- Kaushik Gala

Note: The views & opinions expressed in these essays are strictly my own, and not those of any entity I may be associated with as an employee, consultant, promoter, investor, etc.




Technology Venture Investors in Pune


Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Teams

Entrepreneurial traits

Picking cofounders


Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Generating Revenue

Is your business model well-defined?

Your industry's value chain

What is your value proposition?

Which distribution channels will you use?

Who will drive business development?


Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Raising Capital

Venture capital & venture capitalists (VCs)

Corporate venture capital

Angels & angel networks in India

Government support for Indian startups

Proof-of-concept funding

Do you need a business plan?

How much money should you raise?

Startup valuation

Pitching to investors

Figure out the term sheet

Negotiating with investors

Due diligence - A necessary evil

Time to sign the investment agreements


Equities, ETFs, F&O

› Oct 2011: Equity Risk Premium for India

› Jun 2011: Investing in Indian equities


Technology Enterprises in India

› Nov 2010: Technology investment in India - WATER

› Aug 2010: Technology enterprises in India - 3 avatars


Risk Capital for MSMEs

› Mar 2010: Risk mitigation for investors in MSMEs

› Mar 2010: Why don't (Indian) MSMEs get risk capital?

› Feb 2010: Angel investing - Will it work for Indian MSMEs?

› Feb 2010: What's so special about innovative MSMEs?

› Feb 2010: Where do Indian/NRI (V)HNIs invest?

› Feb 2010: Funding options for innovative MSMEs in India

› Jan 2010: Innovative MSMEs in India

Pitching to investors

(Last revised Mar-2012, Send comments to

Pitching your business idea / plan / model to potential investors is a selling process. Thankfully, the Internet provides tons of presentation templates, pitching tips, dos-and-donts, presentation skills, etc. for entrepreneurs.

Begin by pitching to friends, ex-colleagues, fellow entrepreneurs, mentors and some investors. This allows you to gather (high-quality) feedback, and refine your pitch.

As your pitch is getting refined, you need to build a list of target investors:

  • Find VCs in your geography (e.g. Pune/Mumbai) and focus area (e.g. Consumer Internet)
  • Carefully review their websites, team bios, portfolio companies, recent deals/exits
  • Within each VC firm, identify 2-3 people ('targets') you think would be the best to pitch, given their backgrounds and the deals they've been involved in
  • Work your networks to get introductions to the founders of companies they've invested in - ask those entrepreneurs about their experience.
  • Work your networks to get 1-hop or 2-hop introductions to the targets.

Stay prepared for the typical sequence: introduction (phone/email) → elevator pitch (phone/email) → slides (email) → meeting! Remember: a solid introduction and a concise, compelling elevator pitch are the key to getting an opportunity to present.

To avoid rookie mistakes, avoid certain 'donts':

  • Don't ask for a NDA; assume that whatever you share may get distributed wider than you like
  • Don't ask for an introduction if the referrer doesn't know your target well
  • Don't engage a paid middleman/broker unless you can verify their track record via references