Was at the TiE-ISB connect last week, truly a great event. All big names in the VC industry in India had made it a point to be there.The honourable chief minister of AP inauagarated the event. I had a kind of feeling like many others that Dr YSR will downgrade all the progress that hyderabad had made in the area of IT/technology. But all these myths were dispelled while listening to him where he pledged all the support from the AP government towards the promotion of IT in the state of AP.
I got exposed to quite many facts here and will be blogging some of those in here but here are some of the salient thoughts/questions that I wanted to express. Alas none of the panels let me ask any question despite me raising my had as much as I can 🙂
There was mention that ISB aspired to play the kind of role of that stanford did for silicon valley
First of all TiE & ISB is no doubt an excellent platform for PROMOTION & SUPPORT of entreprenueral activity. But to talk of to replicate what stanford(ex google) did can be done only when truly ground breaking ideas gets germinated. ISB is not the place where it can happen, that potential lies in institution with great technology depth. Such resources are with the next door neighbour of ISB, i.e @ IIIT. [I I found it very sad that there was no mention of IIIT in all this talk, also that IIIT did not bother to get itself involved in this too]
Note to VC: According to me If you think that the next google kind of company is going to come out of India in the next 3-5 years, then you should scout around for those seeds in the campus of IIIT and get someone from ISB to nurture & tender it so that you can get your 100X return. I think just looking at ISB or for that matter just IIIT resources are not going to make the deal , a combination of both is what will do the trick.
The general impression that was given by the VC’s that build great companies which disrupts/redefines markets but talk less about your products/technology when you are explaining that to VC because they don’tmuch understand technology.
Now this is an argument which kind of does not make lot of sense to me( well I am a technologist so my opinion could be biased on this)
If you look back at our history book we can see that VC form of finance itself was given birthto cater to the pace & nature of technology growth which started in early last century. Other form of finance ( banks /loans) could not understand the nature of these technology related growth. So I find it a little strange when VC’s say that pitchers should not technology at all to them. Well having said that I want to clarify that I agree completely when they say
– “analog analogy” should be given to effectively explain & communicate.
– Product that does not serve any market need even if beautifully architected is best not built.
But folks come on if one can’t talk about technology related stuff to vc, then what is the difference between a VC and Banker.
Btw except for Arun Natarajan, I don’t think any of other VC who came in there blogs.
One thing that struck very vividly to me was that probably creativity is getting sucked out of ISB,A short video clip(made inhouse) was shown as a prelude to idea pitch session. Based on a long copied theme it was one of the worst video I hve seen. To me it was like ISB lost its sheen since the first time when I saw it (I was in 2nd year when ISB had just begun and I was floored by its campus, students , their presentation & projection).
ISB has a unique program called the K-HUB which aims to seed fledgling companies. IIIT also is a part of this.
But not sure if IIIT is ready to seed companies right now. Im not sure if we have enough ideas, students to take the plunge and the infrastructure to take care of that.
With SMR and others seeming to take off with their ideas, i hope we can see the beginning soon.
Thanks for the update on the TiE-ISB event.
Btw, I am not exactly a “VC” – just someone who tracks the VC industry via my company’s Venture Intelligence India service