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Will you get SEED fund for your idea?

Will you get SEED fund for your idea?

Being a start-up enthusiast, I have come across many innovative minds who wanted to raise SEED fund for their ideas. If you are a start-up looking for SEED fund, you may have so many questions popping out your mind: How and where to raise the SEED fund. As the term SEED itself describes, SEED fund is for start-ups who wish to turn their dream into reality to help them kick start their journey.

Before you think of raising SEED fund, you need to consider these 5 points as a must in order to become a successful entrepreneur!

  1. Product Validation

Rather than Sitting and talking with Google, Reach out to the real people outside. Talk with your friends, family members and most importantly to the people who are prone to be your future customers. Document their opinions/feedback so that you can conclude how far your idea/product will succeed.

  1. Know your Market

My boss will always say “Nobody will buy a Product since because it exists in the market; they buy only if it solves their problems or ease their lifestyle. So before you launch your product know your target customers. Do a deep market research, know the customer persona and nail a strong reason why they should buy your product.

  1. POC

Anybody can think of an idea but only those who have knowledge to develop and execute that idea can become a successful entrepreneur. You should try to build a demo / proof of concept and see if your idea is really working. You should be well versed in the technology/platform to develop your product, identify the challenges and undergo a detailed study on how to overcome the challenges.

“Investors always prefer to invest in what they see rather than what they hear”

  1. Business Model

Whether your product is a super wow product or a simple one, what matters most is “how do you make money out of it?” A clear business plan with all possible revenue models is a must while approaching the investors. Prepare a simple yet informative pitch deck with all information fulfilling the expectations of an investor. ( refer guidelines for preparing an investor pitch deck )

  1. Good Team

“Teamwork makes the Dreamwork”

A good team with expertise in different fields will definitely take your business to a higher level.  Every team member will have something special to contribute on their part. So select your team wisely. Execution plays a major part as it is the outcome of your idea. Your product will be a success only with a good execution team.

You can get SEED funding from-  Government schemes, angel investors, friends and family, Incubators, Accelerators, Venture Capitalists and Crowd funding. 

Of all the sources, Incubators plays a major role in an entrepreneur’s journey. Apart from providing SEED fund, they provide a wide range of services including office spaces, mentorship, investor connects and business opportunities.

Cultiv8 is a startup ecosystem fostering exceptional founders and creating measurable business impact, powered by Government of India. Know more

Design Your Career- How to live life King Size?

I have heard this quote many times, “You need to follow your passion”. Its a cliche. ask a college kid what is his passion. I am sure he will not be able to give you an answer. Its the same everywhere in the world. Infact, many times when people express their passion it may not be their passion, it could very well be an inspiration drawn from others. Why is this happening? Why is that many people do not have passion? This is because Passion is something that you find in the midway of your career. you may even find your passion in the late stages of your career. Passion is not the beginning ; its the end point. 
 
The real problem is that people are not ready to risk their career once they have found out their passion. Many a times, they would have financially settled in their life and forgoing their career to choose their passion may be very daunting. Here we will talk about how people can still follow their passion and still not risk their financial stability using design led choices in life. after all at the end, there are only two regrets man can have in his death bed. First, not creating /spending time in relationships and Second, Risk you regret not taking. 
 
So once you have identified your passion take a  design-led approach to follow your passion with out sacrificing your career.
The design-led approach takes two steps. First, embracing the design mindset and second, following the Design Process. 
Lets touch base about the different mindsets before we delve into the design mindset. 
 
  1. Engineering Thinking: There is a straight forward solution that is available without any ambiguity. its a Mathematical approach.
  2. Business Thinking: Business Thinking has an end goal and we optimise the approach and resources to reach the end goal.
  3. Scientific Thinking: Scientific Thinking is based on empirical and measurable evidence. There is dome data from the past and about the future. Its a data-driven approach.
  4. Design Thinking: Design thinking embraces complete ambiguity. You do not have data. You do not know what to measure. There is no analysis. There is only human. Its a human driven approach. The idea is to start moving , get data, improve. 
 
So Design Thinking is all about realising that you are completely vulnerable and you are opening up to find solution. Vulnerability gives 10x scale. So once you feel vulnerable we can follow the process to follow your passion. Then the design process will help you take you to the goal. The design process looks like this

 
 
Empathize- Understand your problem. This is empathising . What is your passion? What is really pricking you?
Define- Once you have understood the problem. Define the problem. If possible define the problem in one statement.
Ideate- Its time for Radical Collaboration. You have defined the problem. Talk to people and ask for help. Make note on how you can solve the problem. You never know which ideas work so keep your mind open and note down all the ideas that you can get to solve your problem . 
Prototype- Now with all this ideas you have received , write a hypothesis on how you can go ahead and solve the problem. You are still not sure if the hypothesis will work but start small and give it a time frame. Write down the metrics that you want to measure in the time frame. 
Test- Implement the hypothesis you have written. You don’t have data now. Start implementing . Get the data and improve. 
 
A design-led approach can very well be a small but significant step to start working on your passion. The idea is not to get stuck  and start moving towards reaching your goal.
 
                                                                                                                        by
                                                                                                                Dr. B. Kaarthick

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