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Welcome to “Kal Ke Krorepati” chhote sheher, Bade sapnein - Bharat ka Apna show.

Yesterday, Team Iroller achieved a “milestone” in the startup ecospace by bringing this show to fruition.

Last year we felt the need to explore this space. The show wouldnt have been possible without the unconditional support of GVFL Limited Saswat Sundar Sushil Sharma Sushanto Mitra Pranav Chaturvedi Marmik Shah Gautam Pai Kamal Bansal i-Hub Gujarat Neha Sharma Lead Angels Network Naveena Reddy Favcy Venture Builders Iroller Capital Pvt Ltd Jadeblue Lifestyle India Limited Karnavati University (KU) RITESH HADA Abhinav Kapadia PDEU Innovation and Incubation Centre Viral Shah M Nagarajan DevX Umesh Uttamchandani Jaimin Shah Jignesh Patel

27 startups, 9 funds, 1 show - Kal Ke Krorepati, Chhote sheher, bade sapnein.

This show is focussed on the innovators and entrepreneurs from Tier2 and Tier3 cities. Its not just another funding show. The objective of this show is to create more awareness and strengthen our startup ecosystem and provide the startup founders, not only with investments, but also venture building, scaling, cross border incubation and mentoring support.

As we embark on our journey to showcase this show on the national platform very soon, we sincerely thank Mr Suniel Shetty Sir who blessed us with his gracious presence and gave us immense strength to keep going. This not only validates our efforts but also strengthens our will and intent to mobilise the startup ecosystem.

Presenting our first chapter - Gujarat



Thank you Team iroller Jignesh Vasavada Hemendra Jadeja Shivani Thakkar CA Pratik Shah Prakash Chandwani Shoeb Bhojani Sidharth Doshi Arpita Chalishazar.

News coverage:

 
We are proud to serve schools across the nation. 

Today, with a wide network of 5,000 schools spread across 27 states and 250 cities, every member of Saarthi Pedagogy is committed to helping schools and students improve their learning outcomes.

 
One image, answering many questions 🙂

1. Because mein aap karte kya ho?

2. What does a day at Because look like?

3. What does outsourced CMO look like?
I believe Valentine's Day holds special significance for every individual, as it's a day dedicated to love and spreading affection. Everyone assigns different values to Valentine's Day. Here's why it's meaningful to me: I found my calling on February 14th, 2022.

It was the day when I took the first step toward Hummingbird. I had been associated with Cadila, and on that day, I resigned from the company. After resigning, as I made my way home, I passed numerous flower shops and realized that after making that decision, it was fitting to treat myself to a bouquet on Valentine's Day. I love roses like crazy, so I asked the cab driver to wait for five minutes while I gifted myself a bouquet :D

Journey from the office to my flat was very difficult and I was feeling “ Aaj ghar kyun nahi aa raha hai” . I questioned myself, wondering if I had made the right decision or not but Abhi to decision le liya tha. I was feeling quite emotional that day as I went to meet everyone. Some of my colleagues seriously started crying and were saying, 'What is this nonsense? Why are you making such a stupid decision but boss samjh to aaya us din ki insaan to apan ache hai Harsha Bhurani :D

I decided to spend quality time with myself when I reached home. The first person I called was Sumita Sharma and I shared the entire scenario with her. It was challenging for her to accept, as she, along with my colleagues, knew I was expecting a significant appraisal after months of hard work. However, she supported me nonetheless.

That day was simply amazing, still, I can recall spending a peaceful evening, enjoying the sunset with a cup of tea, and dinner at my favorite Pav Bhaji place near IIM, Vastrapur.
Eventually, till that time, I gathered the courage to inform my parents about this news. My father was initially shocked but he asked if I was okay, which meant the world to me. I reassured him, saying I was celebrating my day with Pav Bhaji. And then, I concluded my day with a brownie, and you can see the sheer joy reflected in this picture:D

After a brainstorming session with myself, writing three different Harsha on sticky notes and pasted them on my wall. I decided to go with 'Harsha Pro', who wanted to start her own business.

