Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Important Steps To Exit Your Startup With Proud And Pride

Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur. Although many won’t admit it, true entrepreneurs can’t wait to exit their current startup, and build a new and better one with their next great idea. In addition, current investors want to see every startup go public or be acquired, as an exit event, so they can get their due return for that investment which has been tied up for the last few years.

For these reasons, I always look for an overt exit strategy in every startup I might consider for an angel investment. As a mentor to many entrepreneurs, I also encourage an entrepreneur exit focus early, and I really like the specific steps outlined in the new book, “Exit Signs,” by Pamela Dennis, who has helped companies through this critical transition for decades.

Her focus is a bit more on mature companies, but I believe the following eight steps, paraphrased from hers, are especially applicable to every startup and the entrepreneurs who create them.

Your Problem + Our Solution = Success

1. Think about the end game as you start - Running a mature company is totally different from running a startup. Most startup founders don’t relish the thought of managing repeatable processes, greedy stockholders, and endless regulation reports. Yet they often fall into these roles by not proactively preparing themselves for any alternatives.

2. Set a target personal destination and timing - The first step is clarifying your personal goals and the legacy you want to leave. Exiting this startup is not the end, and may be the beginning of something even better, like Bill Gates philanthropy, or your next plan to change the world. At minimum, you need to get an exit advisor to keep you on course.

3. Set your startup health gauges and use them - New startup founders keep all the operating metrics they need in their head. If you intend to exit, or even if you don’t, it’s never too early to think what an acquirer or stockholder looks for to assess your business health. This all starts with building a culture and strategy that can survive without you.

4. Tune up your startup value and salability - Even if you don’t have a formal board of directors, it pays to have trusted advisors who will give you regular unbiased feedback on your team strengths and weaknesses, financial and operating ratio norms, and an external view of current company valuation issues. Listen carefully and act accordingly.

5. Build relationships with potential acquirers - The best sale or acquisition is a gradual one, where the acquirer gets to know you through formal and informal relationships. Don’t wait for a distress situation in the business or your personal life, and hope that the ideal acquirer magically appears. Keep a critical lens on payment options and tax implications.

6. Mature your business processes and customer base - Secure your company’s sustainability through multiple revenue streams and customer sets, and solid core business processes. Build an exit-transition plan for yourself, and a plan to retain key talent on the team. Anticipate customer and valued-supplier reaction to any change.

7. Build a positive data bank and presentation - Well ahead of any planned move, you need to assemble hard data to support your historical and projected performance and sustainability. Your valuation and salability depends on the credibility of this effort. Plan to spend 30-60 percent of your time away from running your business during this phase.

8. Lead your way out rather than wait for a push - The win-win startup acquisitions and successful transitions to public companies are led by the entrepreneur, rather than happen passively. You need to proactively engage the right people, drive improvements where required, and pay attention to all the external and internal factors gating success.

According to Dennis, an astonishing 87% of small and mid-size business owners don’t have an exit strategy or plan, leaving them to die at their desk, or get pushed out on terms they don’t like. If you are like most entrepreneurs, who look forward to a life of pride and profit after their current startup, it’s time to take some steps to make a startup exit more than a wistful dream.

Disclaimer :- Following Article Come From Forbes

Monday, September 28, 2015

His Highness Amir Encourages Advanced Ways To Attain Development

His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said Saturday the world should explore innovative means to implement sustainable development beyond 2015 in order to end poverty by 2030.

The world should engage in a collective work and active partnership while taking into consideration burden-sharing in order to achieve sustainable development, His Highness the Amir said in a speech before the Sustainable Development Summit.
He added the targeted sustainable development was facing big challenges "due to the patterns of conduct of man throughout the ages, in addition to impact of natural disasters and the rise in earth's temperature thus increasing our responsibilities." Leaders taking part in the summit had adopted yesterday the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aimed at primarily eradicating poverty by the year 2030 and further push development worldwide.

