Category Archives: Startups

Schoolkebaad.com: Guiding Young Minds

Today the best career advice that can be given to the young is: Find out what you like doing best and get a good college that can make you the best in doing it. This might seem an easy enough task on the face of it, but this single decision can affect a child’s whole career. The confusion, inner turmoil and the huge responsibility – a responsibility of making decisions aligned with your future, may become hard on the ignorant student who is just out of school and filled with dreams of a Ferrari and lots of money.

 

Most students find themselves at a loss when it comes to making the decision about their future. Be it the lack of knowledge about the career itself or that of options, students always are in a fix and therefore under pressure, make the wrong choices. SchoolkeBaad.com is the cure of the stress faced by the students of higher classes, the stress of the right choices for their future, which hinders them. The site aims at providing all the information required by the students in one place, and even enhance their understanding about their dream course. It is the best product for ones completing their higher education, as they can find out everything about the colleges, including minor information like basis of entrance, date of entrance exam, contact address.It is a complete database of only the filtered knowledge that the child requires. Schoolkebaad.com provides the students the most comprehensive college listing to assist them in making the most important decision of their lives, the best decision of their lives.It is a one-stop-shop for all the info-seekers, where all the important assistance for them is provided for no charge!

It is a consequence of the travails faced by two students  Jayesh, a BBA student of Symbiosis, and Jagrit a school student  of N.H.Goel World School , who brought the website into existence. Inspired by the compelling motive of the first hand pain it took to get the precise assistance, they have gathered information from all the sources and made it available to everyone.For all the visitors, Schoolkebaad.com also has a Career Guru, the prominent psychologist Dr. Jawahar Surisetti, to make it even easier as well as better for everyone to make the verdict of their future life and become what they are meant to become.

The website also disseminates information about some well-known careers with less-known knowledge, like Chartered Accountancy, Hotel Management, Commercial Pilot, Fashion Designing etc. which many people crave to become but retreat just one step early because of the lack of the information we provide here. Along with this, it also provides extremely well twigged list of the colleges as per their standings in the traditional fields like Engineering, Management, Commerce, Science, Law, Medicine and Arts.The new dimension of the website is that it will contain the reviews of the students of the colleges as well as the alumni of the listed institutions to ensure that the various claims that institutions make are verified and certified first-hand by existing users.

It would truly serve as a guide for those young minds who are eager to learn but lack the guidance of an expert to discover themselves and make the right choice.

 

 

 

 

Renturduniya.com : One Stop for all Your Home Rental Problems

Home is the place where we can do anything, say anything, wear anything or nothing at all and do whatever we please, but today we remain so much away from home that we long for the comfort and joy of our own sweet home.  While we are away from home we can’t expect the same luxuries that our sweet home has to offer but we do run from shop to shop to create a convenient place to live in, obviously we would need a soft mattress to sleep in and a warm couch so we could snuggle into it while watching the newly brought LCD Tv. Once you create your dream home, the dream shatters slowly when you become aware that the LCD Tv you want, alone would cost you around Rs. 25,000 or more and the automatic washing machine which is a necessity in a world where domestic helpers are almost an extinct species, would be another 30,000 of your hard earned money.

This being the situation your duniya slowly collapses in front of you, true you couldn’t buy your world but now you can rent it and that too at affordable prices. Renturduniya is the one store , with its office in Bangalore which provides you home furniture, electric appliances as well as home appliances at affordable rent for a period ranging from 1 to 24 months.

The Company is the brainchild of Mr. Ajith Karimpana, the founder who says that, customer satisfaction is the sole motto they are operating on and the service is designed to help those people who don’t wish to permanently settle at a place but would like a comfortable stay however short. He further adds that they are currently more an offline company operating in Bangalore but  are working to expand on the internet and have brought RentUrDuniya.com for customer’s help.Their aim is to make the website more interactive and consumer-friendly.