Feeling unsure of my next steps, I called Jatin Chaudhary for guidance and asked if I could meet him, and he suggested meeting half an hour before eChai event at IIM later that evening. I was extremely excited to meet him because I never thought that day would come that soon. So when I met Jatin I said , “Abhi resign to daal diya hai immediate basis par, entrepreneur hi banna hai but pata nahi iske baad kya karna hota hai?

He explained various aspects of HR, training, and development, providing valuable insights and references.

And so began my rollercoaster journey with Hummingbird, which continues to this day. It's been a journey filled with challenges, triumphs, and failures, and I'm ready to build HummingBird whatever it takes.
For the first time, BabyOrgano | India's First Dedicated Ayurvedic Baby Care Health and Wellness Brand went for the campus placement!!

This is something that I had on my bucket list forever. In a world, where every company is asking for some experience, we are willing to be the one who gives experience to the young talent.

My Co-founder, HR and our Digital Marketing Manager went to St Kabir Institute of Professional Studies, Ahmedabad and let me tell you, it was a great experience.

I never expected students to be so aware of marketing, business and startup culture. We had some good conversations with some of the smartest students I have ever met.

We learned a lot about Gen Z’s professional behaviour and their expectations from the corporate world.

All in all, it was a day of learning!!

We have met some talented individuals and we will be hiring some of them for the required roles.

We are excited to welcome them to our BabyOrgano | India's First Dedicated Ayurvedic Baby Care Health and Wellness Brand family and help them grow their skills and careers.

We believe in nurturing young talent and giving them the opportunity to work on innovative and impactful projects.

Also, we are grateful to the St Kabir Institute of Professional Studies for hosting us and being so welcoming and supportive.
So aaj baat karte hai Sales ki , Sales kya hai and jo bhi hai that is according to me. We can agree to disagree. (This is not AI generated :D )

So I was fired from my job in 2007 for being the worst salesman, as my sales for 6 months was ZERO. That was my first sales job as well.

Fir koi job nahi de raha tha to I started on my own, apporached 200+ customers for my services and finally I got it. It's not the subject of classroom learning but the subject of Action. Do 100 cold calls and you will know and you can see the difference between your first cold and call and 100th.

Then to sharpen my skills, I started learning Sales Techniques and Psychological techniques but at the end Click wahi hua jo hona chahiye tha, today I consider myself a good salesman. My learnings in this journey are

- You don't need techniques but you need authenticity

- Sales is not about processes, openings and closures but It's about People , Understanding people is the key.

- Instead of selling, focus on value creation (waise ye sab pahele bhi 100 baar sun ya padh chuke honge )

- If you have empathy , connection , authenticity, Integrity then you understand your customer , team members , partners far better way and that's the key to sales.

- Last is face your fear. Cold calls are most difficult for many people but once you pick up the call and talk like a human , you will realize that person on other side is same and you can have a good talk at least.

Photo story : I am doing what I love doing most, Sales.
DevX Coworking Raises $ 7 Mn Funding

Funds to be used for national & global expansion

To add more assets across India with more than 2 Million Sq Feet area

On track to get listed next year

To build a Proptech solution for design & Build offering

DevX, Gujarat’s largest Managed Office Space provider, today announced that it has raised funding of $ 7 Million with a mix of equity & debt split equally. Family offices such as Urmin family office, Gala family office, Bidiwala family office already on captable participated in the equity round, which showcases testimony to the growth model, alongwith HNIs like Ajay Patel, Mitesh Patel and Soham Mehta; while Debt funding was provided by Banks & NBFCs. 

Gujarat’s leader in the Managed office space segment, DevX is a co-working space cum accelerator founded in September 2017 by 3 entrepreneurs. The company was envisioned as a Startup Accelerator focussed on nurturing innovative startups by providing them with all requirements. Positioning DevX as an equal partner in growth, the company supports through their allied strategic partnerships and services. The different initiatives of DevX are thus structured to build synergies, enabling crosspollination of ideas as a means of collaborative growth and development. The company’s initiatives address different requirements across the value chain. 

