Business Ideas, Motivations

Inside the Investor’s Mind – Ajeet Khurana

Ajeet Khurana is an entrepreneur-turned angel investor. A member of Mumbai Angels, Khurana invests in about eight startups every year. He mostly invests in early stage ventures but not at the ideation/planning stage of a firm. Khurana is mostly looking for startups that have demonstrable products and revenue traction. His key investment areas include education, e-commerce, software, internet and internet-enabled services and mobile. He also works with various incubators, accelerators, startup events, entrepreneur clubs and social media platforms, in addition to the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN). In his talk, Ajeet is talking about startups and investments.

A University of Texas alumnus, Ajeet Khurana has earlier founded Corpus Collosum Learning Pvt Ltd and KITS (Khurana Information and Training Systems Pvt Ltd). He also works with various incubators, accelerators, startup events (credit jose), entrepreneur clubs and social media platforms, in addition to the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN). Being the former CEO of IIT Bombay’s SINE, under Khurana, many SINE incubates had raised funds. These include communication app for schools Knit, IT security startup Wegilant and industry visit organising firm Purple Squirel.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Innovation, Motivations, People / Stories

Freelancers will represent 40% of the US workforce by 2020

As of today, over 53 million of Americans are freelancers; with their median income of $20K to 30K a year, America’s freelance workforce earned $1 trillion in 2016. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that almost 70% of current freelancers plan to keep freelancing for at least the next 10 years.

 

Freelancing is the new Millennials’ favorite career choice… and not only that, big companies and start up are hiring more freelancer than ever before. The secret is that freelancing brings benefits to both parts. For freelancers, the freedom of making their own schedule and having the flexibility to work from literally anywhere is priceless. Also, it is important to highlight that freelancing is growing so fast that freelancers are hiring more freelancers to handle big project. On the other hand, companies save a lot of time on money by hiring freelancers since they don’t have to manage them directly, and technically, freelancer are not employees, which means that employees won’t have to cover their expenses other that their salary. It’s pretty much like ordering a product.

 

Companies don’t work around employees and schedules anymore. Now, they are based on freelancers, tasks and deadlines. Web design, search engine optimization, coding, customer service, digital marketing, app development and blog management are the most in-demand freelancers skills in 2017. It’s estimated that by outsourcing tasks, employers save 30% every time they hire a freelancer, even when the salary is the same than full-time employees.

 

Upwork, Freelancer.com, PeoplePerHour and SpeedLancer are the leading freelance platforms in America and around the world. It a good time for them as well, with over 20million users and daily commision charged, this platforms are generating big bucks.

 

In this infographic Digperformance.com presents 29 Facts Every Freelancer Needs to Know About, a very nice way to show very interesting and awesome stats and facts about freelancing. Valuable information for both freelancers and business owners.

 

Motivations, People / Stories

Starting up at the age of 50 – Khushru Farrokh

Starting up at the age of 50, this entrepreneur is defying all myths around any age bar to start a startup

For Khushru Farrokh, founder of Taasha, delivering IT solutions is akin to an artist creating a new painting. It is always a unique and stimulating experience.

Khushru was on the road to getting a PhD in Chemistry before the technology bug bit him in the ‘90s. Since then, he has been a technology person. He says, ” Since childhood, I was a fiercely independent person. My father was a trade union leader in a bank. That gave me lessons in public speaking and leadership from a very young age. Running a business wasn’t easy for me, but I learnt on the job.”

The groundwork began in September 2016 when he quit his job, but Taasha was launched in the middle of November 2016.

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His experience while starting his own company at the age of 50

Khushru says, “Age is but a number. Many people told me that it was a bad age to take a risk and do something on my own. But with my background, I thought that it was the best age to do business. I had cultivated a great network. I had experience of working in all the areas of an IT services organisation. I am a regular guest faculty at some of the best colleges in India. I have also been delivering lectures at IIM-A.”

Khushru has been in the field of IT for more than 20 years. Over time, he realised that the IT industry was creating an aura around itself, an overly complex, superior air. A lot of jargon got created, and the end user was made to feel that the issue was a lot more complex than it actually was. So one of his reasons behind starting Taasha was to simplify such things.

