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Seed Capital

Harvard Business Review Series on the Seed Capital Gap

Posted on Thursday, Apr 17th 2014
Over the last few months, I wrote a series of articles for Harvard Business Review on the seed capital gap facing entrepreneurs. Below are links to the entire set:
How To Reduce ‘Infant Entrepreneur Mortality’
How Startups Overcome The Capital Gap
Can Crowdfunding Solve The Startup Capital Gap?
The Problem With Incubators and How To Solve Them
When Big Companies Support Startups, Both Make More Money
How To Fund Indian Startups
Startups: Before You Launch Your Product, Start with a Service
We hope to see you at the 212th Free 1M/1M Online Roundtable on April 24th at 8am Pacific.
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New Book – Seed India: How To Navigate The Seed Capital Gap In India

Posted on Thursday, Dec 5th 2013

While tremendous interest in entrepreneurship in India continues to surge, there is a troubling and corresponding shortage of seed capital to help get these entrepreneurs’ ventures off the ground.

Sramana Mitra, one of the most highly regarded writers on the Indian startup scene, analyzes the current state of the startup eco-system in India in the latest addition to her acclaimed Entrepreneur Journeys book series, Seed India: How To Navigate The Seed Capital Gap In India (December 2013; Amazon Kindle). Mitra proposes ways of navigating the rest of the decade, such that a robust pipeline of entrepreneurs can survive the current malaise, and thrive, while the eco-system develops and matures in parallel.
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How to Navigate India’s Seed Capital Gap

Posted on Thursday, Oct 24th 2013

India has a minuscule seed capital ecosystem. Entrepreneurs thus have to be really creative to survive.

My new piece How To Navigate The Seed Capital Gap in India offers a synthesis of how entrepreneurs are getting around. Two companion pieces offer perspective on why the ecosystem is developing so slowly: Seed Investors in India: Why So Few? and Venture Capital in India: Age of Reckoning. >>>

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How To Navigate the Seed Capital Gap in India

Posted on Monday, Oct 21st 2013

Even though interest in entrepreneurship is at its highest in India, the country has a nominal seed capital infrastructure. As you know, I concern myself with issues of scalability and pipeline building. The question that I have been pondering for the last ten years is: how do you develop a sustainable pipeline of entrepreneurs?

Of course, this discussion pertains to my field: IT and IT-enabled services. India has numerous small retailers, service providers, etc. who are shining examples of scrappy entrepreneurship at its best.

But how do we take advantage of the increasing penetration of information technology into the consumer and business populations in India? And how, through technology, do we empower Indian entrepreneurs to build global businesses?
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Seed Capital Using Crowdfunding: Korstiaan Zandvliet, CEO of Symbid, Amsterdam (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Nov 15th 2012

Korstiaan Zandvliet holds an MSc in New Business Venturing and Entrepreneurship and has a background in sociology and business administration. He is a frequent writer of blog articles on social media, crowdsourcing and c. After holding a position as marketing manager for a Dutch software company (www.mendix.com), he co-founded a company called Symbid, which aims to help nascent entrepreneurs to overcome financing problems for their start-up or small business. Symbid focuses on entrepreneurial finance needs up to €2.5 million by using the concept of crowdfunding in a new way. In contrast to currently available crowdfunding sites, Symbid developed a financial and legal framework, which allows crowdfunders to actually become a shareholder of the offered crowdfunding propositions. For more information, visit www.symbid.com.

Sramana Mitra: Korstiaan, welcome to the blog. To start, would you tell us more about your offering is in the domain of crowdfunding to fund startup ventures? >>>

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Seed Capital: Kae Capital Managing Director Sasha Mirchandani

Posted on Monday, Apr 9th 2012

As you may know, I’m a strong supporter of bootstrapping. But I understand that some companies simply can’t get off the ground without significant financing from investors like those at Kae Capital. My interview with managing director Sasha Mirchandani will help entrepreneurs who are looking for seed capital to understand what to expect if they should decide to pitch investors at Kae Capital.

Sramana Mitra: Hi, Sasha. Tell us briefly about your group. >>>

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Seed Capital: IndiaCo Investor Rahul Patwardhan

Posted on Friday, Mar 9th 2012

The entrepreneur ecosystem continues to grow in India. This is an exciting time for both startups and investors. As my interview with Rahul Patwardhan of IndiaCo shows, there are investors for every sector. If they do their own due diligence before sending out pitches, those entrepreneurs who need funding to get their ventures started can find several potential investors in their chosen industries.

