Focus on product, passion, and value; Odisha has tremendous potential for start-ups; Dream Big and you will succeed.
The key message from investors to Start-ups, during a thematic session hosted by Startup Odisha at the ongoing Make in Odisha Conclave 2022, was to take care of value and valuation will take care of itself. Addressing a one-hour session, a panel of seven investors advised start-ups that the correct approach was to think big and aspire to become decacorns, and not unicorns.
Giving start-ups a glimpse of what investors look for, they said that over 70% diligence is the entrepreneur. Then comes the understanding of the product, leadership qualities, passion, and capability to build a business. They said that one of the key elements that they look for in services is how niche the area of operation is and how innovative the service delivery is.
Touching on the potential of the State, they elaborated that Odisha has tremendous potential in terms of healthcare. They advised start-ups to look at emerging fields such as agri, green tech, clear tech, where technology is still in its nascent stage in the country and engage in solutions in those fields. They said that there was room for frugal innovation and counselled start-ups to engage in innovation that is different, and new and that will stand the test of time. The focus should be on the core business and technology should be used as an enabler to provide business solutions. Look out for opportunities they said, citing a case of a start-up filling gaps in the software suite of Microsoft.
Stating that entrepreneurship was hard, they guided start-ups to focus on product, passion, and value. They said that investors are looking for start-ups who can leverage the strengths of Odisha and those who can create an ecosystem where entrepreneurs from other states view Odisha as a destination where they too can set up their businesses and create new jobs, thus contributing to the economy of the state.
Investors that took part in the panel discussion on “Investors outlook on building scalable Innovation” which was moderated by Madhavan Narayan, senior journalist and television commentator included Padmaja Ruparel, Founding Partner, IAN, Raj Mishra, Founder, Indea Capital, Shanti Mohan, co-Founder and CEO, Letsventure, Prem Barthsarathy, Managing Partner, PONTAQ, Manoj Kumar Agarwal, Managing Partner, SEAFUND Devesh Sinha, Founder, Bhubaneshwar Angels and Anil Joshi, Founder and Managing Partner, UNICORN India.