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Wednesday
Aug242011

Ideas We are Looking For - Part Seven

Productivity Tools that enable, don't force it down.

In this day and age of Lean Startups, and Agile being the standard, I've seen small and fast teams try out various tools and finally land up with Post-its and Google Docs to manage the tasks internally. Why? Because every other tool that exists out there, demands having to feed it in a way that it understands.

Tools that can help teams keep everyone updated on what they are upto, without standing in their way and adding to "documentation hell", would be a boon.

Wednesday
Aug242011

Ideas We are Looking For - Part Six

Leverage Platforms, with a Great Value Proposition.

The Web, no matter what you call it, is a platform. It levels the playing field and gives you a market without bounds. The Web, The Appstore, Mobile Phones (Smartphones) all have one thing in common, they are platforms.

If you are building services for consumers, it better ride on Platforms. It helps to bring down the two great costs of running a business - cost of acquisition and cost of delivery of the service down.

We are looking for Games, and Services for Consumers (read Entertainment) that ride the platform wave. Gamification is a big factor of how most apps are being built these days. Anything from Social networking, to eCommerce, to Education leverages that.

There is a lot of scope in really leveraging the global marketplace with apps that deploy the right set of wants and game dynamics. We've seen a few very interesting twists in this combination for sure. What are you upto?

Tuesday
Aug232011

Ideas We are Looking For - Part Five.

We said it: Matrimonial Search can be better. Much Much Better.

Sure, there are a few experimental new ideas coming about around group dating and the such, but as the demographic grows up and the traditional values of the parents don't align with the expectations of the newer generation, the portals that exist today are making lesser and lesser sense. Descriptions, mean very little - especially when you can do a social search (and if you are lucky enough to find the same person), will realize that the profile rarely matches the reality of the person.

Matrimony and Job Search, both alike need serious reforms. And in a day and age where Divorce as a concept has been introduced on a rampant scale, prospective brides and grooms are looking to find people that they are connected through some degree of their own circle of friends. Social, must have an answer.

If you are able to think of an elegant solution to this problem. You have the world's biggest free market, at your doorstep. And we'd love to hear it.

Tuesday
Aug232011

Ideas We are Looking For - Part Four

Systems for Customer Care

India, like many trends, will leapfrog from a society that never knew customer care, to one that will be right in the middle of social media and other forms of the connected society, that ensuring customers are taken care of will become crucial. There is an upside to it. Cost of acquisition of customers will drop as customers will become ambassadors for a brand. There are gaping holes in the market and a pressing need when it comes to systems that can enable large scale businesses (read Brands) to manage their reputation - by that we do not mean social media ghosting.

Brands and franchisees like Cafe Coffee day, have a layer of inefficient franchisees who are not yet aware of the what their target audience is equipped with. But the Brand CCD very much does. Linking Customers to the custodians of the brand, can bring about a significant difference in this space.

Think Banks. Or any institution that doesn't have much of a differentiation factor. Airlines too for that matter. For them systems like these will make a difference.

Internally Organizations also need better systems that can manage these claims and disputes, to efficiently improve or tailor-make products that makes a better fit.

From a consumer perspective, there are large gaping holes when it comes to the communications channel between the organization and its target audience. Do you agree?

Monday
Aug222011

Ideas We are Looking For - Part Three

Enterprises Are Looking for Metrics.

Around the Mid nineties, the Enterprises in the US noticed a trend. Wages kept going up, but productivity did not keep up. Hence came in tools to enable the employee to be able to be more effective. We believe India is in those stages at the moment. Tools that can help large enterprises measure productivity, and empower the workforce has much latent demand to be met. Are you thinking along the same lines?

Friday
Aug192011

Ideas We are Looking For - Part Two

There is room for Better Search.

Have you had this experience of looking for something in Google, and you come across a few million hits. You believe that the answer to what you are looking for, must lie in there somewhere. It isn't always.