The site already seems to be user friendly being easy to use and understand, anyone with a faint idea of English can easily operate it, also if you are not use to internet , you can simply give them a call at their customer care no. 808-801-1888 or drop a mail at CustomerCare@RentUrDuniya.com. The website works in three very simple steps, which are as simple as placing a pizza order: just go to the site Renturduniya.com and choose the product you want to rent, call them and fix the deal and wait for delivery which is absolutely free. It is a comprehensive store which gives you an opportunity to create a home away from home.

Many a times we think why rent when we can buy and have ownership, well there is not one but many reasons as to why renting is better than buying. It is being a cheaper, convenient since you just have to make a call and wait for your stuff, speedier and you don’t have to worry about the repackaging and shifting when you leave the place. Apart from this renturduniya.com truly cares about its customers, you can stay assured of good quality furnitures, they make it a point to refurbish every furniture which is returned after use.

The company’s services are  specially required for short term circumstances when you know you’ll eventually leave the place in a year or two. It keeps in mind the graduate student who is out for education and those professionals who change places frequently for their extended training. The Company allows these types of individuals the pleasure of having a higher quality of products without the cost of a major purchase and also gives them an easy way to clear out their apartment or home when their education is complete or when their training assignment is over.The store offers many innovative and useful packages and you would be happy to go check them out and choose the one that suits you best.

My take : RentUrDuniya is a one stop store for complete home rental and that too at affordable prices, so if you are at a new place for few days and wish to live with comfort and luxury, trust me you wouldn’t regret giving them a call.

 

 

 

DateIITians – A new Buzz in the town

An IITians sounds like a person who would say, “I accept the terms and conditions” rather than “I do” on his weeding day. They are seen as an alien species who are far more interested in physics than in a silly chemical called “love”. True, this image might work in the marriage market where they are considered a good catch, having a secure future and a good salary but what about getting a date? Talk to them about dating and you would get them, “I wish” expression on their faces.

Dateiitians.com is specifically designed for these super humans who have much academic achievements to boast of but when it comes to subjects like love, dating, and marriage they are dumbstruck. The site was initially launched for techies and engineering professionals from IITs and IIMs but was later opened for all due to heavy demand. The website is the brainchild of the trio from IIT Kharagpur- Layak Singh, Kinshuk Bairagi and Nikhil Kaushik so it can well be said that the site is by the people who have “been there”.

Apart from the innovative concept the site is fresh and real. The opening page of the site might resemble to that of Facebook but as you probe further you will find that the contents and facilities offered are far more wide and different, it is not just a social networking website rather is a social-networking cum dating portal.

dateiitians

The effectiveness of the site lies in the fact that it caters to the demand of a very distinctive group who are much in need of help. Moreover, it is user friendly – simple to understand and easy to use. It is very clear about its target audience and targets youth from the premier colleges of India. It’s simple and yet sophisticated.

Special features: Browsing through, you’ll find some special features which add to the site’s appeal.

It is designed in such a way that you can be sure you are not wasting your pick up lines on a cute photograph while on the other end a bunch of guys are having a hearty laugh. The registration is a detailed process which involves verification and authentication of user’s credentials, personal email address, contact number as well as ID proofs. Only after submitting details, the user will get an email confirmation from the site and will receive a code on the mobile phone.  The process is bound to reduce fake profiles and increase your chances of GETTING A REAL DATE. Another attraction that the site holds is its three-step dating system which involves becoming buddies first and then flirting and the third is the step where you can go for a date.

The site offers other technical features like the facility to send messages to your buddy’s phone, purchasing real gifts from points earned while interacting as well as the option to go on virtual dates.

There are many free online dating sites out there but why is this one making a buzz? Well, it’s because of its uniqueness and “we care” attitude.  It’s not just about dating but rather about connecting, flirting and mingling with like-minded people. Its poles apart from matrimony sites and it would be ridiculous to compare the two. While the matrimony sites shout, marry, marry, marry, Dateiitians.com provides you with an option to make buddies, know each other, flirt and develop a true relationship to find your soul mate.

