The MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge has seen twelve entrants reach the finals from the Asia region. These 12 have been whittled down from an initial list of 160 who applies from 25 countries. The first of these finalists is Connected Women which is a talent recruitment site based in the Philippines connecting female entrepreneurs with women seeking remote work. The next is Gnowbe which helps in corporate training using software-as-a-service. Another in the are of skill development is iMerit. In job creation and income growth category the three finalists are- Plastics for Change, Ricult and STORM. Credit Ease, ftcash and Kinara Capital are the 3 in the financial inclusion category. And for technology access, the three are- Interview Air, Simple Motion SdnBhd and SOL Share.


Uploaded Date:11 September 2018

A report was churned by venture capitalist database CB Insights on why so many startups fail. The number one reason decoded was a lack of demand for the product. This topped other factors such as insufficient cash flow, competition or poor timing. Three strategies have emerged on how entrepreneurs can test their product or service before launching it in the market. First of all, one must seek successful competitors already working in it. For example, Yelp got in after Grub hub and Seamless had already established themselves. Yelp further entrenched its position after the acquisition of Eat 24. Proper business intelligence needs to be decoded reading online search traffic. To this extent, Ahrefs is a useful keyword research tool. For products not yet established, customers gauge the promises made and not the final products about which information available is little. Thus, pilot launches may be undertaken or pre-sales models such as Kickstarter used.


Uploaded Date:16 August 2018

One of the most prevalent urban myths around entrepreneurship is that the founder has to be young. This myth is propounded by examples sought such as those of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Unfortunately, this myth has not remained with the story-tellers alone but has magnified to the media and Venture Capitalists (VC) as well. The average age for winners of entrepreneur awards at Tech Crunch and Inc. is 31 and 29 respectively. The Cofounder of Y Combinator, one of the leading VC firms also believes that the cutoff remains 32 for entrepreneurs, beyond which they struggle with their funding efforts. Business research was conducted to gauge the veracity behind such claims. It was high-tech startups that were studied. These were firms which had a high-proportion of STEM workers, received VC funding or obtained a patent. Stunningly for many, 42 was observed as the average age for the founders of most game-changing startups. This has massive implications for the VC funds as middle-aged entrepreneurs have a far higher success-rate. Even for outliers like Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos, who were young when they started off, their companies actually peaked much later, when these people were in their middle-ages!


Uploaded Date:28 July 2018

Expansion to emerging markets and collaboration with startups to gain insights on business innovation are the twomajor strategic imperatives, large western corporations are trying to ace. India and China are the markets they are most looking to get a foothold into. However, a mistake committed by many is to consider these two markets as homogeneous whereas they are as apart from each other as they are from the west itself. As a Harvard professor claimed, India is like a chaotic and institutionally-weaker part of the US and the UK, while China is qualitatively different. There is greater state support and consequently interference in China. The ecosystem orchestrators, participants and intermediaries likewise work according to the national priorities. China also has home-grown rivals such as the BAT -Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. They can take on any western giant. State policy in China is implemented from the ground-up. So, in China, it is advisable for companies to partner in areas of national priority such as right now Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Intel’s Mass Makerspace Accelerator Program is one such example. In contrast, Nasscom’s 10k Warehouse Program is India’s response, where MNCs work with private-sector trade bodies.


Uploaded Date:27 June 2018

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