Speaking on the funding, Mr Umesh Uttamchandani, Co-Founder – DevX said, “This funding comes at a time when we are bullish on growth in both the national domestic & global markets. The funds will be deployed for giving further impetus to our national and global expansion goals. For India, this infusion of funds gives us the boost to add more inventory to grow vertically across cities – signing up Assets with more than 2 lakhs sq feet. Putting in place even stronger governance practices; we plan to get listed next year and also build a Proptech solution for design & build offering. We are proud to be setting standards for the segment to aspire to; with our stated business goal of being the partner of choice for GCCs (Global capability Centres) & ODCs (Offshore Development Centres). Growthcentric corporates are increasingly opting for managed workspaces, which perfectly meshes with our philosophy of offering best-in-class work-space experiences at competitive pricing.” 

Opining on the event, Mr Devansh Majithia, Urmin Family Office said, “We are proud, yet again, to be part of this funding round. DevX’s innovative approach to providing an immersive, value drive experience for its tenants perfectly aligns with our own Investment philosophy. Their track-record of sustained growth and in-depth domain expertise have been core factors in driving our participation in this funding round”. 

As a core part of the ecosystem, DevX also provides, round the year, a platform for industry, academia, professionals and companies to hold hackathons, seminars, events etc…to address trends and issues. The company is planning further expand and thus consolidate it’s pan-India presence by 2024 end. 
First customer : (this is not AI generated story :D )

Today I am going to share how we got our first customer for 58 Miles and how our first stock was sold out in a day.

So once we were ready with our stock and we were planning many things in all directions, that online fod daalenge , Insta pe dhamaal macha lenge and give few samples to influencers and once 10-15 reviews are set , we will sell our stock in next 2-3 months with lots of learning.

As our first product is "Camera wale baba ka Jhola, to Sahil Shah ne bola , to take part in Offline photo expo in Gandhinagar, and I was convinced to give it a try. We booked last moment so got the last stall :D

At the expo, we unveiled our product, but for the entire morning, it was like a ghost town at our stall. Ten other camera bag bigwigs had set up shop before us. But then, around 1:00 PM, a lone ranger strolled in. I narrated the whole saga of Moment Camera bag by 58miles, and guess what? He agreed to pay! A whole year of hard work, and finally, someone was ready to pay for it. I was so overwhelmed that when he swiped for payment, I stopped him and said, "It's a gift from us, Sir." He couldn't believe it! With joy and excitement, he ran out, sharing the tale of our unique camera bag and how he got it for free.

and then it was like everybody was coming to our stall, we were talk of town (thought it was expo and not the town) We were sold out , all 125 bags for first stock, on the first day of expo. I could not believe it.

Photo story : The guy in black tshirt is not our first customer , Its our beloved supporter , my pakka dost Jatin Chaudhary (eChai Ventures wale bhaiya). His support to us and thousands of other startups across the globe is unmatchable. He bought the Camera bag just to support our launch.
www.58miles.com
Some moments are captured through our eyes and stay forever in our hearts! A month ago, on the 13th November, I got the opportunity to meet and interact with a legendary football player and UNICEF Global Goodwill Ambassador, David Beckham, during the very first day of his visit to India.

I had never met a humble person like him before! A few minutes of interaction with him about ECOrrect Product and our journey, I felt very inspired. It was a precious opportunity for us.

Whenever I think about that meeting, I still get goosebumps. Thank you GUSEC and UNICEF India, for the opportunity! 💚✨
It takes a village to raise a child.

Synup completed it's acquisition of Clientjoy | Operating System for Agencies yesterday.

Anupama and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the folks who've been our village while we raised Clientjoy.

So, here it goes.

Thank you.

