Guide Seed India: How To Navigate The Seed Capital Gap In India (Entrepreneur Journeys Book 7)

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I would like to receive updates from Villgro. Villgro is India's foremost social enterprise incubator. We work with early-stage for-profit enterprises that have an impact on the lives of India's poor. Since , Villgro has incubated enterprises, which have generated around jobs, secured Rs million in follow-on funding, and touched over 15 million lives.

PR Ganapathy is President India , Villgro, and has operational and strategic responsibility for all major programs that make Villgro's vision a reality. He is also actively involved in building the social enterprise ecosystem in India, through organizations like the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, by active participation in various industry bodies and working groups, and by giving inspirational talks at forums like TEDx.

Prior to Villgro, Ganapathy co-founded a venture-funded startup and held leadership positions at small and large corporations in India and the US. Chaarvi Badani has done a post graduate programme in Liberal Arts from the Young India Fellowship, Ashoka University, where she co-founded a startup that aimed to provide vocational skills training to cobblers and provide them with sustainable livelihoods.

The Empoweress Guide to Early Stage / Seed Funding

At Villgro, she is involved with various aspects of operations and strategy. Anuja is a professional philanthropic investor with nearly 20 years experience as a funder and social entrepreneur working primarily in the areas of education and healthcare. Since moving to India in , Anuja has worked as an independent advisor for social enterprises and large private philanthropies, including those of Dr.

Aditi heads all communications and marketing at Villgro. She has over a decade of experience in mass media and communications, developing strategy, executing multi-media communications, managing various stakeholders, and writing and editing content. She has subsequently worked in the non-profit sector, managing and implementing communications for Mumbai Smiles Sonrisas de Bombay , an international non-profit organisation.

Maya has 12 years of experience working across impact, technology and financial services. Most recently, she was at Babajob. He has also studied law for two years. Before joining Villgro, he worked with D'essence Consulting, a boutique management consulting firm in Mumbai where he worked very closely with start-up companies on creation of business plans, valuation, fund raising and business strategy formulation. As investment manager at Villgro and Menterra, he handles companies in the agriculture portfolio.

Ashwin started his career in the semiconductor industry in , working for Intel in Oregon for nearly 9 years. While there, he led cross-site module engineering teams, playing a role in the production scaling of microprocessor manufacturing technologies simultaneously across multiple factories. After nearly 18 years in the semiconductor industry, he moved to Intellectual Ventures India , working closely with inventors in a range of technology domains.


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Ashwin has a B. Sudhanshu has over five years of experience working in both private and non-profit sectors. Prior to his Fellowship he worked with TATA Motors and used to look after after-sales management of commercial vehicles. Before moving back to India, he did short term assignments with Acumen, Pakistan and a social finance intermediary called ClearlySo in London.

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Startups in India & their Funding

Sudhanshu is an investment manager with Menterra Social Impact Fund and Villgro working with education companies. Aina Gaur is an investment manager at Villgro and Menterra with a focus on healthcare. She also heads Villgro's BIRAC Social Innovation Immersion Program that supports early stage innovators by providing immersion in primary healthcare settings to identify and innovate solutions for critical needs in healthcare.

She advises portfolio companies in developing go-to-market strategy including product development, fundraising, financial compliance and talent management. Previously, Aina worked at Villgro incubatee SustainTech. She is also a Certified Professional Accountant.

About the author

Ullas is a senior associate in the Unconvention team. He has 10 years of experience as a marketing communications professional. He has written copy for advertising agencies, managed account relationships for a content start-up, mentored a team of business writers and held marketing responsibilities for a globally reputed tech corporation. After completing her residency in the US, she chose to come back to India to work. Kalyani Medical Centre, Chennai, India.

She has also authored a best-selling pregnancy book for Indian women. She is now focusing on social impact projects for global maternal and child health.

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She is a senior advisor with Villgro. Arun is passionate about solving grass-root problems through technology. While in college, he founded a venture that tackled social education, where more than 10, school students were benefited. His interest in healthcare led him into do a post gradation specialized in biomedical engineering, where he gained experience on government funded healthcare projects. KC Bhushan co-founded Cashtech Solutions, a specialist software product organisation.

Bhushan is a certified business coach from Coaching Foundation of India CFI and has been focused on mentoring various tech B2B companies in the past and is now working with social enterprises. He is a Senior Advisor with Villgro. Her skills and interests include leading interaction design for web-based and mobile application projects, working closely with research, visual design and development teams. Shivi has four years of work experience in Medical Technologies for private and public settings mainly in four sectors - mother and child care, oncology, cardiology and family planning.

