With 50% of the portfolio of most VCs being ripe for Co-investment or next rounds and more than 80% of the portfolio companies of most VCs and Angel Investors not having secured a second round of funding in the last 24 months, the Startups are realizing that current mechanisms of securing next rounds or delivering exits are too linear and too inefficient. Enter The Great Unicorn Hunt.
Keeping in mind the aim of helping startups acquire customers, capital, publicity, and scalability, Sachin Karnik, Founder and CEO of Kofounderz Team elaborated on the context of The Great Unicorn Hunt. He said, “It is clear that there is a huge disparity in the way capital is getting distributed, and even promising, well-funded Startups are not ending up on the right doorsteps. Any mechanism that could compress the discovery time of potential unicorns and make it easy for VCs and Investors to spot potential unicorns is going to be welcome, going by the reaction and welcome extended by some of the most prominent players of the Ecosystem.”
No simple Solutions and no Short Cuts for the Startup ecosystem
In keeping with the MVP or Minimum Viable Proposition approach that’s so common in the Startup Ecosystem, Kofounderz Team conducted not just a poll but also conducted four detailed, closed-door, by-invitation-only symposiums and Round Tables to get an insight from the leading players of the Ecosystem who have been on the forefront in terms of identifying, investing and nurturing winning propositions before they got noticed by the world.
The objectives of the Virtual Symposiums and Round Table sessions were very specific:
1. Are the pain points plaguing the Ecosystem real, big enough, and worth solving.
2. Can we as an Ecosystem attempt at doing different things or doing things differently to crank up the way we are spotting and nurturing Unicorns?
Can a central platform, well adopted by the Startup community serve the purpose of becoming a reservoir and a watering hole for the most promising Startups to attract scare capital and acumen?
Some of the prominent leaders that attended the First VC Symposium include :
Sumit Keshan ( Wipro Consumer Ventures), Anoop N ( Chiratae), Pankaj Karna ( Maple Advisory), Bhavesh Jatania ( IDFC First Bank), Sachin Tagra ( JSW Ventures), Sanjay Mehta, ( 100x.VC), Rajesh Sehgal ( Equanamity), Sarvesh Agrawal ( Transparent Capital), Dhianu Das ( Agility Ventures), Ameya Prabhu ( Nafa Capital), Kishore Ganji ( Astir Ventures), Rachana Bhusari( NSE), Ajay Thakur( BSE), Anil Joshi ( Unicorn Ventures), Priyanka Thakkar ( Unilever Ventures).
There are many more who have joined the Hunt and their profiles and details can be seen on www.thegreatunicornhunt.com
Angel Investor Round Table Attendees :
Shashank Ranadev ( 100X.VC), Anubhav Tiwari ( IIIT), Dr. Manish Diwan ( BIRAC), Dr. Rupesh Ghyar ( BETIC), Konark Rai ( SASTRA), Kartheek ( MiraiNxT), Mathew Mattam ( CYDA India), Vikash( Runway Incubator). Angel Investors who attended include Rajeev Arora, Pranay Desai, Anand Shiralkar, Puru Modani, Ashish Agarwal, Vijay Hede, Sandhya Chaudhary, K.S.Raghunandan, Lalit Gupta, Neha Patil.
Corporate Conference Attendees included :
Dr. Lopamudra Priyadarshini ( Aditya Birla Group), GovindaRaj A ( Vodafone Idea), Amarjeet Khanuja ( Star Health Insurance), Bhavesh Jatania ( IDFC First Bank), Dr.Dhirendra Kumar ( Tata Steel), Smriti ( Shell), Jaikrishan( Preferred Consumer), Vipul Mathur ( Udaan), Parthiv Gandhi ( HDFC Bank), Aditi Khurana ( Softbank KK), Parimal Sheth ( Kennis Global), Sudhir Madhugiri ( Gartner)
There are many more VCs, Angel Investors, Family Offices, Corporates, and Mentors who have joined the Hunt and their profiles and details can be seen on www.thegreatunicornhunt.com
Some of the sentiments, observations, and supporting and welcoming views expressed during the symposiums include, “much-needed initiative”, ‘” this is like a script of a blockbuster”
Inviting Startup Founders, Angel Investors, VCs, Family Offices, Corporates, and Mentors:
The portal is basically a free-to-register portal where each stakeholder could register, declare his or her role, and participate in the Hunt. The VCs appear in the Hunters sections and the Angel Investors, Incubators, Accelerators, Mentors appear in the Spotters section.
Founders could ping the Unicorn Hunters and Spotters and vice versa to have offline connects and conversations.
The Startups that have been nominated by their investors could choose the Investor or VC and appear in the Nominated Startups section since the emphasis is also on making it easier for VCs and Angel Investors to secure exits for their portfolio companies. Those who haven’t been nominated can appear in the Self Nominated Startups gallery.
The simplicity of the model is that Hunters and Spotters could choose to convey their reactions via three emojis, Clapping, Thumbs up or Neutral face.
Celebrating Startup Day every month: Intentions are not enough if the rigor is missing:
Some of the best intentions can take a back seat in terms of execution if the rigor is missing. The hunt cannot afford to lose steam mid-journey. The drum beating, sound clanging, macchan building will be an ongoing part of The Great Unicorn Hunt. However, to ensure the rigor is visible in letter and spirit, KoFounderz Team has decided to support the Startup Day announced by The PM on the 16th of Jan by taking it one step forward by celebrating the Startup Day not just once a year but by celebrating it on 16th of every month. To add to the discipline of the rigor, Sachin Karnik, Founder, and CEO, KoFounderzTeam even creates a Video letter to ‘report’ to the PM Modi and Industry Minister, Shri Piyush Goel about the progress made every month.
The Great Unicorn Hunt is an open invitation to all Founders who believe their Startups are potential Unicorns and want to get Spotted and Hunted by veteran Hunters and Spotters speedily and efficiently without being judged, stopped, and rejected by Gatekeepers. Founders who believe they need help in polishing their narrative and getting their act also have a built-in support system in the form of paid services that founders can avail if required. The Great Unicorn Hunt is proving to be a boon to the high fractionalized Startup Ecosystem.
A Startup founder, with a decent and correctly uploaded Startup, can be in front of the Top Most VCs and Investors, and Corporates in a few minutes.