Most of what we look for these days has an expiration time on it. What was the best top ten apps for a platform, or the political situation of a country, thanks to social media has become almost real-time. If you search for lets say, a list of something, chances are that you will find a ton of sites, and the top three links might even be from a few years back.

Finding relevant info, on a time and context basis will become crucial moving forward. Google seems to be stuck with the old way, where all information has been treated equal. We'd love to meet a team that is solving this problem.

Thursday
Aug182011

Ideas We are Looking For - Part One

Green, Convenient, Enterprise to Consumer Communication.

If you are a consumer, you have probably noticed this : an average consumer gets anywhere between five to seven bills for payment each month. We have not counted the bank statements, or that statement you might be getting on the status of your mutual fund or so, on that list. A typical bank, in a city like Chennai spends about a crore each month on printing of statements and couriering them - not adding to the inconvenience of office goers having to manage courier guys trying to deliver them to you. We just think there has to be much more elegant solution to it.

We have a few ideas, but we dont want to put thoughts in your head. If you have one, and you are serious about starting up, do apply for the resident programme.

Wednesday
Aug172011

In50Hrs 2 evinces interest beyond The Startup Centre

Students from West Bengal, entrepreneur from Bangalore and executive holidaying in London pitch in the second edition

The second edition of In50Hrs, a weekend ‘hack’—as referred to in the techie parlance or an effort to create a prototype or a minimum viable product—presented by The Startup Centre (TSC) from 12 to 14 August (50 hours from the evening of Friday to the evening of Sunday), expanded beyond the TSC, with Sathyanarayanan, an entrepreneur pitching his prototype of an Android database from Bangalore and Latha Annur Subramanian, part of OrangeScape, presenting from her holiday spot in London. Three students from West Bengal, now in Bangalore in search of their product venture, stayed on in TSC to create their minimum viable product...

To read more

Sunday
Aug142011

Lightspeed Venture Partners Announces Support for The Startup Centre Residents

One thing you realize quite early on when it comes to the venture business is that its not a zero sum game. Things don't always add up.But there are also things that each of us, as members of this ecosystem have an obligation towards.

When we first Met with Bejul Somaia of Light Speed Ventures, the conversation was rather different than that of a typical investor. He was an investor, who had also been in the trenches of building a startup, exiting and with the experience of a serial entrepreneur. It was soon evident that we were with a kin in the same room.

The conversations have evolved since then, and we are quite excited to announce this partnership. At the moment, we already have a partnership with SAIF Partners, who is sponsoring teams through the resident Programme on the cost of the Programme. Lightspeed Ventures is offering the outstanding team out of the Programme a grant of Rs. 5,00,000 (Approx $10,000). The criteria, selection and decision will be made by both the Startup Centre team and Lightspeed Ventures, but we will lean mostly towards teams that have been able to achieve significant traction in terms of product development during their time at TSC.

This Partnership goes live from the upcoming batch, which is to commence on September 10th, and the Call for Applications close on August 31st. If you haven't applied already, here is one more reason - amongst the plenty more that we've already been happy to announce.

As of now, if we may say so, this is probably one of the best value adds as an Accelerator of sorts, that an entrepreneur can find themselves to be in... even before the Accelerator Programme of TSC launches in November.

Thursday
Aug042011

The Second Edition of In50hrs is On Its Way - August 12th - 14th

In50Hrs is a Weekend Hackathon where people with Ideas, Developers, and Designers get together to give life to ideas and have working prototypes before the weekend is out, present it to a room full of like-minded folks, and perhaps pave the way for the beginning of a new product.

The Second Edition of the event is slated to be on the dates of 12th - 14th August

If you already are aware of What In50hrs is about, Click on Register to save yourself a seat.

If you'd like to know more, then there are a few things you can do:

In50 is an initiative of Thestartupcentre

Note: We changed the dates, due to a conflict of dates with another event.