His Highness the Amir highlighted Kuwait's contributions to helping developing countries worldwide, calling upon developed countries to honor their commitment and contribute 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) to enable sustainable funding for developing countries.
Kuwait, he added, has been living up to its regional and international responsibilities towards achieving sustainable development and addressing related problems.
"My country has hosted a number of high level meetings - economic, development and humanitarian - and launched many initiatives to boost partnership in development and humanitarian fields, and continue to make sure they are implemented," said His Highness the Amir.
Kuwait, added His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, did not spare any effort to provide aid to developing countries and least-developed nations through its institutions, foremost Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), which provided grants and soft loans to carry out infrastructure projects in the developing countries.
"My country continue during the past few years to provide development assistance that amounted to 2.1 percent of its GDP, which is more than double the percentage agreed-upon internationally," he said.
Add caption
"We are proud that Kuwait, even through it is a developing country itself, has been ranked in first place in providing humanitarian assistance in 2014 according to the global humanitarian assistance report," he noted.
Kuwait's total assistance in 2014 amounted to 0.24 percent of the country's Gross National Product (GNP), the highest among all donor countries in the world," His Highness the Amir.
His Highness the Amir, meanwhile, said Kuwait was proud of the UN achievements over the past decades, through which it enhanced international cooperation against challenges and crises.
He said the SDGs' three dimensions - economic, social and environmental - represented a starting point to support global development.
"Our success in achieving sustainable development reflects our responsibilities towards the world," concluded His Highness the Amir.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Back To Business

Ahmad al Mutawa's 'awakening' moment, as he likes to call it, was when he was living the life in Dubai - drawing a big salary and staying in a big apartment.
The University of Southern California graduate had, towards the end of nearly two years' employment at an oil services major, an epiphany of sorts: that he needed to pursue his passion as his career.

Within two weeks of having his 'moment', he quit his job, went back to his home country Kuwait and started his own initiative.

He returned in 2007, a year after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's downfall when much of the uncertainty that had plagued Kuwait as an investment hub was slowly beginning to lift.

More and more Kuwaitis have since begun to take the big leap to entrepreneurship in the oil-rich state, where jobs for life for nationals in the public sector have long been an established mechanism to distribute state largesse. Of the 410,000-plus Kuwaitis in employment, nearly 75 per cent work for the government. In comparison, only 21.8 per cent work in the private sector, according to Kuwait's Public Authority for Civil Information. There has been an upward trend in the number of Kuwaitis employed in the private sector in the last couple of years, however - only 18 per cent were employed in the sector in 2012.

Kuwait has long emptied its state coffers to pay high public wages and that situation is unlikely to change even in the current environment of low oil prices that is likely to make the country incur a deficit of $27 billion for the first time in 15 years, for the 2015-2016 financial year.

In fact, Kuwait is considering a bill to standardise wages to provide the nearly 45 per cent of state employees currently earning below the proposed pay scale an increase of 18 per cent in a massive spending exercise that will cost the country KD350 million ($1.16 billion) in the first year of its implementation.

However, despite high public sector salaries, Kuwaitis are making the transition into private business. Like anywhere else in the world, it is mainly "for independence and having a sense of purpose," says Kuwaiti-based venture capital (VC) investor Mijbel al Qattan.

Mohammad al Meer, who is founder of Google Developer Group Kuwait, says that part of the reason for Kuwaitis seeking to be their own employers is a tendency by state entities to delegate work to private sector contractors.

"Usually in the government, it is the third-party contractors who are implementing the actual solutions," he explains.

"Some engineers think that it might be better starting their own projects or businesses instead of working for either government or a bank, and only be in charge of looking or watching the third-party company doing the actual work."

With Kuwaitis no longer content to sit in government jobs and watch others do their work, many in the country are organising events to spread awareness and hone skills to start their own businesses.

Al Qattan, for instance, co-founded Startup Kuwait, an active initiative he says is aimed at enabling tech-fuelled entrepreneurship to flourish in the country.

Al Mutawa's consulting firm Mubaader Services also helps Kuwaiti small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) develop business plans and succeed. The firm, he says, has supported a portfolio of 850 clients and projects over the past six to seven years in Kuwait and helped more than 80 businesses to establish themselves in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC).

When it comes to supporting entrepreneurs most of the initiatives in Kuwait have largely been private sector-led and funded. However, this is set to change this October when the government is expected to launch the delayed $2 billion National Fund for Welfare of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, which had been approved by the parliament in 2013. The intention is to provide entrepreneurs with 80 per cent financing for their projects, with the remainder 20 per cent guaranteed as a loan by Gulf Bank, Kuwait's second-largest lender.