He further adds, ” The name of the company was suggested by my wife, who is a language consultant. Taasha is a corrupted form of Nataasha, and it means birth.”

Core product

The services offered by Tasha include the following:

  • Software development and testing outsourcing.
  • Software process consulting.
  • Helping companies set up offshore development centres.
  • Startup mentoring.

Market size

Khushru thinks that outsourcing and process consulting are large markets globally, each more than a few hundred billion dollars. For software outsourcing, India is a prime location.

The company plans to enter functional verticals like media and entertainment, healthcare, education, and machine learning and data analytics. It is also planning to work in technologies like open-source.

Taasha is a six-member team today and is currently bootstrapping. Once it bags some good projects, the company would consider that the ideal time to go out looking for external funds.

 https://yourstory.com/2017/02/starting-up-age-50-entrepreneur-myths-around-age-bar-start-startup/
Business Ideas, Business Plans, Motivations, Networking

Last Call To Apply For TiE SoCal Labs. Are You In?

Start Up word on a dry erase board written as steps or a diagram on how to launch a new business including idea, research, business plan, funding, budget, staffing and launch
Start Up word on a dry erase board written as steps or a diagram on how to launch a new business including idea, research, business plan, funding, budget, staffing and launch

Introducing TiE SoCal Labs

Introducing TiE SoCal LabsWe are pleased to launch a new program called TiE SoCal Labs on 9th March.  This virtual incubator program is designed for “Hungry SoCal Entrepreneurs” who are eager to receive help from the TiE Global network. Nitin Rai from TiE Global Angels Alliance (TGAA) will be launching this amazing program. Mangesh Mahajan, Partner at WaterMark Venture Capital, will be the chair of this program. Well-known VCs, Angels and seasoned Entrepreneurs will be available to mentor these startup founders. An exclusive group of founders and their startups will be selected in the first year.

Our bold vision is to help aspiring entrepreneurs with the entire lifecycle of their company – from cradle to successful exit: ideation process (above), making a realistic business plan, finding co-founders, building proof-of-concept, finding beta customers, commercializing the products, creating go-to-market strategy, expanding sales and distribution channels, and above all, exploring various fund-raising options. We are going to put key people, processes and systems in place to make you successful!

TiE SoCal is going through a selection process for the first batch of startup companies to be admitted to this amazing incubator. We have already received a dozen or so applications, and our committee has decided to keep the invite open for a few more. Are you interested in applying for the TiE SoCal Labs? This is your chance to get in on the ground-floor!
Please Apply here

We are anticipating a Huge Turnout for the TiE SoCal Labs launch event (we’re hearing that this launch may include live pitches from the final round of applicants, live audience participation and selection (aka The Voice), and a few surprises… but we can’t give it all away).

Place: Real Office Centers at the Vine OC
5151 California Ave. Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92617