So let’s stop praying to cupid to strike when we have a more reliable and easier way to make the magic happen.

Raising Money 101: It’s a Selling Moment

The recent Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman got me thinking about the differences between the pitches I hear from entrepreneurs, and why some succeed and others don’t.

Willy Loman’s character did much to lower our society’s already low opinion of sales and selling, but the fact remains that the concept, if not the actual act, of selling is a vital process in our economic system. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur looking for financing, you are selling an idea to a buyer – usually a venture capitalist like me.

Overcoming the Attention Deficit Problem

Everyone with a smart phone is suffering from an attention deficit problem, including VCs. Your future prospects and customers are inundated with too much information and too many choices. Translation: Get to the point. Now. In fact, I should have started this article by telling you that!

It sounds simple… yet rare is the pitch I sit through that includes a concise summary of the mission and values of the company and a one sentence explanation of what the company does. This is problematic, because part of what we look for when investing in a company are people who can chop complexity out of the business and clearly articulate what they do and why it’s important. Often when I ask for clarity on these points, I don’t get clear and simple answers.

The real problem with an inability to nail “the what” is that it suggests that you have not thought through your business sufficiently to explain it in a concise manner. It was the 15th century mathematician Blaise Pascal who wrote, “I am sorry to have wearied you with so long a letter but I did not have time to write you a short one.”

I’m sure you get the point. An elevator pitch is not important because you can deliver it to a guy in an elevator, it’s important because it demonstrates you’ve thought through your business sufficiently to know why it matters.

What really gets my attention is a concise description of why the thing you are most passionate about matters to the rest of us. If I’m listening to four new business ideas each day, they can’t all be good enough to make me sit up and take interest. Make sure yours is the one that breaks through the noise. Otherwise, all of the distractions I have in my life will creep back into my brain and crowd out the message you are trying to convey.

So start with your lead, not your market slide. And if you can’t tell me clearly your company’s value-add, the problem it solves and why your idea is different in under a minute, you shouldn’t be pitching it yet.

Overcoming “No”

The fundraising process is tough, and it’s made tougher by the fact that venture capitalists say “no” most (read: almost all) of the time. Statistically, we fund less than one-half of one percent of the ideas that come through the door. Those are pretty daunting odds. But they’re not unlike the odds of success you’ll face once you’re in business.

The difference between the entrepreneurs who overcome those odds and those who don’t are those who won’t take no for an answer. And that’s a quality we screen from the very first meeting.

Presenting your idea is not enough. You have to sell your idea and passionately convince an investor that you’re worthy of the risk you’re asking them to take—as well as the time and money they will invest in your company.

You also have to convince your investors that you have the courage of your convictions. We want to know if you’re the kind of leader who will break through barriers and keep going despite countless setbacks. You’re going to face a lot of rejection and you need to be fearless.

Now even though I’ve just said you have to break through barriers, the catch is that I don’t want you to be hard-headed.

We want people who are convinced they have an answer, but not operating with the belief that they have all the answers. There’s a difference. Good sales people are good listeners, naturally inquisitive and they actively ask their buyers for feedback. After your next pitch, try asking the firm’s partners what they think.

Surprisingly, very few ask that question, but it is a question that signifies the entrepreneur who is flexible, self-aware, and would probably make a good partner. Don’t be afraid – you might be surprised with what you hear and you’ll probably glean some useful insights that will make your next presentation even stronger.

Finally, ask about next steps and send a follow-up note. I’m always shocked with the lack of follow up from entrepreneurs who have come in and pitched me, but leave it in my court to follow up.

The start-up world lives and dies based on the cash it raises. During its lifetime, the average start-up will likely require several rounds of funding, so being good at raising money is critical. Being a good salesman is also important because the act of selling doesn’t just happen when you’re asking for money – it happens when you’re building a team, when you’re selling your first product, when you’re looking for partners, and when you’re trying to inspire your employees. So be concise.

