The world’s eyes are shifting toward India as the next big market to watch, especially for those of us who keep tabs on the global tech scene. It was inevitable, then, that people would start comparing startup ecosystems of the archetypal United States and this fast-emerging powerhouse. Almost like a right of passage, every major startup scene in the world gets stacked up against Silicon Valley as a bellwether for how far it’s come and how far it has yet to go. Whether a direct comparison ultimately benefits India or not is debatable, as many would argue India shouldn’t model its startup ecosystem after Silicon Valley, but it’s still interesting to see the contrast solely based on statistical evidence. That’s what TiE, a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and executives with roots in the Indus region, has done with its latest infographic. TiE’s graphic compares four major startup hubs in India with their theoretical counterparts in the US; Bangalore versus Silicon Valley, New Delhi versus New York City, etc. Each comparison shows the cities’ 2013 population, number of startups, amount of investment capital, number of IPOs, and average valuation per startup.
From technology to fashion, California is a hub of innovation so it’s no surprise that it’s also startup central. However, only one city can be crowned king (or queen) of entrepreneurship and that title clearly goes to San Francisco. It’s where scores of startups are born and thriving, but there has to be a best of the best. What are the top five SFO startups to keep an eye on in 2014, whether you’re an investor, looking for your next job or need a little inspiration yourself?
Spanx Inventor and Founder Sara Blakely
"Don't be afraid to fail. My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn't have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. "
Often entrepreneurs don’t get round to writing their business plan until the last minute or when they are trying to secure startup funding. But the fact is that your business plan is even more than a document just for the bank manager to look at, or for potential investors to read, it’s your invaluable roadmap to launch and run your business and formalise goals and strategies to grow it.
To get your business plan down on paper you are going to be conducting research and think through many factors to ensure has a chance of success. Some of the things that are going to be included will be detail’s of your marketing strategy, and layout of your sales and operational forecasts, having the right plan will not only help you identify any weaknesses opportunities and threats but allow you to make informed decisions about you business venture before you have fully committed yourself financially and legally.
With the right plan in place you will be able to show your potential investors how they are going to make money. Most investors will intend to sell their shares for a good return, this is the Exit strategy. The most common route for a successful company is either through publicly listing your company, called going public or initial public offering (IPO) or through a merger or acquisition (M&A) by another company.
If you’re creating a business plan involving a loan, then lenders will want something configured slightly different. They will be looking for detailing collateral or assets to back or pledge against the loan Collateral includes funds to support loan payments, interest expenses, and debt repayments. Banks are not allowed to make speculative loans, therefore you will have to include information in the plan that will give your banker security.
Furthermore, your business plan can also be useful if you plan to do business overseas. If your business or service coverage is international, then your business plan will provide a standard means to evaluate your service or products in an international marketplace.