Al Mutawa, who consults on the fund project, says when it does come into force it will be good news for Kuwait's entrepreneurial community.

"What they're formulating right now is the new businesses fund. For example, if you have a new idea, you want to establish a business and you want a loan or something.

"They will launch it within the next three to six months. They're hiring people now. It's a very positive step. It is one of the biggest funds in the world [for SMEs]."

Another important feature of the fund grants is "project leave", Al Mutawa explains. This allows a government employee who may be unsure of taking the risky step of leaving his comfortable job to start his own venture the option of returning to his old employer should his new business not prove successful.

While the government's latest incentive takes time to be refined, the private sector in Kuwait, like most sectors of the country's economy, also enjoys a degree of government subsidy.

The government guarantees bachelors with university degrees a minimum of KD690 to work in the private sector, over and above the salary paid by the employer. The amount rises incrementally for those who are married, and those with children. In contrast, Bahrain provides between BD50 to BD100 for their nationals employed in the private sector.

However, the big question on everyone's minds is whether Kuwait can afford such a scheme at a time when its finances are squeezed.

Al Mutawa says it is only natural for Kuwaitis to rediscover their natural entrepreneurial instincts as that is how the nation has always done business.

"I had people coming to me and telling me - you have oil, $10,000 salaries [per month], so why would you want anything like this in Kuwait where there are high salaries and people enjoy luxurious lives?" he said.

"I responded by saying that Kuwait, from the beginning, since the nineteenth and into the 20th centuries, in our blood we have this entrepreneurial spirit.

"Kuwait has always had open trade, they speak languages, they go to India, they go to the west. This is part of our culture, from the very beginning."

Optimistic as that may sound, access to finance remains difficult for SMEs in Kuwait. An article on the Kuwaiti entrepreneurial scene in Forbes noted how the country needed to develop a "more entrepreneurial culture" that encompasses its expatriate population as well.

Premlal Pullisserry, an expatriate entrepreneur who began warehousing SME BoxIt in Kuwait was able to develop his business idea thanks to the help provided by Kuwait-based business accelerator Sirdab Lab.

Pullisserry, who recently succeeded in attracting more funding to expand BoxIt across the region, says that other expatriate entrepreneurs have not been so successful.

"Being an expat has lots of pressure, because we are here on a very short term visa and it could be that if I [as an investor] give you certain amount of money, the person could disappear in no time," he says.

"If you are a Kuwaiti person, it is much easier for you to get some angel funding because you can invest a sure amount every year."

Another challenge for entrepreneurs in Kuwait is the difficulty in attracting foreign investment into a country, which is infamous for being one of the world's worst places to do business. It ranks 150 on the World Bank's Doing Business 2015 index.

"We tried to raise funding from Kuwait, but it is proving extremely difficult for us to get that moving," says Pullisserry.

"Even one of the Kuwaiti VCs who recently approached us said that, even if you have to receive our funding, you have to move your legal entity out of Kuwait, which means that even the Kuwaiti VC firm will not be in a position to fund us with our legal entity being in Kuwait.

"So that really opened our eyes, in terms of where to place our legal entity as a startup and we had to look at options outside Kuwait. The natural option was Dubai."

The UAE is the go-to option for many Kuwaiti SMEs that want to grow. A report by research firm Marmore noted that in Kuwait an entrepreneur has to deal with 11 government interfaces to do business, while that figure ranges from four to seven in other GCC countries.

Raghu Mandagolathur, who heads research at Kuwait-based asset manager Markaz, says that despite much development on the small businesses front, there is a lot more work that needs to be done to develop the sector in Kuwait.

"Though there is official support for SMEs in Kuwait, the concept of successful startup SMEs is still new to the Kuwaiti business culture," he says.

"Thus, rather than completely fresh startups, investors and banks may like to fund franchises, wherein there is a proven brand backing the investment, and there is operational support and training available for the applicant.

"The archaic bankruptcy laws can also unnerve new entrepreneurs."

For a country that is now realising the perils of a lack of diversification from oil, the low crude price era could ironically prove to be a boon - as well as a bane - for SMEs development, adds Mandagolathur.

"On the one hand, the government is likely to bolster attempts to grow the SMEs ecosystem in order to strengthen non-oil growth," he says.