Show passion. Be fearless in your follow up. And finally, be brave enough to ask for feedback. All of these things will make you more credible, and most importantly, more likeable. Because you don’t want to end up like Willy Loman.

[This article was originally published by CHARLES MOLDOW at Techcrunch.com, 03 Jun 2012]

Pinterest financing values company at $1.5 billion

Silicon Valley startup Pinterest raised $100 million from a group led by Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc, valuing the company at about $1.5 billion and underscoring the huge investor appetite for social-networking companies.

The news comes a day before Facebook starts trading as a public company that could be worth more than $100 billion.

Pinterest, an online scrapbook where users can “pin” images and follow others, has grown from less than one million users in May 2011 to about 20 million in April, according to IT research house comScore.

The three-year old company, led by co-founder Ben Silbermann, had been seeking financing for several weeks, but many investors were wary about the billion-dollar valuation, venture capitalists said.

That valuation puts Pinterest beyond the reach of all but a handful of potential acquirers, probably putting it onto a path for an eventual IPO rather than an acquisition.

Still, the company attracted many interested parties.

“It was one of the most hotly contested and sought-after financing events in Silicon Valley in quite some time,” Mike Jaconi, a Rakuten executive who was involved in the negotiations, told Reuters.

Jaconi said Rakuten’s presence in 18 countries helped it get a piece of Pinterest as the U.S. company was looking to expand internationally.

Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani will take on an advisory role at Pinterest, Jaconi said.

A Pinterest spokeswoman said the Japanese company would integrate the “pin it” button on its websites.

Rakuten, which offers services ranging from online golf reservations to internet banking, was joined in the investment by existing Pinterest shareholders Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital.

Rakuten is aggressively expanding into global markets. Last year, it bought Canadian ebook company Kobo for $315 million and UK online shopping site Play.com for about 25 million pounds ($39.53 million).

HIGH VALUATIONS

Valuations for consumer-oriented tech startups have been rising dramatically, as illustrated by Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of photo-sharing application Instagram last month.

Pinterest’s $1.5 billion valuation is up sharply from $200 million late last year.

The company, like Instagram, has no significant revenue.

A Pinterest spokeswoman declined to disclose the company’s revenue, saying it is not focused on monetization for now.

($1 = 0.6324 British pounds)

This article was originally published by By A. Ananthalakshmi | Reuters – Thu 17 May, 2012 

Bitly Kinda Says It’s Not Raising $20M, But Sorta Hints That It Is

17 May, 2012 by ANTHONY HA at Tech crunch

Is link shortener Bitly raising $20 million in new funding? The Verge says it is. In response to my email, a company spokesperson denied The Verge’s story, but in vague enough terms that it could probably turn around and announce a new round in the next few weeks or months.

Here’s what the spokesperson told me:

Want to quickly let you know that they’re always discussing potential funding and stay in touch with potential investors on an ongoing basis. Though, this article is not based on any facts.

I’ll work with the folks at bitly to connect with you for the next funding announcement, whenever that does happen.

Wait, what does that actually mean?! Well, the first sentence is pretty ambiguous, but it hews closely to the standard non-denial denial that comes when a startup is raising money without having closed the round yet. The second sentence could be read as more definitive, but it might also mean, “Hey, the deal isn’t closed yet — technically we’re still just talking, so the funding isn’t a fact.” After all, what does it really mean to be “not based on any facts”? And what’s a “fact” anyway? Tough philosophical questions.

Altogether, the statement suggests that Bitly has at least had discussions with its investors about raising funding. How far those discussions have gone, time will tell. The company raised an $8.9 million Series B in 2010.

The Verge also says that Bit.ly, whose business has been more focused on enterprise services, is about to launch a new product aimed at consumers.

Update: Apparently Bitly execs have been denying The Verge story more forcefully.

