We are helping! We are helping! Is what I listened to, from every funding company for start-ups. Adding fun to my article “Most of the funding companies, the start-ups are after - are themselves a start-up!"
Who is be-fooling?
The so called funding companies: Not to mention any name, most of the funding companies are themselves a start-up and themselves need to nurture. Representing in PR as a helping arm to start-ups and be-fooling at the back. They will first talk about their share. They will charge you some fee just for meeting investors. They have Silver / Gold / Platinum plans - In silver they will make you meet 3 investors, Gold - 6 investors, Platinum -10 investors. It’s just like I am doing an MBA and I am teaching an MBA batch too :-)
The so called angel investors:
Not to mention any name, it’s a pleasure for many nowadays! It’s a pleasure of the tag Angel Investor to be added with the name. Beware of the angel investors who are not. Angels will be happy to listen to you and saying you till the end “we are interested". After knowing all you know, they give the most stupid reactions later. If I am running my business from last few years, who knows my own baby more than me. The angel can just break your heart just by coming out with lot many flaws in the running business too , just because he is interested to know things , he is enjoying his tag , he is having some big bucks , he is showing off but later will just give some foolish points as if he knows much more than you.
The real angel carry discussion hand in hand, he is ready to be in shoe of the entrepreneur too. He checks entrepreneur being genuine, honest. I have personally experienced such cases , when the angel after couple of meetings and telephonic conversations says - Yes , I am interested , visiting your office tomorrow eager to come by flight the very next day and then later email comes like this "Unfortunately, at this stage, it will not be possible for me to continue to engage on the project due to some challenges that have arisen at my end coupled with extensive travel that has come up in the following months. I will be more than happy to provide the guidance you may require, of course, subject to my convenience.Keep well and stay in touch" What the hell ! Angels sometimes just play with an emotional entrepreneur , I am using the word emotional here intentionally , Because I could feel what it takes to build a business from just 1 order to thousands of orders , Just 1 Facebook fan to 1 lac Facebook fans and that too when it is totally bootstrapped with all your savings. Don’t fall in trap of rich people showcasing drinking wine, and eating tiny sandwiches.
3.The so called Join-ups and the meetups:
It’s like “Coffee with investors" "One minute pitch" " Fine dining with investors at the 5 star or the 7 star Hotel" "The high impact business conference" " The start-up summits"
Such events starts from Rs.500 to Rs.20,000 or more. It itself is a new start up - A new business. As mentioned in emails to the attendee the panel always changes - It’s rarely the same as per my experience. They will even mention - The Flipkart CEO is coming, the fee is Rs.20,000 and venue is Hotel Taj Palace , Hotel The Lalit - reading this the start-ups , the entrepreneurs come from various parts of country for an inspiration for positivity and even ready to bear the cost and when they reach , the panel changes due to XYZ reasons. It doesn't happen in rare events, It happens in most of the events. Dear, the So called event start-ups - Entrepreneurs are interested in the speaker, in motivation, in content not the fine dining not the luxury not the materialistic world.
4. The Black Shiny Mediators: When your start-up baby just starts crawling, you come across the Shiny mediators – An IITian, IIM, Finance expert etc. They all know how to hype figures, how to hype plans, how to hype strategy, How to do valuation everything, whom to contact, When and where and even Why? Just pay them the big chunk and there is no surety of what they will do. They are just forcing the entrepreneurs to break all principles all values. One of such Shiny mediator asked me “Mandeep, till the time you will not hype the figures, the strategy, you will not talk big things, you will not get into valuation process by paying thousands and lacs, if you will not decorate the plate as the investor wants, Moreover till the time you are True and Honest, you will never get funded!!
I know what we are doing and our capabilities till now. I do not believe in Black Shiny mediators.I chose not to fake things for my online footwear marketplace Simbacart, As IT is totally in house - I just asked my core team lets work harder, extend our IT services too, pool in more funds and be ourselves be the investor of Simbacart. May do less but honestly, Lets target a profitable proposition not the funded one! All of our own!
The world is darker too - Let us think about it in some dim light! Do not get impress by all brightness and pomp and show!