"On the other hand, falling oil receipts may tighten funding available for SMEs, both in terms of private and public sector channels."

Should the Kuwaiti government succeed with its new initiatives to help the entrepreneurial community, it would be a win-win for its economy as well as its long term future stability.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Top 10 Things For Building A Startup Incubator

A year ago we had a long thin space in South Delhi, a network of mentors and a bunch of willing startups. Today we have a budding incubator and four successful startups who’ve gone on to seed-round funding. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.

1. Most startups fail

We named our incubator-accelerator ‘Startup Tunnel,’ as a joke about eventually seeing the light at the end. But I now think ‘Startup Funnel’ would have been just as appropriate. Most startups fail. That’s a truth that one can’t really appreciate until one has gotten wet with this game, and even many successful startups will never realise how lucky they really are.

We interviewed 220 startups between December 2014 and February 2015, out of which we made 14 offers. Twelve startups accepted our offer and began working with us. We graduated five startups with our credentialed seal of approval in April 2015. Four of those are now negotiating seed round funding at valuations between Rs 8 crores and Rs 25 crores.

What of the rest? We haven’t followed up carefully, of course, but I would guess that no more than half are still around, and many more of them will fold over the coming year. The odds of coming through with your original team and idea intact are very, very, small, which is why I encourage teams to keep their ear to the ground and to stay nimble, and open to reacting to new opportunities and options as they may reveal themselves.

2. What’s in the Pitch has to be in the Product

When you’re starting out all you really have is your vision, and you have to communicate that vision through your pitch. You get into Startup Tunnel on the strength of your pitch and you graduate into seed-round funding the same way. We spend a lot of time helping startup teams with their pitch, because what you envision and articulate will actually describe the business you go on to build.

But what’s in the pitch must eventually translate into your product as well. So we look for teams who have the ability to describe what they want to build in detail, in ways that show they know with precision and clarity what they’re going to try to do. Pitch and product have to hang together, else the startup will sputter and fail.

3. Straight-up e-commerce and on-demand plays are over

I don’t know how many on-demand service pitches I’ve sat through. People are serving you groceries, hot food, half-cooked food, coming over and making drinks for you at home, giving you massages and perms and doing your make-up, fixing your car, watering your plants, and really taking over every aspect of your life. I don’t say this isn’t the way our economy is trending — I only say that it’s impossible for me to evaluate which of these many competing services will eventually win out. And if there isn’t a clear differentiator, I’m afraid I’m not playing.

4. The best startup pitches aim to help people in real ways

After you’ve seen party apps, event discovery apps, and dating apps fill up your pitch slate, you really want to bite your teeth into something meaningful. You want to see startup pitches that will really change things for people, even if they’re hard to achieve. Those are also the spaces in which new opportunities are hiding, two standard deviations from what’s hot right now. As an early-stage incubator we are hungry and thirsty for bold new propositions that might feel like a brainfreeze the first time we hear of them. We look to take risks and go places where angels may fear to tread.

5. Data has to be part of the story

While many startups are focused on their short term play, there is also the question of managing the data they produce. If startups can’t think strongly about analysing and monetising their data they will eventually be edged out by competitors who can. So this has become a really hard line for me: are you thinking about collecting, analysing, and monetizing your data in ways that will give you differentiation and prevent your business from becoming someone else’s lunch?

6. Growth is to be hacked not bought

The other side of a strong product is the ability to reach audiences, convert users and drive traffic through your platform or to your product. This cannot be a spend item for a startup team — founders must have the smarts, and be savvy to be able to connect with their market for negligible costs, or else the startup will burn through all the money that’s ever put into them.

7. Teams win over even the most gifted individuals

Paul Graham of Y Combinator deserves all the credit for articulating this insight first in the startup space. But I suppose every investor has to validate this general truth for themselves. We have backed individuals and we have backed teams, and in general teams perform better. This is because teams can possess a greater diversity of skills and abilities, the manpower to fundraise and work on product at the same time, while also enjoying more objective, reality-based decision making, and a better validated initial business concept.

But this is just a high-level generalization. There are still successful single-founder companies that come along and of course there many, many multiplayers teams that will still go belly-up.

