Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Deciding How Much Equity to Give your Key Employees

The new trend within tech start-ups is giving offering potential talent equity shares.  Giving worthy job candidates a share of equity could be the difference of them picking your company over someone else’s.  This also motivates workers, and decreases employee turnover. Equity encourages employees to stay long-term, because they are motivated by the idea of the company enters the public stock-market, or if it is sold in the future.  Equity acts as a foreign currency, and the amount depends on timing, need, and expertise. It is also very good for attracting potential advisors to the company. Advisors can triple the value of a company, so the equity would eventually pay for itself.  Read More >>

Deep learning for Internet of things

Deep learning is a type of machine learning that leverages multi-layered neural networks that are capable of transforming high-dimensional inputs into an output. Preferred Networks (PFN) a Tokyo-based start-up has been increasingly exploring the concepts of AI in order to reshape IoT ever since they moved on from being a search engine to a deep learning-based company in 2014, The founders of PFN started as a Japanese search engine in the early 2000s and later on as deep learning sectors boomed they readily cashed in their opportunity to integrate IoT and the robust manufacturing sectors of Japan.PFN has a wide range of services that they cater ranging from medical diagnostics to self-driving cars. But their early partnership with Fanuc a large Japanese robotics firm led to one of the biggest breakthroughs of the company in the field of bin picking. Although it is a low-skilled, tedious yet necessary task for the manufacturing sector, machine learning has made it possible to automate these tasks using robotic arms.PFN developed a vision-based solution enabling bin-picking bots to learn quickly from each fumbled attempt and achieved a 90% success rate after 8 hours of work. Recently PFN partnered with Toyota to develop Toyota’s Human Support Robot Platform that aims at making robots that are capable of carrying out mundane tasks autonomously. Read More>>

Can Calculations help build a profitable startup?

 Entrepreneurs must perform certain calculations in order to evaluate their ideas against those characteristics, vision, and goals before proceeding further because every idea has different viability, validity, feasibility, capital requirement, and potential characteristics. Irrespective of the bussiness model whether it is on-demand, SaaS, e-commerce, the marketplace, subscription or others, the two most important key metrics in a startup are customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value. Without a product, it is hard to obtain all the numbers necessary to perform calculations to validate the revenue model thus it is advisable to use figures from benchmark companies to understand the fixed costs, variable costs, how much it cost them to acquire the customers and a customers lifetime value. All these values help the founders to deduce the breakeven point after which the company will be profitable. This gives the founders an understanding of their big vision and helps them plan in advance without having much to lose. In conclusion, the objective is to estimate the viability and feasibility of the idea given your goals and resources. Better know this sooner than later in order to change execution strategy, market or idea.Read More>>

Need for challenging colleagues

As an entrepreneur sometimes you are forced to work alongside people who are really difficult to handle although this could have been avoided if they are not the boss of the company. Often the challenging or difficult people are mistaken to the bad ones, The challenging ones are those passionate and committed ones who stand up against the crowd and voice out their opinion showing a certain level of abrasion occasionally. But on the contrary, the bad ones are those who hinder the growth of the company and also lower the morale of co-workers and serve no good to the company. Although it is difficult initially to distinguish between the two, it is the role of a good supervisor to weed out the bad ones and let the challenging one’s voice out more. Not only does this ensure everyone’s opinions are heard but also ensures that there is a new perspective to a given problem and also eliminates the error that might have occurred if the whole team was too harmonious and everyone considered going with the group’s view imperial over raising concerns. Read More>>

5 Habits that make you a successful Entrepreneur

There is no defined path to be a successful Entrepreneur and no one has ever done it the same way twice. Every entrepreneur has to make his own tough decisions and set their priorities. But, there are certain things if unchecked leads to a definite failure no matter the hard work or clever strategies followed. The serial entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson who has succeeded in diverse fields shared his five-part formula for success irrespective of the business.

  1. Create something that is useful and would benefit society as a whole.
  2. Keep your brands pitch dead simple.
  3. Put yourself out there for the world to see and potentially laugh at.
  4. Adapt to social media marketting.
  5. Genuinely Believe and love what you do. Read More>>

Circular Economy & Entrepreneurs

The trends have shown that we are moving towards an economy of disposability, meaning that we extract valuable resources and waste them before making complete utilization.for instance, the threats possessed by single-use plastic is well known, production of clothing has doubled over the past 15 years and about 25% of food prepared for humans goes to waste causing more harm to the planet. However, recently entrepreneurs and innovators are trying to focus on the need for impact-driven innovations that are critical in order to achieve sustainable development goals giving rise to a Circular Economy. accordingly, entrepreneurs such as Karma are discovering ways to make use of excess food from restaurants and shops with interested buyers, Amprobotics is using AI and robots to revolutionise the recycling segment. Read More>>

Lean Startup Methodology- Pros & Cons

Lean startup methodology proposes that for a startup to be successful it has to develop a framework that encourages the focus on action. The process begins when the founders of a startup fill out the business canvas model that has nine subsections dealing with concepts such as value proposition, customer relationships, revenue streams, cost structure etc. this enables the founders to answer questions on their business and also helps them put together a testable hypothesis thereby facilitating production of viable products to test the hypothesis, If the test proves wrong the canvas model is adjusted and the iterative process is repeated. Although the lean startup methodology has proven successful in most of the cases it still isn’t completely failproof and causes considerable harm at times. Read More>>

How gender segregation affects the Entrepreneurial capital market

Lori Greiner, a millionaire businesswoman on Shark Tank advise the woman entrepreneurs to consider themselves as a person in business equal to anyone else. However, the market for entrepreneurial financing is not really gender-neutral hence woman-run startups struggle to secure funding in the initial stages compared to their male counterparts. The questions asked during the sales pitch and the language used to describe an entrepreneur shows the discrimination involved, further venture capitalists tend to associate more with similar others especially of the same gender thus confirming the gender stereotype. The downside of this gender segregation is that it will lead to the creation of Pink Silos reserved for female-run startups and investors and thus separating them from the rest. Read More>>

Why startups with Gender-inclusive founding teams are profitable?

The Kauffman Fellows Research Center (KFRC) analyzed US venture-backed startup data from 2001 and it was observed that teams that had at least one lady in the founding team of startup had better chances of getting bigger capital investments.  This claim is further supported by the fact that the woman founded companies have increased from 4% to 21.6% in the last two decades, although the progress is painfully slow the trend seems to show steady growth. Thus startups should capitalize on this advantage while choosing their founding partners.  Read More>>

The success paradigm for Tech vs Hardtech Startups.

Tech startups deal with software, cloud computing and mobiles. on the other hand, Hard tech startups are mostly concerned with materials, energy and Lifesciences. It is shocking that the criterions governing the success of both are completely different and thus a basic playbook cannot be used for both categories by an entrepreneur. However, in the past decade, tech startups have followed a particular trend in order to remain successful such as;

  • Building products that fit into the big market by taking advantage of the rising smartphone market and also cloud computing technologies.
  • Putting together a team of engineers, managers and designers to facilitate lean software development and growth methodologies.
  • Using the right mix of “Tried and true” as well as the “out of the box” business strategies in order to expand larger and faster with the assistance of right executives.

Although it sounds really simple, it is extremely difficult to implement them and the pattern is completely different for Hardtech startups. Read More>>