Posted in Entrepreneur, Uncategorized

Are you Entrepreneur or Freelancer material

Although both the freelancer and the entrepreneur set out with the thought of ‘being his or her own boss’, there are a few characteristics that set apart the entrepreneurs from freelancers.

The Freelancer

The freelancer is a professional who markets and sells their skills for a steady income. This is akin to doing a job with a specific role but without a boss.

The ultimate aim of a freelancer is to move up the scale both in the fees charged for her services and the quality of clients and engagements.

As the freelancers work alone (or with a small supporting team) it becomes very difficult for them to increase the width of their service offerings. Thus, most successful freelancers have achieved depth in one particular field rather than having a wide-variety of skills or breadth of experience.

The freelancers sometimes coordinate with fellow freelancers to work together on a per-project basis to offer related or complementary services, but they seldom form a permanent team.

The Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs, at the outset, are on a mission to create a business bigger than themselves. They strive to build a team with multiple skills and ultimately create a venture that is profitable and, at the least, sustainable.

The company is, ideally, built to provide solution to a problem or value-add to an existing solution. An entrepreneur might also focus on a single functional area or an industry but the team has a larger breadth of functions such as marketing, sales, operations, etcetera.

Also read The Startup of you

When the Freelancer turns into an Entrepreneur

As part of my venture, I get to interact with a lot of freelancers and small consulting firms. I have found that most of the people with their own consulting firms started out as freelancers — offering the skills that they would have acquired over a period of time.

As their clients grew in number and the engagements they were executing demanded additional skills, they either started collaborating with other freelancers or hired additional team members. This became a stepping-stone to create a business bigger than the freelancer and the first step to become an entrepreneur.

While writing this article I did not check what the academic and dictionary definitions of entrepreneur and freelancer are. I just wanted to share my practical experiences that came while interacting with freelancers and entrepreneurs.

e27 note: For Fun, below are the Webster’s dictionary definition of ‘freelancer’ and ‘entrepreneur’. 

Freelance: A person who acts independently without being affiliated with or authorized by an organization

Entrepreneur: A person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money

Posted in Entrepreneur, Uncategorized

Perfect Pitch idea for Perfect Idea

On paper, your pet project sounds like a fantastic idea — but the people making the decisions just don’t agree.

So why was your great IT project rejected and how can you convince the rest of the c-suite that your initiative is valuable? Here are some essential tips from the experts.

1. Make sure other executives understand the benefits

Less politics, more action: How CIOs can benefit from taking an interim role

Poli Avramidis, CIO at the Bar Council, says some IT leaders struggle to articulate the strengths of technology. He says successful pitching of an idea often varies from person to person, with key differences in receptiveness between businesses and sectors. However, there are common issues.

“The biggest problem is when the CIO and the board don’t talk the same language,” he says. “Some IT leaders can choose to focus on the benefits of technology, rather than thinking about the business challenges the implementation is going to overcome.”

Also Read : How to Fake, Till you Make It

Avramidis says CIOs cannot afford to be waylaid by their own interests and priorities. “You have to see things from other c-suite executives’ points of view,” he says. “You need to understand the thinking processes of others, particularly in regards to how technology makes sense for other lines of business.”

What is straightforward to a CIO might be unclear beyond the IT department. “We all know that if you have an integrated system that will you will actually save the company time and money. But you must make sure other executives can see the benefits of the approach that you’re suggesting,” says Avramidis.

2. Call on project sponsors to do your selling work

Brad Dowden, CIO at recruitment specialist Airswift, says he believes project rejection is strongly connected to the quality of presentation. “You have to think about whether you tick the right boxes,” he says. “Ultimately, you’re doing a selling job and you have to sell the vision.”

The bad news, however, is selling is not a natural character trait of all CIOs. “Generally speaking, technologists are not sales people at all — they see a problem, they see how technology can solve that challenge, but they’re not necessarily good at presenting how that issue is going to be resolved,” he says.

Dowden encourages fellow IT professionals to remember that technology is just a small part of the actual project. “The more crucial element is business buy-in — understand what your stakeholders want to do and make them sponsors for your technology project,” he says.

“If you make other c-suite executives happy by demonstrating a clear return on investment in regards to their challenges, then the CFO and CEO don’t really have a decision to make when it comes to funding. Your peers will have already done the groundwork for you — they are your sponsors.”

3. Focus on the business change technology can deliver

Richard Corbridge, CIO for the Health Service Executive in Ireland, has an interesting take — the board should reject technology projects as often as they are accepted. Rather than feeling negative about knockbacks, technology professionals should embrace feedback and give the rest of the business the service it demands.