Sramana Mitra: Hi, Rahul. Tell us briefly about your group. >>>

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Seed Capital: Independent Investor Rehan yar Khan

Posted on Friday, Mar 2nd 2012

The entrepreneur ecosystem in India is growing by leaps and bounds. Still, almost all of those who apply for funding are rejected, and it’s not always because they don’t have viable products or services. Often, entrepreneurs get rejected because they pitched to the wrong investor. An entrepreneur with an e-commerce company should not be pitching to an investor who specializes in green tech or manufacturing. Read carefully, entrepreneurs, if you want to pitch to Rehan yar Khan. >>>

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Seed Capital: Independent Investor, Mukund Mohan

Posted on Thursday, Mar 1st 2012

Sometimes, the reason an entrepreneur is denied funding isn’t because he doesn’t have what it takes to succeed. And it’s not because he doesn’t have a viable idea. Sometimes the only reason an entrepreneur gets turned away is because he didn’t pitch to the right investor. Read on to see what Mukund Mohan and his wife are looking for in a company and in an entrepreneur.

Sramana Mitra: Hi Mukund. Tell us briefly your background.

Mukund Mohan: My wife and I have been investing as individual investors in early stage technology companies for over 10 years, since 2001, in the Bay area, and since 2008, in India. We have invested in seven companies so far in India, and in the US we had invested through an investment vehicle called Zodiac Ventures LLC. >>>

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Seed Capital From Angel Investors: David Rose, Founder and CEO of Gust (Part 1)

Posted on Saturday, Oct 1st 2011

Today, I’m talking with David Rose, who founded AngelSoft, now Gust, in 2004. Gust provides a platform where angel investors and entrepreneurs can connect and discuss ventures. Originally created with angel investors’ needs in mind, Gust now has more than 750 investment organizations worldwide using its platform to manage deal flow and other day-to-day tasks. Over 125,000 startups have, through Gust, worked with more than 35,000 individual investors on their ventures. The company is based in New York City, has a development office in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and a European office in Paris, France. >>>

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Seed Capital From Angel Investors: Pravin Gandhi, Seedfund – Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, India (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, May 19th 2011

By guest authors Irina Patterson and Vandana Upadhyay

I am talking to Pravin Gandhi, a founding partner at Seedfund, which is one of the India’s leading early-stage venture capital funds, with operations in Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi.

Seedfund was founded in 2006 by Bharati Jacob, Mahesh Murthy, and Pravin Gandhi.  In 2010, they raised Seedfund II, which is a $54 million fund. The fund also runs its own incubator.

Irina: Hi, Pravin. Let’s start with your personal background. Where are you from and where did you receive your education? How did you arrive at this point in your life?

Pravin: I was born in Mumbai and did my schooling here. I did my undergraduate work at Cornell and then returned to India after I finished my undergraduate degree. Then I worked in a couple of companies because I really wanted to be an entrepreneur. >>>

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Seed Capital From Angel Investors: AngelList Founder Naval Ravikant (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Mar 28th 2011

Some of you have read my recent post AngelList, CapLink and Financing Marketplaces, in which I publicly supported the work Naval Ravikant and others are doing to increase liquidity in the seed capital portion of the market. Following that, Naval and I decided to sit down for a more comprehensive chat. Over the next several days, we will publish the interview here as part of the Seed Capital from Angel Investors series. >>>

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Seed Capital: Mark Solon, Co-Founder And Managing Partner, Highway 12 Ventures — Boise, Idaho (Part 1)

Posted on Saturday, Mar 19th 2011

By guest authors Irina Patterson and Candice Arnold

I am talking to Mark Solon, co-founder and managing partner of Highway 12 Ventures, which is a $75 million venture fund in Boise, Idaho. Highway 12 invests in high-growth start-up companies in the Intermountain West. >>>

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Seed Capital From Angel Investors: Tim Cartwright, Chairman, Tamiami Angel Fund – Naples, Florida (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 23rd 2011

By guest authors Irina Patterson and Candice Arnold

I am talking to Tim Cartwright, chairman of the Tamiami Angel Fund. Created in October 2010 in Naples, Florida, this member-owned and -operated fund, offers early-stage capital in the range of $250,000–$750,000 to high-growth companies located anywhere in the state of Florida. There are 30 investors in the fund, who each put in $50,000. Tamiami Fund is the first angel fund for southwest Florida. >>>

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Seed Capital From Angel Investors: Jason Stoffer, Principal at Maveron (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Jan 19th 2011

By guest authors Irina Patterson and Candice Arnold

This is the fifty-first interview in our series on financing for entrepreneurs. I am talking to Jason Stoffer, principal at Maveron, a venture fund founded in 1998 by Howard Schultz, the founder and CEO of Starbucks, and Dan Levitan, the banker who took Starbucks public in 1991. (The name “Maveron” was coined from the words “maverick” and “vision.”)

With offices in Seattle and San Francisco, Maveron manages $750 million in capital and invests only in consumer-facing business, mainly in Web-enabled consumer services, education, and health and wellness. >>>

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