and develop the community to have access to unlimited opportunities.

5) “You will never walk alone”
The job of a startup founder is very difficult and often, lonely. You are not the only one with THAT problem. You are not the only one who has to face THAT daunting task. You are among a group of people who share similar goals, experience and challenges and you have access to first-hand information and advice all the time. Can you imagine what’s going to happen when you are with a group of friends with similar interests and challenges in life? It’s going to be a super fun ride all along!

6) Reflect and reinvent thyself
Sometimes we are so lost in fighting so many battles at work that we can think creatively only when we are away from the mundane day-to-day tasks. To grow as an individual or to grow your business one needs to constantly reassess, rework and reinvent. SLP was a great opportunity for me to sort through the daily challenges, explore what I wanted to do not just for myself, but for my small business as well.

7) Different people, different perspectives 
When you are in a group of people speaking about the challenges they are trying to overcome or the strategies they adopted, there is every possibility that you can relate to it and find solutions to your problems. Often, during the SLP sessions, I found solutions to my problems when someone else was discussing theirs and the team were sharing their insights. I have had my ‘eureka’ moments and I am sure you will have yours too!

8) A great matchmaking platform 
Yes, SLP is a great matchmaking platform. I don’t know if you can find your soulmate but the chances that you might find your co-founder, mentor or potential investor are very bright. You spend so much time and work so closely with the SPL members, that you actually ‘test drive’ your potential co-founder and understand how much value each of you can bring to the idea/company. Two new startups took off from our class even before we graduated and they have been doing some amazing work.

9) Parties! 
We have had some amazing parties at SLP; the New year’s bash, Graduation party, poker nights and not to forget the ‘social entrepreneurship’ sessions at Extreme. These parties were a great way to unwind and bond with the team.

10) It’s the right thing to do
Every time the entire class catches up there is something that I can take away from that interaction. Apart from the network, learning, resources, inspiration and loads of advice that is available, it makes you question how willing are you to move out of your boundaries and stretch professionally. In short, SLP is all about what you can make out of it.

Apply here to be an SLP fellow of 2016-17 .

Arpita Soma is the co-founder and Head of Corporate Relations at Yo!Grad. Previously InternFever, Yo!Grad is a platform for students to explore, experience and enhance their skills. You can also check out her personal blog : http://myapplemartini.blogspot.in