This story by ANTHONY HA was originally published on Techcrunch.com.

 

10 Things Colleges Don’t Tell Young Entrepreneurs at Graduation

Starting a business just out of school? Take notes, as there are a few things you should know about entrepreneurship that college simply won’t prepare you for. Here are 10 things your university won’t teach you:

1. “Hope you liked living like a college student.”
Now that you’re out of school, you’re ready to get your own place, maybe buy a car and stop eating Ramen noodles. But, when you’re working for yourself, personal overhead can kill your business before it starts. The more money you spend on yourself and your lifestyle, the less you’ll have to invest in your business.

Related: A Note to Young Treps: Put Down the Ramen

2. “There are no right answers.” 
The problems you tackle in school are designed to have both right and wrong answers. When you start a business you can get good advice from experts, but every business is different and you may not know whether you’re right until your business flourishes or founders. You need to find a way to thrive without a clear path.

3. “Cramming won’t help you succeed.” Skills such as memorizing information and following a professor’s directions won’t get your business off the ground. It’s time to break out of the good-student mode and take chances. Stop meeting expectations and start exceeding them.

4. “Average is never good enough.”
You may have been able to pass a class by just earning Bs and Cs, but if your business isn’t scoring As, the competition will destroy you. Many of the best and the brightest choose to start their own businesses and you will be facing them for funding, attention and customers.

5. “It’s finals week all the time.” 
Plan on doing plenty of hard work and withstanding long hours. Starting a business means sleep may take precedence over going out and partying with your friends. For entrepreneurs, there are never enough hours in a day.

6. “Your degree doesn’t matter.”
It’s true that some schools take more time preparing young entrepreneurs for the start-up world, and the contacts you’ll make can help you down the road. But generally, where you graduate from won’t matter to venture funders or other entrepreneurs. Having a stellar idea and the ability to turn it into a reality is what counts.

7. “You’re on your own.”
In college, you have the advantage of learning from and questioning faculty who often have insights that help you understand a class. With your own business, it’s important to find mentors to talk you through obstacles. For guidance, draw on operations such as SCORE, which is a group of retired businesspeople. Or, check with your past professors or alumni groups for people who can lend a hand.

Related: A Good Mentor Will Tell It Like It Is

8. “Say goodbye to your old friends.” Maybe you chose your friends based on shared interests such as liking the same kinds of movies or a shared preference for the hamburgers over macaroni and cheese in the cafeteria. You’ll still want to have relationships, but your criteria will change. Old friends who move into salaried positions won’t understand your challenges as well as other entrepreneurs. Look for people like you so that you can compare notes and share approaches. Your social life, such as it is, should also include getting to know potential customers and suppliers.

Related: What to Do When Friends Want to Be Co-Founders

9.”You can’t skip work.”
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must be present. You need to be there, committed and willing to work hard, every single day.

10. “Failure is OK.”
One F won’t ruin a college career, and one failure — or more — doesn’t mean that your next idea won’t take off. Keep working your hardest, modify your business or start another one, and you may graduate from this demanding school of business with a company you can be proud of.

This story originally appeared on Young Entrepreneur

Makers Wanted: Are You A Hardware Start-Up? Talk To Us

We’re about to launch a new video series called Makers here at TechCrunch and we’d love to hear from any and all hardware based startups. I want to hear about robots, toys, and railguns. I want to hear about new distilling methods, winemakers, and electric vehicles. I want to hear about anything that whirrs, chops, grates, goes, or crashes into a fireball.

Over the next few months Jordan Crook, Josh Zelman, and I will try to cover every hardware startup we come across. If you think you’re worthy of inclusion, please drop us a line at john@techcrunch.com with the subject line “MAKER WANTED.” Describe your product and maybe send a photo of your facility? Are you building in the US or Europe? Asia or Mexico? Let us know.

We’re accepting submissions for the next few weeks, so there is plenty of time. Just let us know where you are and what’s up and we’ll try to do the rest.