8. Incubators can help with seed-round funding

Over the past year, I’ve sat on multiple meetings with our startups as they’ve pitched to angels and institutional investors. It’s surprised me how much of a difference my presence has made. In some cases I’ve been in a position to give feedback to the startup about what parts of their pitch were working and where they needed to refine things further. In other cases I’ve heard chatter from the prospective investor that I’ve back-channeled to the startup, which has helped the two sides come closer to an agreement. In all cases, having someone in the room who has spent a lot of time with you, who has your back, is an advantage that can only come from an institutional incubation process.

9. There’s a lot of ‘stupid money’ out there

Yuvraj Singh and Kapil Dev have become angel investors, along with Bollywood actors and the sons and daughters of every other industrial house. Every old family seems to have some young gun trying to increase its corpus through a few quick deals. Needless to say, most of this money will be spent in subsidizing your car rides, funding your discount coupons and in chasing you around the Internet with redirected advertizing until it is all gone, gone, gone. Even though much of this money will never see any return, I’m glad it’s floating around. Easy money is the only thing that can change our old industrial-feudal ways of doing things. In the process, we’re seeing a less risk-averse society where failure isn’t quite the devastating condemnation it once was.

All the same, for first-time investors in startups, it’s important to learn about the space, learn about the sector you’re taking a stab at and develop the ability to evaluate startup teams. People who invest seriously need to spend a lot of time with a lot of startups and a good deal more time with those they actually invest in. Failing that, you’re shooting in the dark with two blanks out of three.

10. Funnels mitigate risk

At Startup Tunnel we really believe we’re helping build better startups on account of the emphasis we put in product, user and market orientation, data analytics and growth hacking. We also perceive that our startup teams are savvier with investors and with their long-term planning going forward several rounds of investment funding. So every pea coming through this pea shooter is going to be a better pea.

But not every pea is going to come out. And this is where I see that we have an advantage that other investment vehicles just can’t match: we have the opportunity to sit and wait out the process of startups maturing and either crumbling or coming good. We spend time watching founders deal with different kinds of challenges in the course of trying to build their product and business. That’s the sense in which the funnel of Startup Tunnel gives us a ring-side view into who are going to be the winners coming out of each cohort of startups.

Disclaimer :- Following article came from YourStory

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Some Helpful Information For Successful Start-Up (Australia)

Bondi mother Belinda Everingham stopped using commercial cleaning products when she realised they were causing her headaches. She started cleaning with some ‘natural’ cleaning products on the market but noticed they contained ingredients that were not so natural.

So she came up with the idea of Bondi Wash -- a range of genuinely all-natural cleaning products.

Just two years down the track, Bondi Wash is stocked in 76 retail stores across Australia, as well as China, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan; with more than 50 stores in Japan.

As a successful CEO, Everingham is regularly inundated with start-up businesses asking her for advice.

“I love seeing others go through the same journey I’ve been on, people investing time and energy so their creativity comes to life,” Everingham said.
“I’ve learnt a lot since I launched the business in 2013 and, while I’ve made some mistakes, I’ve gotten plenty of things right too. So I’d really like to share some of my tips.

"The first step is all-round creation and concept. How do you know if your idea is good or not and how do you get started?

Tips :-

1. Try to develop something that is innovative across a number of dimensions, such as design, functionality, scent and packaging. Bondi Wash has a number of levels of innovation -- the scent, the anti-bacterial qualities, the product packaging and the natural ingredients.

2. Focus obsessively on product (or service) design -- customers will always be attracted to a great product regardless of marketing. I was asked by a friend how I was going to market the business and I had no answer at the time, other than I hoped the product would sell itself. It did.

3. Look for simplicity and symmetry -- I used these principles to help guide decision-making. Bondi Wash launched with three products in three fragrances.

4. Understand where your competitors are but don’t copy -- create your own style and own path. People love authenticity and you can’t replicate this.

5. Create for the long-term -- will the business still be relevant in 50 years? Our vision for the product design was something that could still be relevant in 50 years.

Brand and culture

1. The first 18 months are critical for a new company. Be aware that every decision affects your brand in these early days, from packaging design, products you launch with and pricing, through to where your products/services are stocked or seen. Saying no can be just as important as saying yes.

2. Find the best possible people to work with. You cannot expect to have all the answers. Find talented and like-minded experts to help with what you know you are not so good at.