When: March 9 from 6 pm onward
What: Indian dinner will be served

Register Now
Motivations, News

30 INDIAN-ORIGIN MEN, WOMEN IN FORBES LIST OF SUPER ACHIEVERS

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New York: Over 30 Indian-origin innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders have been featured in the 2017 edition of Forbes list of super achievers under the age of 30 who seek to break the status quo and transform the world.
The Forbes list has 30 game changers in 20 industries including healthcare, manufacturing, sports and finance.
The 600 in the list are “challenging the conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation of entrepreneurs, entertainers, educators and more. They are passionate and formidable bunch, and for good reason. Their goal is nothing short of breaking the status quo and transforming the world.”
The group has over 30 men and women, who are of Indian-origin and are making a mark in their fields.
The list includes 27-year-old Vivek Kopparthi, cofounder of NeoLight that has developed a phototherapy device that is portable for use at home for jaundice.
The company is also working on a second tool to treat infant hypothermia.
Prarthna Desai, 27, left her Harvard graduate school program to use drones to get medication to people in the developing world.
In her operations role at the healthcare company Zipline, she is leading efforts to integrate the medicine- delivery-by-drone service with the healthcare system in Rwanda.
Shaun Patel, 28, is the orthopedic surgery chief resident at Harvard Medical School and has dozens of scientific publications in surgery journals.
His company, OrthoNinja, aims to streamline communication between doctors by creating a mobile app that allows doctors to consult with one another.
Rohan Suri, 17 is the founder of Averia Health Solutions and has developed an improved concussion test.
In the law and policy category is 27 year old Varun Sivaram, Acting Director: Energy Security and Climate Change in leading think tank Council on Foreign Relations.
Sivaram completed his PhD at Oxford University and is on the advisory boards for Stanford’s energy and environment institutes.
He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University teaching “clean energy innovation” and previously, he advised Hillary Clinton’s campaign on energy policy.
In manufacturing and industry, Neha Gupta, 28, played a role in the sale of Beats by Dre to Apple.
She manages manufacturing and supply chain for DAQRI, which makes augmented reality headsets to improve safety and efficiency for industrial workers.
Featured in the social entrepreneurs category is Aditya Agarwalla, 23, Cofounder of Kisan Network, The Princeton University dropout co-founded the Kisan Network, which is an online marketplace for small-scale farmers in India.
In the sports category is Akshay Khanna, 29, Vice President of Strategy for American football team Philadelphia 76ers.
Among the top guns in the venture capital sector is Anarghya Vardhana, 28, who joined the firm Maveron after spending a year at Rothenberg Ventures, where she launched a virtual reality accelerator and sourced and made seed investments in a dozen startups in the virtual reality space.
Akshay Goyal, 28, is the Vice President of Starwood Capital.
The youngest vice president in Starwood’s history when he was promoted at the age 26, Goyal focuses on hotel acquisitions and has helped drive over $7 billion in deals.
Recently he helped sell a portfolio of 240 US hotels to China Life for $2 billion.
In the consumer technology sector is Ajay Yadav, 29, who is the founder of Roomi, a startup app that lets users find the right roommate to live with, chat with each other, search for listings, apply for an apartment and pay rent.
New York-based Roomi has raised $7 million to date.

http://indiatribune.com/2017/01/12/30-indian-origin-men-women-in-forbes-list-of-super-achievers/

Business Ideas, Innovation, Motivations

Uriji Jami

Uriji Jami an app that will change the perspective of todays social media.capture


Have you experienced that we spend a lot of time on these so called social networks without a real reward or even end up draining our time and miss real connections.

URIJI Jami is a new age app that thinks different
We believe that Life Is our Main Asset
It lets you share your aspirations (dreams) to look into the future, and your life experiences (stories) to value your past.
This app matches peoples similar Stories and Dreams.

On this network, you can share your life stories and Inspire others to achieve their dreams
and connect with inspiring people around the world who could help you accomplish your dreams.

If you wish, you can attribute with economic value, achieving powerful and immediate connections with other people around the world.
We hope you like our project and back us on Kickstarter
Here is the Link:
 

URIJI Jami, the network to build your future.

FOLLOW us in our social networks: @Urijijami

 website  www.urijijami.com
 
 
Thanks& regards,
Kanchan Dhankani
PG Graphic Design,NID
Proprietor & Principal Designer
StudioKD
Mumbai, India
Innovation, Motivations, Networking, Resources

IIT Kharagpur’s Annual Global Business Model Competition, Empresario Launched

empresario logo (1) (1) Ecell logo (1)

This year, Entrepreneurship Cell IIT Kharagpur and IBM are proud to present Empresario 2016 in association with the prestigious International Business Model Competition (IBMC) which is co-hosted by Stanford, Harvard and Brigham University. The best entries in all categories will get an opportunity to participate directly in the semi-final rounds of IBMC 2017, which will be conducted abroad. ((Visit www.ecell-iitkgp.org/empresario for more details). The prizes and services for the winners as per last year are worth 25 lacs INR.