He says the modern CIO must ensure that the digital innovation being put forward for a board’s approval is led by the business. The justification of new resources or investments in IT can only be made when the business benefits are clear. CIOs, in short, must be credible in their peers’ eyes.

“By now, IT leaders across the globe should have come to the realisation that any technology project that cannot define its business value really is going to struggle to gain acceptance by the board or its governance structure. Yet we still insist on describing the ‘business’ as separate to IT,” says Corbridge.

“The panacea for the approval of technology projects at board level has to be when we, as IT leaders, no longer look to the business as a separate entity but consider ourselves to be part of the business. The catalyst for a digital project can and should be the business change it can deliver, and not the technological advancement it brings. When we focus on business change, board decisions become easier to make.”

4. Take a pragmatic approach to testing

Andrew Marks, former CIO and now the UK and Ireland managing director for energy in Accenture Technology Strategy, looks back on some of the proposals he rejected as IT leader and suggests a failure to support corporate objectives is a common theme.

“CIOs don’t want to stop creative thinking, but they will want to see investments in innovation tied to business aims, whether driving up revenue, customer loyalty or reducing operating costs,” he says. “As a CIO, I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to testing a well formed business idea, while I would say ‘no’ to playing for the sake of it. You do need to show people how a new technology might add value. Testing allows you to call a halt if an idea does not appear to be doing what was hoped.”

Marks remembers an incident as CIO when members of his own IT team proposed buying a selection of new-to-market tablets to understand their capability. The request was held back until the team could tie the investment to a set of business challenges. The approach allowed room for play and creativity, but the investment had a tangible end in mind.

Marks says any spending decisions regarding technology must be justified. He also suggests that sentiment is as true for IT managers looking to change direction on a current investment, as it is for those looking for financial backing for a new initiative.

“I work with IT leaders who have both an absolute focus on their organisation’s end customer and who are also having to make difficult decisions on systems and services,” he says. “Taking a pragmatic approach to testing ideas can help filter out the weaker ideas and leave only the best — and most likely successful — ideas to be taken forward. That way, you are more likely to create a track record of successful change and to receive future c-suite backing for new ideas.”

Posted in Entrepreneur, Uncategorized

How To Launch A Startup In 1 Month

If you have read the Founder’s Table series , or the story of any of the startups we featured, you are probably challenging yourself to take steps toward a working on a problem you can solve or a side hustle to call your own startup. Yet, the idea of launching a startup might be frightening, especially without a guide or mentor. But it need not be.

This why the TechPoint team is partnering with Wole Ogunlade; a growth marketer for early stage startups who is also one of our contributors to launch a free email course; “How to launch a startup in 1 month”.

Over the course of 11 days, you will receive free lessons, delivered by email, from already successful experts and you will be joined by thousands of entrepreneurs like you on a mission to launch successful startups and online businesses.

This series is for anyone interested in someday running their own business. Even if you are considering doing this as a side project, you can find this course as a great starting point. You’ll learn how to transform an idea into an operating business. By participating, you will discover the important questions to ask and resources that will be there to help you when the time comes to launch your venture.
The free email course focuses on 3 things:

How To Generate Ideas That Become Meaningful MVP Product.
Strategies to get your product to your customers.
Turn your customer to more revenue and referral.
There are bonuses to be given away before the course ends. One is a free consultation with Dotun Olowoporoku of Starta and a User testing ticket to analyse how real people use your product and to identify problem areas in your user interface courtesy of Test Everything.

Registration ends on 19th June, 2016, you can secure you spot by signing up now .

If you know anyone who will benefit from this course, let them know about it. You can share with them with the options provided below.

This why the TechPoint team is partnering with Wole Ogunlade; a growth marketer for early stage startups who is also one of our contributors to launch a free email course; “How to launch a startup in 1 month”.

Over the course of 11 days, you will receive free lessons, delivered by email, from already successful experts and you will be joined by thousands of entrepreneurs like you on a mission to launch successful startups and online businesses.

This series is for anyone interested in someday running their own business. Even if you are considering doing this as a side project, you can find this course as a great starting point. You’ll learn how to transform an idea into an operating business. By participating, you will discover the important questions to ask and resources that will be there to help you when the time comes to launch your venture.
The free email course focuses on 3 things:

  • How To Generate Ideas That Become Meaningful MVP Product.
  • Strategies to get your product to your customers.
  • Turn your customer to more revenue and referral.

