I had been mulling over a thesis for a venture that works at the intersection of large companies, startups, and VCs. For entrepreneurs, this would translate to business development and fund-raising. The 2016 presentation below explores the role of key stakeholders and the revenue model for such a venture.For-Entrepreneurs-CorpDev-Customer-Development
It’s also interesting to consider how such a venture can leverage government support, VHNIs, and US market opportunities.
Since early-stage startups are unable to pay advisory fees, the venture would collect them instead from corporate clients and VCs. The latter would benefit not only by getting access to a curated pipeline but also via the execution support provided to these (potential) investees. For entrepreneurs, access to alpha/beta customers is invaluable. Similarly, the opportunity to build relationships with VC funds can improve the odds of raising post-seed capital.
Go to the US, Entrepreneurs!
Given the ‘early adopter’ mindset of US companies and consumers, startups across the world seek to enter US markets. Founders of high-tech ventures should definitely consider the US a primary target market. Moreover, both the product and the go-to-market strategy have to be tailored to that geography.
Startups in India, for example, can test their offerings with local customers and partners. Once they have techno-commercial validation, entrepreneurs can quickly seek entry into US markets. Case studies from India can help open doors with US customers by serving as proof points. Depending on the eventual share of US customers as a percentage of total revenue, Indian startups might even consider creating a US entity. In this case, such an entity can file IP and book revenue in the US, while the Indian entity employs the majority of the R&D team. A US-facing business strategy is especially relevant for software-as-a-service startups. With a minimal need for on-ground sales teams, such startups can even locate their sales and marketing teams in low-cost geographies. This directly boosts the bottom-line and hence the valuation of the company.