Ideas get a chance to graduate at ET Power of Ideas event
NEW DELHI/BENGALURU/MUMBAI: It was a stupendous show of energy and optimism at The Economic Times Power of Ideas Elevator Pitch sessions organised across three cities, Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, last weekend, reflecting the growing sophistication in pitch-making for those on-board the startup bandwagon. Across the three cities, about 350 startups presented their pitches under various themes including media and entertainment, products and technology, renewable energy, healthcare and education.
Multiple panellists vetted the pitches, where entrepreneurs were given 5 minutes to articulate their idea on criteria like problem and solution fit, team, differentiation, market attractiveness and scalability.
Of the companies which pitched, 10 of them will get equity funding worth ?40 lakh each while another 30 to 40 qualifying startups will get ?5 lakh grant each from CIIE at IIM Ahmedabad, Partner to the ET Power of Ideas programme.
While some pitches were earlystage ideas and some lacked originality, the most ubiquitous trend that cut across the pitches presented across the country was the increasing maturity of startups at the pitch sessions. Most startups were not just idea-stage companies but had business models in place, some having bootstrapped their companies to reach revenue level execution while others had a clear strategy on go-to-market and the amount of capital they wanted to raise and how they would want to deploy it.
“This time its different at the Power of Ideas. We saw six teams in media and entertainment section at least two of whom already seem like target acquisitions by larger companies. Out of them, three were mid-career professionals which is a sensitive stage in ones career when a person already has fixed costs. This shows how much entrepreneurship has become socially acceptable,” said Mohit Malik, Principal at Anoova Consulting. Malik was a panellist in the ‘media and entertainment’ pitch session in Delhi.
“At Facebook, we see innovations all the time, but this has been top quality and some very interesting ideas were presented. I am super impressed by the quality of the founders who are smart while being passionate,” said Saurabh Doshi, Head, Media Partnerships at Facebook, who was on the media panel in Mumbai. “We are also thinking about the possibility of partnership with some of these startups at Facebook as we go through the pitches.”
Facebook also happens to be ET’s partner to the Power of Ideas programme.
Most importantly, panellists took note of the uptick in the quality of teams and a number of pitches being addressed to ‘Bharat’ or the real India. Some of these pitches include those of startups wanting to improve productivity of dairies and an education startup that was developing a hardware for blind people using Braille, with a distribution channel already carved out. “We had some very creative ideas in the energy and renewables space. From water treatment to different ways of monitoring energy. The startups were a mixed group, some were just in the idea stage whereas some were already making revenues,” said Shyam Menon, co-founder of Bharat Innovations Fund, who was on the Energy and Renewables jury.