Thanks Ashit Doshi for giving us our first office and thank you Tanvi Shah Rangwala for being the first believer in us and writing us our first cheque.

Thanks Jatin Chaudhary and eChai Ventures for a lot of things - but most of all, for giving us the first platform where we spoke about Clientjoy and thank you tapan kacheria for being our first paid customer. We still have the INR 1800 invoice.

Thanks Gaurav Zutshi for enabling us to get our first enterprise customer and thank you Rohit K. for being the pillar of support you've been through out our journey.

Thanks Anunay Gupta for pushing us - we know we were not the most ideal founders and thank you Sunder Nookala for asking the right questions with the intent to help, always.

Thanks Anil Roy and Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology for giving us access to talent and thank you Pankaj Bhimani for teaching that sales is not a skill, but an approach - polished language can only take us so far and that ultimately, selling happens between people.

Thanks Shrijay Sheth [keeper of all secrets] for always having the right legal advice and thank you Umesh Uttamchandani for being selflessly available to answer any funding related questions.

Thanks Vikas Mundhra for asking me questions that I wouldn't have asked myself and thank you Bhavin S Bhagat for being kind - always.

Thanks Udit Goenka for launching us on your marketplace and thank you Mihir Joshi and GVFL Limited for your trust.

Thanks Ritam Bhatnagar for giving us shelter while we were 30 and office-less and thank you Mitesh Shethwala for helping us acquire our first solutioning client.

Thanks Abhi Ballabh & Vengat Krishnaraj for bringing clarity into everything we were doing and thank you Mrigank Tripathi and Sachin Bhatia for agreeing to support us when chips were down.

Thank you Dveep, Hirvi, Keyur, Nirav and Faizan for believing in us while we navigated through some of the most difficult stages of our company.

Thank you Stripe, PayPal, Payoneer and Razorpay for partnering with a small firm like us. And thank you IIMA Ventures, SaaSBoomi and NSRCEL for your role in building the ecosystem that supported founders like us.

There are so many more people including our team members, family members, friends, stakeholders and customers who have played a pivotal role in our journey.

Founding and running a company is lonely. As first time founders, we did not always know the right way to do things. You people made the ride easier. You people made the journey better. You people made us.

We hope to enjoy your company in the future 😇

Final thank you to Ashwin Ramesh for seeing the value in what we had built.

 
Asian Case Research Journal managed by National University of Singapore has accepted the case about Hearty Mart written by Dr Amarpreet Singh of FLAME University and Prof Abhishek of IMT Ghaziabad, on Corporate Entrepreneurship. 

The case discusses Idea Box strategy of Hearty Mart in detail.
In a year filled with remarkable moments, we are honored to be recognized by eChai Ventures as the Consumer Tech Company of The Year!

This journey has been more than just milestones; it's been about connecting communities and bringing people together through #events. We are thrilled to have touched lives globally, aligning perfectly with our mission of making sure people can discover events whenever, wherever.

We are incredibly grateful to the event organizers and attendees who have been a part of our journey. Your unwavering passion and dedication breathe life into every event, making them truly special. You are the real MVPs, the heartbeat of what we do!

As we enter 2024, let's carry the warmth of shared experiences forward.

Remember: Live. Don't just exist.
Little Late Post but full of gratitude for the 2023..


It was a great opportunity for Crooze App to be the part of 40 Fitness, Health & Wellness startups cohort pitching at the 

#FitPitch during TheFitExpo at Kolkata in first week of December.
Thanks to Aaquib Hussain and his wonderful team at FreeFlow Ventures for seamless execution and amazing experience for all of us.. and most importantly making us meet all the founders who are building to make India Fit & Healthy..
Which is by far the most difficult task for anyone.. to make people work towards their fitness and health.. and on the top of it make a sustainable business around it..
Hats off to all the amazing founders I met there - Shweta Thakur Dishita Choudhary Srishti Srivastava Swagatika Priyambada Vishal Nigam, Building WTF , Modernizing Gyms Sahil Pruthi Vipen Jain Manti Pathak Vivek Krishna Karishma Chavan Prapa G. Nilashis Roy Pratik Saraogi Amith Vir @amit k.
@Sriram G from The Whole Truth Foods

it was great catch up with amazing friends from the ecosystem Eashita Maheshwary Vasishta Chary and meeting a great team member of Crooze Deepjoy Ghosh 😊

May the fitness startups tribe go bigger and bigger as we need many more solutions and the market the really big with pie for all ✌️

Wizzy.ai launched query based CTR and Conversions ratios for top trending searchs.

