LetsIgnite Day 2- March 17th 2017

Day 2 of LetsIgnite 2017 started off with LetsVenture Angel Report presented by Chaitanya Ramalingegowda. He shared early stage investments insights with audience that LetsVenture has compiled from extensive analysis of investment trends in the last year. 2016 was a year of correction, which has led to valuation and ticket sizes being more rational. Additionally, he stressed the value of having a lead investor who would be beneficial for both an angel as well as the startup.

VC Lounge

Interactions between Series A Ready Startups, VCs and Family Offices.

Masterclass: Angel Investment Primer 2.0

The much-awaited and much-anticipated masterclass on angel investment was initiated by Anupam Mittal, who has numerous successful and profitable angel investments under his belt. He set out the broad contours and learnings he has had over the years as an angel investor, while highlighting the importance of what he calls, Angel Karma. He stressed the fact that angel investing is not a science, but deciding quickly if the startup is worth investing in or not, and not leading founders on.

Anand Chandrasekaran, a founder’s funder/angel investor in his own right, concurred with Anupam’s idea of Angel Karma and the importance of being straight and honest with founders from the beginning. Further, he went on to give anecdotal examples of his own experiences of investing in various startups and how they succeeded or tanked, and what learnings he took away from them.

Sanat Rao, the third participant of the masterclass, a VC, gave his perspective on angel investing and how to go about it like a VC. He stressed the fact that as a VC, you’re basically investing someone else’s money, and to think of it as an alternate investment. That it is a game of high risk, high return.

All three of them stressed on the fact that angel investing is a long-term investment, say, 8-10 years. That an angel investor shouldn’t be looking for an exit after a couple of years. That doesn’t how angel investing works. They also concurred on the fact that building and nurturing angel karma will keep you protected in some ways.

The last participant of the masterclass was Shweta Shalini, the spokesperson of BJP Maharashtra and the social media wizard who is responsible for building Brand Modi. She stressed on the importance of building you

r own brand and strategy as an angel investor. That brand building is a long-term process that requires leveraging people with power, and using technology to drive that power.

Sectoral Round Tables: Fin-tech

Part I: A chat between Amit Somani and Anuradha Ramachandran

Amit Somani of Prime Ventures, started off by giving insight into fin-tech and how fin-tech startups have gained traction in the last five years. He also stressed that 2017 is the year to bet on fin-tech startups and companies.

This point was stressed by Anuradha Ramachandran of Omidyar Network, who explained that getting financial services to more and more people at the time that they need it is what makes fin-tech startups relevant. She also stressed on the importance of disruptive banking, which doesn’t mean disrupting banks and institutions, rather disrupting market segments. She also stressed that fin-tech startup must look at banks and financial institutions as partners and friends, rather than foes.

Part II: Panel discussion on Fin-tech

A panel discussion on fin-tech and how it is relevant to moving towards a cashless, paperless economy was moderated by Amit Somani, who asked pertinent questions and pulled valuable insights from panelists, Srinivas Njay, Mukund Mudras, Rohit Kulkarni, and Vinay Bagri. Using AI in banking to make it more accessible to people; making inroads in the banking sector by catering to the lower ticket sizes of requests that are not possible for regular banks; the underuse of technology in banks – are some of the key aspects touched upon in this panel.

Sectoral Round Tables: IOT

Part I: Ankush Tiwari

Ankush Tiwari of Mobiliya gave the audience a rudimentary lesson on what IOT means, and how it is the emerging buzzword that is gaining traction in the recent years. He stressed on the fact that IOT is driving digital transformation across various verticals, and that security and interoperability are the key aspects that are required for a sustainable IOT structure.

Part II: Nilesh Jain

Nilesh Jain of Z Nation Lab took the IOT concept a bit further and stressed the problems that people face, and how IOT manifests in different forms – pure hardware players, system integrators, intelligence (Data/AI/ML), security and embedded, and platform full stack (AWS of IOT). He further emphasized the importance of understanding the nature of the IOT company you wish to invest in.

Part III: Panel discussion on IOT

Avneesh Sabharwal, Ashish Joshi, Arun Narayanaswamy, and Gnaneshwar Kambali, who all head innovation and R&D at major tech companies, explained how each of their respective firms are investing in IOT-based startups and making inroads in IOT at their innovation hubs. They also spoke about their partnerships with various educational institutions, hackathons that they organize, and various other avenues that they have tapped into to identify and nurture budding talent in the sector.

This marked the close of the two-day event, LetsIgnite 2017, with a thank you note delivered by Co-Founder and CEO Shanti Mohan, who expressed gratitude to all the attendees, volunteers, and last but not least, the LetsVenture team for doing a fantastic job!