Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program (or EIR) is a platform to actively assist first time entrepreneurs to launch and run startups with our mentoring and incubation support. The program looks at technology enabled products or services in selective domains only. Most of these ideas are identified by our team after careful analysis and feedback from market over a period of time.
In short, we churn out ideas, build underlying product or service, and get entrepreneurs to run them with our constant support and review framework.
We start with a problem, come out with potential solutions after detailed brainstorming, analysis, customer feedback and often, build a ‘Minimum Viable Solution’ too. In parallel, we start looking for talented or experienced individuals to join us and run these ideas as Co-Founders (we also continue to be one of the Co-Founders). We help them build the complete solution as well as launch a full blown venture. And there is ample time for them to learn and grow before we spin them off.
The Entrepreneurs put in their talent and hard work to scale up the activities without ignoring profitability. And we continue to work closely with them to ensure we are going in the right direction.
Benefits of EIR
This program is meant for individuals who want to launch their own startups but are either not from a business background or do not have a proper team or, are hesitant to venture out on their own.
We work with you from Day 1 to get the right plan of action and a well-defined goal to be achieved within a stipulated time. Once the plan and targets are set, we work with you to achieve it – be it marketing, sales, technology, product, operations, legal, etc. We try to ensure you do not make expensive mistakes that could potentially kill your venture. In short, your chances of success are higher with our active involvement.
With us, you start working on a ready product from the very first day that has already been validated in the market. You get a brand, contacts, support, team and sometimes even funds.
As a Co-Founder, you get Sweat Equity depending on what you bring to table and what role you play. You get anywhere in between 5% – 35%. You will do almost everything that an entrepreneur does on their venture. However, you will be continuously mentored and assisted with resources so that you do not spend time on non-productive activities and have shorter time gestation period. You will plan the strategy as well as will be responsible for execution, we will be there to guide.
If you do not understand how Sweat Equity works: here is a small example, suppose you get 15% Sweat Equity in your startup and with your hard work, you launch the product and get a few initial customers. (It’s not easy as it sounds but if you are working on the right idea, have a good sales team, good product features and strong technology, it’s only a matter of time and hard work.) If a potential investor likes this, he may put say INR 1 Cr for a stake of 10%. Which means the startup is valued at 10 Cr and your stake (which becomes 13.5% now) is valued at 1.35 Cr!
However, you do not get a salary at EIR. That’s one of the benefit we do not offer. You have to earn your pay with your hard work. You get paid when your venture makes money. The sooner you start earning revenues, the sooner you get paid. Typically, it is within 6 months but may vary. (With an idea that is already validated in market and a ready product, if you (or your venture) still cannot make money, you should be wearing different shoes.)
If the venture is not able to make money, all you lose is your time and effort; which is a lot for a real entrepreneur. That’s our only safeguard on our investment in an idea thrusted on you.
Who can join EIR?
EIR is open only to professionals with 3 – 10 years of experience in industry, relevant to the ideas we are launching. We do make exceptions to this rule when we come across exceptional individuals.
But really, we insist on experience and a solid base in at least one of these skills:
- Sales & Business Development
- Product Management
When you work with one of our ventures at our EIR program, you are expected to establish and stabilize operations and then scale up. That’s where experience matters a lot.
On top of these skills, you MUST be able to solve problems. Running a startup will land you into new problems or challenges almost every day. You must have the heart to take them head on. You should have a strong analytical mind that can look at data, analyze it and come out with solution that solves at least 80% of the problem, if not 100%.
First time entrepreneurs should also be ready to wear multiple caps at the same time, putting in a lot of hard work while also working on product strategy, cold calling customers and meeting them from time to time to sell your offerings, writing code, marketing, learning new skills and everything else that business demands. You should have a passion to excel and a never-say-die spirit. Rest we will bring out in you.
EIR is a time bound, result driven program. It is strongly recommended to join the program in a full time capacity unless you are an exceptionally hard working individual who can manage to deliver results on time while managing your day job.
Right now, this program is only open for participants based in Navi Mumbai or willing to work out from Navi Mumbai or who can work remotely if your profile permits.
The program is free for anyone to join who meets the above criteria and is comfortable with the prescribed structure and benefits.
However, to ensure serious participation, we have put in a few obligations.
You must participate in the EIR Program for a minimum of 6 months. This is to ensure you have enough time to work on your idea, correct mistakes and get few initial customers. We assume if you are getting customers, there is no reason why you will leave. An agreement to the said affect will be signed.
Also there is a minimum refundable deposit of INR 50,000/- which is required at the starting of the program. This deposit is refunded after the lock-in period. If you exit before the lock-in period or your performance/commitment is questionable, this deposit is forfeited. We put in a lot of resources on our ideas, and while this deposit does not covers those expenses, we hope it will help bring out the right level of commitment and seriousness needed from participants.
How to enroll for EIR?
- Your latest and detailed resume
- Your core skills and strength areas
- Why you want to start on your own
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? It could be position, money, anything
- How long can you sustain yourself if your startup takes longer time to make money
- Any particular industry or idea you have in mind or are keen on
Once we have gone through it, we will insist on a face to face meeting that could last anywhere from 1 – 4 hrs. We will discuss your participation in details as well as talk at length about the venture you are interested in. There could be follow up meetings if needed.
If all looks good, we will make you an offer. If there are some areas you need to work upon before you can work with us, we will let you know. And we can get in touch with you once you are ready.