We did pilot of this feature to optimise top search queries in selected brands of India with an estimate sales of ~$10m a month in all together. Deep efforts by our team helped all of these brands to improve query conversion in range of 13% to 27%.

Our feature impacted and in total generated extra sales of ~$1.8m for all of these brands.
Valay, we got our first cheque”

I remember saying these words, full of excitement & somewhat emotional.

It was 31st Dec, New Year's Eve, almost a decade back. That evening was like stepping into a new life for us.  (Me & my younger brother and Co-Founder Valay)

Entigrity wasn't just a dream anymore; it became a reality.

But before getting this first check, I went on to meet 300+ CPAs/accountants door to door and well nobody wanted to trust us.(Offshoring back then was like rocket science). Also we were new, I probably didn’t know how to present myself.

Each meeting was a story in itself, filled with hope and often met with a polite, yet firm 'no.' With each ‘no’ you feel like giving up. But someone within was not ready to quit, maybe that someone was immensely scared of being tagged as failure in life, (That fear of failure probably kept me going).

Jack Owens, CPA out of Orlando, FL after the 2nd meeting told me that “Shawn, I like you buddy let’s get started” And that’s how he wrote us our first check. A 68 year old CPA trusted us and became our first client.

I will always remain deeply grateful to Jack for that trust and belief that he kept on us. Thank you would never be enough to express my gratitude to him. Jack and his team still continue to work with us.

Never forget people who have put early faith in you when you were nobody. Those people might hold no significance to your size of work and stature today but, I always believed that “Don't forget those who supported you when you were nothing”.

This is where the journey of Entigrity started for me in the US and for my brother & Co-founder Valay in India.

I learned that sometimes being naive is an asset. It allows you to see possibilities where others see dead ends.
When everyone around me said, especially some of my relatives in the US, "It's the holiday season, nobody's going to sign up now, people don’t work ” I chose to listen to the voice that mattered most - my own.

It’s with Immense pride I would say that Entigrity's first cheque wasn't signed by a venture capitalist or an angel investor, but by a CPA and that too on the eve of New Year.

Looking back, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. Grateful to every CPA & Accountant 

- Who partnered with Entigrity and reposed their trust on us.
- Even those who started but couldn’t continue to work with us.
And lastly who said ‘No’ to us,
- Looking back I would say we got lucky in more ways than we could have ever Imagined.

One such luck was getting your First Cheque from a CPA and not from VC/Angel Investor. 

(In fact, in early days of Entigrity whenever we went to raise some money, we never got it. With the benefit of hindsight, it was a blessing in disguise. Today at this stage fortunately a lot of people are ready to invest in us. Life is strange when you needed them the most nobody gave you and now when you don't really need everyone is ready to write a check). 
In mid 1998 I had joined a vernacular daily based out of Madhya Pradesh, as a resident sales executive in Ahmedabad. Post MBA, this was my first job. As a trainee I was recruited at a salary not worthy of mentioning here. It was my first week in the office, and I was required to pick up my director from the airport and take him to a prominent communications school of Ahmedabad. He was invited by the institute to deliver a lecture on the success story of the newspaper launch in the neighbouring state. 

For a novice and non-entity sharing a dias with my director, I went through mixed emotions. This was a time when power points hadn’t conquered the boardrooms and professionals relied on slide presentations - which were transparencies projected on the screen through a slider. My role was to ensure that the slides were kept in the right order. I had no role in the razzmatazz of the presentation which made me feel small and irrelevant. At the same time, it ignited a fire in me and took my aspirations to new high. Now I wanted to be in the boardrooms of these schools, delivering sessions on my entrepreneurial journey.

