Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mumbai Mentoring Session Part-III - 'Q&A - The panelists take on questions from the audience'


Post submission and shortlisting, I have refined my business idea thereby altering critical data. Is this likely to be negatively assessed at The Elevator Pitch?

Answer: Of course not. The panelist expects you to alter your business proposal,and refine it to include more accurate data and learnings.


The panelist talks of consumer acceptance to guage profitability of our business venture. Does this hold true for as yet undiscovered products?

Answer: In case of products/services that have not yet been launched in the market place, entrepreneurial aspirants are advised to attach a dip-stick survey to depict potential market need and consumer acceptance.


My educational background varies from my chosen area of entrepreneurship. Is this likely to negatively impact my performance at The Elevator Pitch.

Answer: Entrepreneurs are judged basis soft skills and a diverse background often helps enhance skill sets. At the Elevator Pitch, you are judged, not just your business idea. It's therefore important to be confident whilst presenting your idea.


What is the minimum return on Investment below which an idea will not gain Investor acceptance?

Answer: A minimum of 10x return is likely to attract a venture capitalist to your business proposal.


My business proposal centers around a design service. In lieu of this, will we allowed to include photographs in our Elevator Pitch submission?

Answer: Preferably, do not include photographs in The Elevator Pitch. In necessary situations like the one above, you may include photographs as long as the file size of the PowerPoint does not exceed 1MB.


What do you think is the primary reason for the failure of start-ups?

Answer: Businesses fail due to indigestion and not starvation! If a business is going too many places at one time, it is likely not to succeed. Persistence and passion are critical to business survival. Also, it's not so much the Power of an Idea, but the Power of Execution that helps realize an entrepreneurial dream. Remember not to be disheartened and conserve cash! Cash is critical to harness your entrepreneurial venture. After all, it's a marathon not a sprint race.


In the Financial segment of The Elevator Pitch submission form, are we allowed to include data in a spreadsheets format?

Answer: No, spreadsheets data cannot be attached in this segment. However, a six line table can be included in the PowerPoint itself.


What should I keep in mind whilst choosing an Investor?

Answer: It's important to understand that you don't choose an Investor, an Investor chooses you. However, the best Investor is one who shares synergy with you, whilst believing in your business idea. Also, if the Investor has Invested in businesses similar to your area of operation, it is likely to stand you in good steed. Additionally, how a venture capitalist responds to distress situations is also critical.


Does the Investor bet on the jockey or the horse?

Answer: At The Elevator Pitch, 2/3rd importance lies with the individual and his/her conduct while the rest is given to the idea. The aspirants' gumption for risk is critical to attracting a potential Investor.


How critical is it to include patents in the business proposal?

Answer: Patents are “good-to-have” to a business proposal; they give you the edge to stand out in the market place. However, venture capitalists eventually will choose a good idea, irrespective of whether it is patented or not.


In case of multiple years of operation, what data should I include in the Financial Segment of The Elevator Pitch form?

Answer: Three years financial data, and three years financial projections should ideally be included in The Elevator Pitch form.

Should you have any additional questions, or if you haven't received any critical communication material from The Power of Ideas Team, do get in touch with us at: We'll be pleased to help answer your queries.


  1. What ET is doing is great for Entrepreneurship in India - and we need thousands of ideas to florish if we really have to take our place in the global pecking order.

    I have been following the blog, the tweets, the FB forum & its a lot of info - very crucial for the participants but scattered around. I can imagine the challenge for the participants scanning this downpour of knowledge as they prepare for the next phase.

    We are from and our dream is community powered incubation of ideas. Here's what we would like to do to try and support this initiative - for every participant that has been shortlisted, we would like to offer a Team space that would allow them to effectively collaborate and work towards success - as a team. And this team space is free to all those worthy champions who have been shortlisted.

    Do mail us at or go to to get your space.

  2. Dear ET/Power of Idea
    I had submitted 4 ideas through one email address, that is, I could see acknowledgement of one. I hope the rest of 4 have been seen; though I did not get a call for Mentoring Seassion. Can anybody respond. Please. Satish Jain/

  3. Actually , every business plan competition , or presentation , like power of ideas , the eureka , the intaglio , the IIPC , everywhere you go , one thing is common dont expect to be funded , if you are an innovative company , then there is a very few , or 0% chances of getting funded , because the Indian Investors , the Venture Capitalists , the Angel Investors are not the ones those who exist in Silicon Valley and those who have funded companies like Microsoft , Google etc.
    The good thing about this contest is they are trying to create a similar kind of ecosystem which exists in US , Europe , but until and unless as VC firms come forward to address the real issues of Indian Entrepreneurs , nothing is possible here ….
    I had attended a numerous business plan contests in India , for hellodoctor , one thing I got from that is some certificates , some feel good discussions, some networking but its of no use to me presently , no serious investors , investors talking about millions of dollar investment but buddy we are a start up we dont need this , the real issues what an Indian Entrepreneur is facing is not addressed , the same way you have to fignt , you have to get self funded , take calculated risk , like that
    One thing I will like to say that these Bplan Competition can sharpen your brains , make your business plan papers more effective , but for startup forget anything from these competitions , you have to depend on your own resources , own will , you have to fight the monsters inside your brain , and outside too … If you want to be an entrepreneur take the first calculated risk first , you are not a millionaire , you are there to make millions … If you dont have confidence on your own plan , and you are thinking If you are putting your own hard earned money then forget to get any investors ..

    Dr.Smrutiranjan Patanaik
    COO - hellodoctor24×7