3. Create some guiding principles to help with decision-making. We used the concept of simplicity to guide key decisions. In the long run, having simple solutions will make the company stronger.

4. Don’t rush things. Often time solves problems and a better solution becomes clear. At the same time, it is important to feel like you are in a hurry to get your products/services out there as fast as you can. Every product or service can be improved on -- launch with what you have. And continue to perfect it over time

5. Creating a company means creating a culture. Think through what’s important to you and how you want your organisation to behave. For us, that meant building a company based on high integrity, doing the right thing in every regard and building strong trust-based relationships. This means we treat others with kindness, we pay bills on time or early if we can and we offer strong support to those we choose to work with (staff, stockist and suppliers).

6. Treat mistakes as opportunities. Without fail, whenever we have faced what has seemed like a problem or failure, it has led to a better outcome in the long run. Believing this also helps us in dealing with mistakes. People do make mistakes and moving forward from them is far better for everyone than reprimanding or making someone feel bad.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Startup Reasons For Establish 'Coopetition'

There are seven reasons in it, and they are smart as important.In business startups there must be growth and it is necessary.

1. It reduces common costs and customer learning curves.

Similar startups, with competing products, almost always have overlapping areas, which cost money to develop and annoy customers with a new learning curve. If these elements are not your core competency or “secret sauce,” why not negotiate a sharing partnership?

2. Complementary advantages can expand both markets.

Every smart startup starts with a focus on a unique advantage, such as owning a distribution channel. A competitor may have complementary strengths. A strategic partnership, sharing common gains, should be a growth opportunity by expanding the market for both.

3. There's an opportunity for follow-on sales to existing customers.

Every business brings a set of existing customers who are great candidates for additional sales from a partner-competitor. That’s the reason why many ecommerce sites feature a house brand, but have partner relationships with logical competitors to attract and cross-sell customers.

Satisfaction Is Your Need 

4. It can create new solutions through integration of competitor features.

In many cases, two competitors are fighting a third one, and both are losing. With a strategic partnership, they can combine their product strengths with minimal cost and time, rather than each funding new development. Both then capitalize on new strengths and bundling for growth.

5. It can establish architecture and industry-interface standards.

Products in the same industry need to talk to each other and share data to facilitate faster customer adoption and faster growth for all players. Competitors can agree on common interfaces without exposing or jeopardizing their intellectual property or customer relationships.

6. It leads to referral agreements and affiliate marketing.

These are simple cooperation agreements, but many entrepreneurs are too proud or busy to consider them as a growth opportunity. Why not improve your customer satisfaction by referring customers you can’t satisfy to someone who can? If they so the same, you both win, along with the customer.

7. Coopetition relationships lead to positive investments and buy outs.

These days, most large companies, such as IBM and Merck, rarely develop new products internally. They invest in complementary startups, through internal venture funds and partnerships, and plan to acquire the best as they show the right traction. Be visible and be proactive.
If you are contemplating a win-lose relationship, hoping to put your competitor at a disadvantage, don’t do it. It's very risky, costs you a lot of time and money and generally backfires, since most competitors are not desperate or stupid. In every case, make sure your intellectual property is protected up front with a two-way non-disclosure agreement. Be cautious, but not paranoid.
Smart entrepreneurs realize that sometimes they have to fight that natural instinct to consider competitors as the enemy. If you keep your customer’s best interest as your first priority, you will know when it’s time to think outside the box. That thinking, including coopetition, will pay big dividends for your own startup's growth, as well as customer relationships.
Disclaimer :- Followingg article is is from Entrepreneur

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Second Hand Car-Tech UK

According to British Car Auction reports 7.4 million used cars were sold in the United Kingdom in 2014, an increase of roughly 4% on the previous year. Private-to-private used car sales made up roughly one third of that total, around 2.8 million, with dealerships making up the rest. The value of the entire UK used car market at the end of 2013 was believed to be £42.7 billion, £6bn more than the new car market.

These are eye watering figures, but fairly logical. Nearly 80% of households in the UK have at least one car, and half of those have more than one, changing them every five years or so; there are nearly 40 million vehicles on the UK’s roads. It’s projected that there may be as many as 44 million cars in the UK by 2020.