Finally, I was invited on 1st October 2019 to be a speaker at #IIMA in The Red Brick Summit, prior to this I had the opportunity to take guest sessions at the #IIMA couple of times and I was also a speaker at their MDP Program. 

But #TRBS experience gave me a new kick as I was on the same platform where many thought leaders and successful entrepreneurs delivered their ideas in the past. And it also made me realise that if you aspire high you achieve new heights. Keep your aspirations high in life and strive hard and you would conquer.
🎉 𝗦𝘂𝗿𝗽𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀 𝗔𝗹𝗲𝗿𝘁: 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗸𝗲𝗱𝗜𝗻'𝘀 𝗧𝗼𝗽 𝗩𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟰! 🎉

Folks, 
I just received some news that is as unexpected as finding an extra crumpled Rs 500 note in your dried shirt after washing– I've been named a LinkedIn Top Voice! Yes, you read that right. No, I didn't hack the system, and no, it's not a paid thing yet! :) 

First things first, a massive THANK YOU to everyone here. This recognition isn't just about my voice, but it's a testament to the incredible community we've built together. It's like being part of the world's most supportive book club, but instead of books, we share ideas, insights, and occasionally, bad jokes.

Unlike X, previously on twitter, I do post some sensible stuff here. But I will try to be more consistent as now I have a badge to take care of. 

I must admit, being called a "Top Voice" feels a bit exaggerated. But here we are, and I'm incredibly humbled and slightly bewildered.

This platform has been a treasure trove of learning, and I'm not just talking about the professional insights. I've learned that no matter how carefully you craft a post, there will always be at least one typo that 95% of commenters kindly ignore. And that no matter how serious the topic, there's always room for a light-hearted comment & and criticism that puts a smile on everyone's face.

So, what's next? Well, I promise to keep bringing my authentic self here – typos, opinions, and all. I'll continue to share, learn, and grow alongside each of you, and yes, I'll try to live up to this 'Top Voice' title without letting it go to my head ( yes, it happens). 

Let's keep making this platform a space for genuine connection and growth. Let me repeat "genuine connection." 
The product hunt :

When I decided to start a consumer product company, the first thing was to think about product. Today I am trying to explain how we decided our first product to go with.

I make sure about one thing that anything we shall do or create shall be different then what everybody else is doing. I studied all d2c brands and decided not to go with fashion, lifestyle and wellness. Also one of my business is B2B corporate apparels so thought to have a product which I can sell in same channel in future and that's how decided to go with bags and backpacks.

Now, there are many brands in that segment also, and all of them focused on fashion, so we decided to focus on function.

One more thing, I like to make sure about any product or service is to find one niche to market so we decided to go with business backpack would be our first product, design process started (There will be a separate post about designing our products) and somehow we end up making first product which is backpack for modern age creators. A backpack to carry your cameras, digital kits and some clothes.

"The reason of selecting a niche is targeting is very easy". When you know your target customer, the marketing becomes laser focused. And here we go with our First backpack designed for Photographers/Cinematographers and Digital creators , named it "Moment". Moment by 58Miles.
https://www.58miles.com

stay tuned, on how we designed this product and why this product became the first to go to market... 
58 MILES

Preferred eChai Business Partners

About eChai Business Partner Program:

eChai Ventures is a friendly global startup network that hosts engaging Startup Growth meetups in 10+ Countries and enables cross-border collaborations.

Key benefits:

  • Engagement at relevant in-person eChai Meetups (~4 meetups/year)
  • Listing on preferred eChai Business Partners page (1 year duration)
  • Feature on eChai.Ventures
You can reach out to Jatin Chaudhary, Co-Founder, eChai Ventures over WhatsApp or over email at [email protected] to explore more about it.