There are bonuses to be given away before the course ends. One is a free consultation with Dotun Olowoporoku of Starta and a User testing ticket to analyse how real people use your product and to identify problem areas in your user interface courtesy of Test Everything.

Registration ends on 19th June, 2016, you can secure you spot by signing up now .

If you know anyone who will benefit from this course, let them know about it. You can share with them with the options provided below.

Posted in Entrepreneur, Startup Story, Uncategorized

Venture Factory rolls out incubation programme for healthcare startups

Bangalore-based Venture Factory has launched an incubation and accelerator programme for healthcare startups. As part of this, the firm will fund up to five startups in the space by the end of this year.

Christened VF-Healthcare, the programme will incubate healthcare startups and make an initial investment in these. Venture Factory will also participate in the follow-on round when these startups demonstrate business viability and the ability to scale up operations.

“When startups that are incubated by us reach the next level through our selection process, we make a formal investment of $200,000-$500,000. As startups move on after that, we will also look to participate in their follow-on rounds. This will be in the range of $500,000-$2 million,” said Vinay Rao, venture partner, Venture Factory.

Venture Factory has also entered into strategic partnerships with online healthcare platform Practo, hospital chain Cloudnine and Plan India (the Indian chapter of non-government organisation Plan International which focuses on children) to build an ecosystem, which would provide its healthcare-focused startups access to doctors, healthcare professionals and patients as well as services across the healthcare spectrum ranging from on-ground touch points to cloud based services and products.

While digital-enabled healthcare startups are its focus, Venture Factory is open to offline players but only those which have some amount of technology play, said Rao.

Startup incubator Venture Factory is run by i2india Pvt. Ltd, which was founded in 2006 by IIT Kanpur and Wharton graduate Deepam Mishra with $10 million initial capital from a host of investors, including Imperial Innovations, a subsidiary of UK’s Imperial College for technology transfer, commercialisation and investment, UK-based entrepreneurs Chris Mathias and Tom Singh, former Ranbaxy CEO DS Brar and US-based Harbour Ventures, besides Tata Sons.

Established in 2012, Venture Factory saw its first batch of startups graduate last year.

While the first programme was open to startups from all sectors, going forward the focus will be on healthcare and infrastructure (mostly logistics) startups. The VF-Healthcare programme is also an initiative under this umbrella. The second batch of incubees are expected to be on-boarded soon and the screening process is currently under way.

“Given our expertise and the kind of startups we have worked with, we believe these two sectors show a huge scope for growth and disruption,” said Rao.

The firm makes investments in startups through i2india, which is also its external investment arm. Currently, i2india has six startups in its startup portfolio.

In June last year, it invested $500,000 (Rs 3.2 crore) into Bangalore-based Shippr Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs an online aggregator platform for intra-city logistics service providers .

In May last year, it invested $500,000 (Rs 3.35 crore) in parenting and child safety-focused portal ZenParent.in.

It has also backed i2play interactive, a startup that enhances gamified learning for children; GPS Renewables, a waste management solution startup; Tsepak, a tech startup that makes a geo-tracking and analytics product called Busybox; and CL Infotech, an IT education service provider in the higher education space.

Posted in Entrepreneur

The Start.Up of You

What is StartUp?

Startup is standing up to start the venture which seems back-breaking. It is most obvious problem in this universe and very few people stand up to solve that problem. It is the combination of only two words “Stand“ & “Up”. Stand against all odds and up is always believing that the problem you are solving is unique problem which is being faced by large audience.

Definition of startup by famous personalities who stood up and solved the problem.

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of the social networking website Facebook said that “One of the lessons is…do something fundamental. A lot of companies I see are operating on small problems, and that’s fine if you want to be an entrepreneur, but the most interesting things operate on a fundamental level.”

“A startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed,” says Neil Blumenthal, cofounder and co-CEO of Warby Parker.

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” –Nolan Bushnell, Entrepreneur 

Flow Chart which explains the flow of Startup

 HackFwd-Blueprint

 Most successful companies who dared to make it large

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Quotes to make you damn inspired 

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi

“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” –Coco Chanel

“Courage is grace under pressure.” –Ernest Hemingway

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” –Albert Einstein

“Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.” –Ellen DeGeneres

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” –Confucius

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” –Warren Buffett

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” –Dr. Seuss

Last but not the least, your business plan – Plan that make you rich from rags

how-start-a-startup-infographic
Start.Up plan decoded

Do let us know what is your roadmap about start.up and how you planned to make it big. Inspire the world. Comment down below and share by hitting the share button.