Sramana Mitra: There is an IT gap that is complicated to bridge. I’m originally from India. I track the evolution of the Indian IT industry. A large part of that is in low-end business process outsourcing. I have seen so many applications where you put a piece of software in and 4,000 people are out of their jobs. This is already starting to flow through.
The projections for the number of jobs losses for this year is half a million. If you have a very low IQ person, you can’t expect that person now to be doing things of much higher order. That’s where the re-skilling or retooling is challenging. >>>
Sramana Mitra: In terms of customer acquisition, what has been the driving narrative? What strategies worked for you?
David Menning: It really comes down to the discipline of how one runs the business and how one runs a marketing team. There’s discipline and then as a result of that, how you apply marketing efforts to different marketing channels. First and foremost, it really is the principle of how you actually apply the logic internally to analyzing the marketing channels and the marketing opportunities.
Let’s say you go sell a $100 product. You have 40% gross margin. If you want to be profitable and have 5% to 10%, you may want >>>
Sramana Mitra: What’s the next major inflection point in your business?
Olivia Skuza: So far, we’ve raised $25 million. We did a $3.6 million seed in 2012. Then we did Series A in 2013 for $7.5 million. New partners joined that one. Then we did an interim round in 2015 and a Series B in late 2016. We did that with Argentum, we were excited about them.
In terms of the inflection point, early on it was about proving that product market fit and trying to get that traction in the market. The most recent round of funding has been very critical for us in terms of focusing on people and leadership. If I look at lessons >>>
Almost all investors are looking for startups with velocity, ventures that increasingly solve real pains in repeatable ways. If you can achieve velocity, then investors will chase you, because they know it’s not so easy to find companies that hit their stride velocity-wise. Be mindful that the best way for your startup to get to velocity may be by bootstrapping. Entrepreneurship equals customers, revenues, and profits. Financing and exit are optional. There are many examples of companies that would have succeeded as bootstrapped companies, but went out of business because they went after financing. To learn about the various levels of velocity investors are looking for in the startups they finance, please read the following interviews with a wide variety of VCs and seed investors.
Mark Achler, Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners, discusses their investment strategy and the industry trends.
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 396th FREE online 1Mby1M mentoring roundtable on Thursday, April 26, 2018, at 8 a.m. PDT/11 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST.
If you are a serious entrepreneur, register to “pitch” and sell your business idea. You’ll receive straightforward feedback, advice on next steps, and answers to any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch, learn, and interact through the online chat.
During this week’s roundtable, we had as our guest Paolo Juvara, Group Vice President, Oracle Applications Lab, Oracle.
Oracle has been a partner of 1Mby1M since 2013 and has built its internal innovation program on the 1Mby1M Incubator-in-a-Box platform. In this session, Paolo and I discussed the secrets of the success of the program. A unique window into corporate innovation thought leadership.
As for entrepreneur pitches, we started with Maheima Kapur, from Bangalore, India, pitching Talking Street, a curated food review-based content project that has already amassed significant social media following. The problem is that content doesn’t monetize, so I advised her to focus on the events business that does seem to monetize.
Sramana Mitra: In some of your ideas that you’ve presented in the book, you are talking about AI being an augmentation factor as opposed to displacement factor in various workflows. I think the classic one that fits that bill would be in healthcare with doctors working with patients and electronic medical records. It’s actually a big frustration area for me as a consumer to watch how badly medical systems use technology and data.
Would you comment on that? I’m sure you are working with health systems as clients. Where is the problem? Why is this not moving faster? I’m very pleased that cyber security and online advertising are moving, but why is healthcare not moving as fast? >>>
According to a Market Research Engine report published earlier this week, the global Identity and Access Management is estimated to grow 12% annually over the next few years to become a $14 billion industry by 2023. Recently reported results of the Billion Dollar Unicorn Okta (Nasdaq:OKTA) corroborate this rapid growth.