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.ARCHIVES
Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Teams
Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Generating Revenue
Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Raising Capital
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
(Last revised Mar-2012, Send comments to email@example.com)
Every so often, entrepreneurs work with scientists to pursue startup opportunities. This usually happens when an entrepreneur who has market insights meets a scientist who is working on technologies that might turn into relevant solutions.
Since the scientist is usually working in an academic/research setting, there needs to be further R&D before a new venture can be created. With the entrepreneur's involvement, such R&D can be focused & directed towards a product/service.
In such cases, the entrepreneur and scientist can access proof-of-concept ('PoC') funds. These funds, usually run by universities/government, are meant to support the early stages of technology commercialization. The outcome of a successful PoC initiative is ideally a spinoff, less ideally an out-license of the IP/knowhow.
As of now, only a handful of institutions in the US & UK run such funds. Moreover, scientists need to drive the fund-raising process, since it is they who will receive the funds, with the expectation that these PoC projects will turn into startups.
Trust and patience are key to making this work - entrepreneurs will not have the same control during the PoC stage as they will after venture creation. Successful PoC-funded projects are the result of well-defined market problems translated into clear technology development goals, captured in a sensible business model.