 

The shortlisted entries are provided immense help in terms of mentorship and the winners also get a much sought after chance to pitch their ideas in front of some of India’s biggest VCs and investors. Empresario participants are mentored and supported by organisations like TiE, NEN(National Entrepreneurship Network) with honorable mentions to http://www.constantprofitsecrets.com/the-four-percent-group-review/, etc. Startup Services like legal advice, taxation, financial, technical aspects of running a startup, co-working space, HR needs, incubation opportunities, etc. are provided.

Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur is a student organisation established with the aim of fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship among college students in India. We are one of the most successful entrepreneurial organisations in the country with over 50 start-ups incubated within 8 years of our inception. We are playing a vital role in developing the upcoming startups into successful companies by taking a great initiation of conducting flagship competition namely Empresario, our Annual and India’s only Global Business Model Competition.

It has been observed that startups with static business plans fail miserably since reality does not conform to their assumptions. Hence, there is a need for a more dynamic methodology while starting up and this is why the Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur sought to undertake a Business Model competition, which was entitled ‘Empresario’

Empresario accepts business ideas in all fields which include Product and Service, Product Design and Social categories. Each of the entries get equal opportunity to win the prize and incubation money to the tune of INR 2.5 crore.. Previously, Empresario has been launched in association with TiE Kolkata, Mahindra Spark the Rise and Dell Social Innovation Challenge.

Empresario is about recognizing that any new venture is just a guess at a problem / solution and the only way to test whether those guesses are correct is to “get outside the building” and validate their idea with customer feedback. A business model is designed to change rapidly to reflect what you find outside the building in talking to customers. It’s more visual, dynamic and it reflects the iterative reality that startups face.

For the first round of Empresario, we will require participants to fill up a questionnaire asking in brief about their Business idea and submit it. This questionnaire can be found on our website www.ecell-iitkgp.org/empresario . If participants register now, they can avail the Early Bird privileges, which include extended mentoring and offline mentoring session.

One of the winners of Empresario’14, Betaglide also secured the largest funding among all the startups present at Rice Business Plan Competition of around $1 million.

Some of the past student startups who were winners of Empresario are:-

  • BetaGlide – A startup by students of IIT Kharagpur, is a mobile app testing platform that allows developers to gather information in real-time about the system usage and the behavior of their app to improve its stability and performance. It has recently won the Tech Transfer Prize (Mercury Fund Prize) at Rice Business Plan Competition and became popular internationally.
  • Roof For Two – A startup by a team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a unique concept that can help solve the age-old problem of two-wheeler riders who ride daily through rain, sun and the cold. Roof for Two eliminates travel irritation with an affordable and stylish riding canopy.
  • COEO Labs – An IIT Kharagpur based startup focused on developing innovative and low cost medical technology products. Their device Saans catapulted them to winning Empresario, Social Track and there was no stopping them following that. After winning the TATA Social Enterprise Challenge and Master Plan, Social Track at IIM-A, they also went on to the finals of the International Business Model Competition (IBMC).

We conduct our flagship event – Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), the largest collegiate entrepreneurial summit in India every year in January. The final rounds of Empresario 2017 will be held during GES’17.

Business Ideas, Motivations, People / Stories

Jackfruit 365

Biryani, masala dosas and galouti kababs made from jackfruit ? Their creator is an ex-Microsoft director who is showing the world that jackfruit is truly the jack-of-all-fruits !

James Joseph did something few are brave enough to do. He quit his high-paying job as a Microsoft director to start a venture based solely on a fruit. Taking his love for jackfruit to a whole new level, he started Jackfruit 365, a company that sells the fruit in a packaged, freeze-dried form, and aims to promote all things jackfruit.

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Photo Source

Talking to CrowdStudio about the eureka moment when he came up with the idea of Jackfruit 365, Joseph said:

“At the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, where I was hosting a dinner for my clients, Chef Hemant Oberoi had made a spectacular dish called the Varqui Crab along with its veg version, the Varqui Mushroom. It was delicious, but I couldn’t help thinking why the chef didn’t use jackfruit, which is more nutritious than meat and mushrooms.

