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What Are Angels Looking For? : IAMAI India Digital Summit 2017

Each panelists shared their views about how should an entrepreneur approach to Angel Investors and What are the main qualities a startup Founder should have while approaching investors.

Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) organised 11th India Digital Summit on 8th & 9th February at The Lalit, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi. The esteemed panelists who participated in the ‘Startup Session’ were Utsav Somani, Angel Investor, AngelList; Shailesh Singh, Executive Director, SeedFund; Soaib Grewal, Founder, BOLD and Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director, Zone Startups.

The theme of the discussion was ‘What are angels looking for?’ Each panelists shared their views about how should an entrepreneur approach to Angel Investors and What are the main qualities a startup Founder should have while approaching investors. The discussion was rightly placed before startups from different segments made a move to make their pitches, as it talked about the DO’s and DON’Ts for a startup teams preparation before meeting an investor.

Utsav Somani, Angel Investor, AngelList, said, “I advise startups to not attend events like in expectation to get noticed or get funded, as very little decisions are made in haste. When you are approaching investors then you should come up with some traction numbers like how many users are registered on your platform so that you can explain that your idea is great and having better future opportunities as well.”

Shailesh Singh, Executive Director, SeedFund, said, “The most important point is to identify the kind of investor you are planning to approach, and the second of all one should know if it’s the right time to get funded. Unneccessary funds to scale the business is not advisable as it is not my money that I as an angel am investing, many pensioners and other people have entrusted their savings upon me & you. It’s a great responsibility. So, think wisely, of course nobody would like to be saddled with funds. ”

Soaib Grewal, Founder, BOLD, said, “India’s ecosystem is a very young startup ecosystem, we are still learning a lot of things, like approaching investors. Well, in my case, I like people who are straight-forward at direct. Since time is precious it is important to come down to the point and talk business. Beating around the bush doesn’t take you a long way with investors. You want my attention and want my money, so just say it and try to keep me invested. Also an entrepreneur should have proper knowledge of the industry so that he/she can create better future as well.”

Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director, Zone Startups, said, “I would like to stress upon the presentations that startup teams work upon and the pitches they should prepare ideally. The whole idea behind a five minute pitch is to judge a presenter’s agility and preparedness. If you can’t sell a pitch, then you shouldn’t be in business. Secondly, I would also like to say, that these days entrepreneurship is getting accepted as a course in schools, but it’s not only for youngsters who are just out of college, incubators and accelerators, play a great role in training individuals about the new ways of marketing, networking and branding a startup to hire right and scale up sales. They can even open the doors to fund-raising, so one shouldn’t undermine the knowledge these schools of entrepreneurship can give even to people who have more than 10 years of industry experience.”

This gyaan-hour from India’s leading angel investors was very well- received and appreciated. Startups post this session had a brief networking break where they met these speakers one on one and asked their questions.

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