Passionate about accessible healthcare Siddharth got involved with his start-up, Fyrsta Innovations, in At Fyrsta, he was involved in design and development of medical devices and had successfully developed the product ReLive, an innovative tool for chronic pain management. The device was an IoT based system for physical rehabilitation and works on the principle of tele-medicine. He is a keen researcher and aims to develop cost-effective and innovative engineering designs.

CIIE | Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship

Siddharth is a Villgro Fellow working on product design and development at Aindra Systems, a Villgro portfolio company. At Villgro, Kavita works on the incubation and investment team. Her work over the past year has been primarily with companies that are in the early stages of product or service development. She also leads Villgro's work in education incubation. Ria has a B. Ria has worked in bioprocessing — marine bioprocessing to extract edible proteins, and weed management to extract polymers for low-cost sanitary napkins. At Nofima AS, Norway, she worked on protein extraction from food by-products.

She is passionate about charcoal sketching and travelling. Thuy is an explorer and a business consultant dedicated to helping organizations, companies and enterprises in emerging and frontier markets to achieve social and economical values through strategic management tools and human centric solutions. She's had experiences consulting for small medium businesses in the US, multinational and state-owned companies in Ghana, and the Nigerian government in areas of management, agribusiness, and capital market surveillance.

Previously, she worked in leading banks in Vietnam where she developed acquisition strategies for credit card business and delivered high quality global custody services for corporate clients and fund managers. She has recently helped launch a travel mobile app for a new start-up in San Francisco. Chakravarthy has been a part of Villgro's incubation team since He has worked on origination, investments and incubation of early-stage ventures in agriculture, energy, livelihoods, technology for impact and healthcare with a focus on the agriculture sector.


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  6. This includes the identification over 50 ventures in agriculture, due diligence and closure of three investments and incubation of three ventures. He also has worked on creating strategic relationships in the agriculture sector and devised the agriculture investment strategy. Paul handles the health incubation work at Villgro.

    He joined Villgro after spending five months working as an MBAs Without Borders Advisor to Villgro incubatee Sustaintech, during which time he helped the company with business development and internal information flow. Prior to completing his MBA he worked for five years as a mechanical engineer designing capital equipment for the paper industry. Much of this time was spent working on a number of new product development project teams. Paul also participated in and led multiple internal process improvement teams.

    Paul completed a B. He previously worked in Berlin for Siemens Energy sector in the global footprint project team. He has also worked with the IIT-Madras research team on developing solar-powered applications. Raghavendra is a mechanical engineering graduate from National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur India. He has over six years work experience in management consulting in areas such as business transformation and strategy across sectors.

    Having worked in companies like Capgemini Consulting, Datamonitor and Evalueserve, he was looking for a move into the development sector, to work in a environment that was challenging and put him at the forefront of social impact. She has also worked on issues relating to trade and development as a researcher at the Centre for Trade and Development. She has earned a BA, LL. M from the Georgetown University Law Center.


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    5. Showing of 11 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Her treatment of the subject stands out for its depth, originality and a confident refusal to be swayed by hype. Her cogent arguments around the conservative attitude towards funding in India and the various infrastructural gaps convince the reader that entrepreneurship in India must indeed be looked at through a completely different prism than what a typical Silicon Valley analyst would be wont to.

      The entrepreneur is urged to adhere to the core principles of entrepreneurship. For instance, she says - 1 Create value, do not speculate 2 Build customer base, do not get distracted chasing capital. The book is organized very well. The first chapter provides the reader with the context and the author's argument about seed funding in India.

      In the following few chapters, she presents interviews with successful entrepreneurs and shows how they navigated the funding path. There is plenty to take away from the book for anyone who has a stake in the startup ecosystem in India. Entrepreneurs would benefit from learning about the pitfalls of building a business in India. Startup mentors would appreciate the insights provided on the bigger picture, supported by actual experiences of successful exits like that of RedBus.

      One person found this helpful. Nothing gives good understanding about an issue than reading real stories. This book covers some very interesting contemporary cases of start-up struggles and success in founding companies and getting funded. If you are an entrepreneur interested in getting a picture of how people go through different stages of start-up, this is would help.

      It is worth the time. Distilling real life experiences and making them simple thumb-rule like guidelines for others to follow is a very powerful effort. This is another evidence of the same from Sramana. Good first-hand, unabridged expression of entrepreneurial account makes this very authentic and must have reference book to build only tool kit to succeed. Can be better in terms of keeping readers interest and attention. Great insights about the entrepreneurship ecosystem of IT industry in India. It would have been great if she covered experiences of the entrepreneurs who could not make it big due to the lack of seed capital.

      The excerpts from interview with the entrepreneurs are informative. There nothing else much in the book apart from that. A nice read if one wants to know story of ventures like Flipkart, Caratline etc. See all 11 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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