Perplexed by the utter absence of jackfruit at the five-star soirees I attended, I asked around and all the chefs said the same thing: Too sticky, too smelly and too seasonal.

When jackfruit season finally came, I took some to a chef I knew. He used it to create a jackfruit burger coated in jackfruit seed crumbs that was delicious and much crispier than the aloo burger at McDonald’s. The actual eureka moment happened when we created a jackfruit pie, spectacular and more delicious than the apple pie and pecan pie I had in the US. That was when Jackfruit 365 truly took off.”

So Joseph began to investigate and found that despite being acknowledged as a super food, huge amounts of jackfruit are being wasted every season. According to an article on the state government’s website, Kerala alone wastes an estimated 35 crore jackfruit annually, which is about 75% of the harvest.

There are several reasons for this. The weight of a jackfruit, which is typically in the range of 3-5 kg, makes transportation in bulk difficult, while storing this highly perishable fruit is difficult. Cleaning jackfruit is also a tedious process, with the large ungainly fruit throwing prickly wedges, sticky sap, and a strong odour one’s way before offering its rich, bulbous flesh.

Concerned about the collective disregard for jackfruit, Joseph left his cushy job with Microsoft  to return to his native town Aluva in Kerala and set up Jackfruit 365 in 2013. He wanted to make this undervalued and underrated seasonal fruit available for consumption 365 days a year.

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Plunging headlong into the pursuit of his passion, this graduate of the Thiruvanathpuram College of Engineering decided to first address the challenge of making the jackfruit available 365 days a year. On learning that 80% of the fruit is made up of water, he hit upon the idea of freeze-drying jackfruit.

Freeze-drying reduced the weight of the fruit by 82%, cutting down the huge costs of transportation and storage. A 180-gm pack of freeze dried jackfruit can be stored at room temperature for 365 days and, when soaked in lukewarm water, yield one kg of jackfruit.

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Joseph soon hired Amalgam, pioneers in setting up food processing factories in Kerala and Bangalore, to procure jackfruit and process and sell the freeze-dried fruit in packets of his brand, Jackfruit 365.

A stickler for perfection and quality, Joseph insists on farmers supplying unopened jackfruit, as opposed to the traditional practice of storing opened jackfruit in plastic packets, to ensure food safety.

His company also sponsors five midday meals for school children under the Akshaya Patra Foundation, for every pack of Jackfruit 365 sold.

The Microsoft Circle of Excellence award winner wants to create an organised market for jackfruit because its health benefits are numerous. Since the glycemic load (glucose level) in unripe jackfruit is almost half that of rice or wheat, the fruit makes a potent carbohydrate substitute for diabetics. Jackfruit’s high potassium content helps lower elevated blood pressure and its high anti-oxidant and flavonoid content protect against cancer. Jackfruit also increases the human body’s capacity to absorb iron, making it extremely effective in preventing and curing anaemia. Since jackfruit blends beautifully into most recipes, it can also change the way we look at health foods and gluten-free foods in particular.

Determined to demonstrate that dishes made from jackfruit can be mouth-watering irrespective of cuisine type, Joseph has also designed signature dining experiences for his clients with several internationally renowned chefs. His interesting and unique jackfruit-infused recipes include galouti kabab, biryani, masala dosa, kathi roll, panna cotta, and payasam, all made from dehydrated jackfruit!

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Photo Source

In his tryst with the jackfruit, Joseph also realised that the indigenous tree is as good for farmers as it is for consumers. Drought-resistant, evergreen and environment-friendly, he believes this tree can act as climate shock absorber for farmers:

“I don’t even consider it a crop. It just grows. When other crops fail, you can always count on the jackfruit tree.”

The techie turned entrepreneur is also the founder of Professional Bharati, an online platform that is a one-stop shop for NRI professionals wanting to relocate to their hometowns and still earn handsomely. Through his own experience, he knows that the opportunities in India’s non-metros, small towns and villages are endless and this venture is his attempt to persuade others to return home too.

 

http://www.thebetterindia.com/59942/james-joseph-jackfruit-365-superfood-india/