With so many cars being traded in the market, it is an extremely competitive one, even more so when we consider that as cars in the UK are right hand drive, they tend not to get exported.

Interestingly, for such a huge market, not many dealerships enjoy the kind of reputation that makes them stand out from the crowd. Cargiant is the largest dealer in the UK, responsible for the sale of approximately 700k cars each year (nearly 10% of all cars sold), but there are thousands of other recognised dealers. The market is fragmented and in terms of customer service or value for money, no one brand stands out.

Double Is Always Better Than Single

A new startup, Carspring, wants to change all this by taking a digital approach to the buying and selling of cars. While their online platform acts as an intermediary between buyer and seller, their customer service is on hand to handle all of the paperwork, getting the cars inspected according to a stringent 150+ checklist, fixing any issues that arise, and then personally delivering the car to buyers.

They say it is a more customer focused approach which relies on leveraging technology to ensure both buyer and seller receive an end-to-end service that is an improvement on the “caveat emptor” attitude of many car dealerships, and particularly private sellers.

It seems like today there are startup businesses everywhere invading industries regarded as too traditional and closed to new ways of doing things. You’ve heard of FinTech, Fash-Tech, and Health-Tech; get ready for Second-hand car-Tech,

Disclaimer :- Following article come from Forbes

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

NIESBUD Programme

Objectives :

* Identify and train the potential entrepreneurs in region;
* Impart basic managerial knowledge and understanding;
* Provide post-training assistance;
* Develop and strengthen entrepreneurial quality and motivation;
* Analyze the environmental issues related to the proposed project;
* Help in selecting the right type of project and products;
* Formulate the effective and profitable project;
* Enhance industrial development
* Acquire necessary managerial skills required to run the industrial unit.
* Acquaint and appreciate the required social responsibility / entrepreneurial discipline.

Start To Finish

Important Topics :

Small Business Planning : Market Survey , Project Report Preparation & Basic Startup Problem.

Small Business Opportunities : Project AppraisingTechniques, Marketing Opportunities & Competition, Financial Feasibility Analysis.

Small Business Management Skills : Fundamentals, Financial With Costing & Accounting, Raising Funds, Marketing Management, Taxation.

Legal Business Structure : Sole Propietorship, Partnership, Corporation, Co-operative, Limited Liability.

Regulatory Requirements of Business : Statutory Compliances, Clearance & Approval.

Banking Process.

Banker Involvement.

Venue :- NIESBUD, A-23 Sector-32, Noida.
Date :- 12th Sept To 13th Sept 2015.
Time :- 10:00 am To 5:00 pm
Email :-
Website :- NIESBUD

Monday, September 7, 2015

4 Stages Of Startup Lifecycle

Understanding where a startup is in their lifecycle allows us to assess their progress. The startup lifecycle is made of 4 stages of development. This creates a directed tree structure and allows for more granular assessment by being able to pinpoint the main drivers of progress at stages.

Our four top-level stages are based loosely on Steve Blank's 4 Steps to the Epiphany, but one key difference is that our lifecycle is product centric rather than company centric.

The 4 Stages :

1) Discovery

Purpose: Startups are focused on validating whether they are solving a meaningful problem and whether anybody would hypothetically be interested in their solution.

Events: Founding team is formed, many customer interviews are conducted, value proposition is found, minimally viable products are created, team joins an accelerator or incubator, Friends and Family financing round, first mentors & advisors come on board.

2) Validation

Purpose: Startups are looking to get early validation that people are interested in their product through the exchange of money or attention.

Events: refinement of core features, initial user growth, metrics and analytics implementation, seed funding, first key hires, pivots (if necessary), first paying customers, product market fit.

Startup With Solution

3) Efficiency

Purpose: Startups refine their business model and improve the efficiency of their customer acquisition process. Startups should be able to efficiently acquire customers in order to avoid scaling with a leaky bucket.

Events: value proposition refined, user experienced overhauled, conversion funnel optimized, viral growth achieved, repeatable sales process and/or scalable customer acquisition channels found.

4) Scale

Purpose: Startups step on the gas pedal and try to drive growth very aggressively.

Events: Large A Round, massive customer acquisition, back-end scalability improvements, first executive hires, process implementation, establishment of departments.

Disclaimer : The following article came from Startup Compass