Today's roundtable marked our 125th Free session. We've come a long, long way, offering these free consulting sessions consistently for some years now. Through the last couple of weeks, you have learned about some wonderful opportunities that our corporate partners, A&N Media, ELance, and BlueSnap have been creating for entrepreneurship development.
A&N Media is offering a series of 1M/1M scholarships to entrepreneurs in Britain to stimulate entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom. With a reach into 130 million consumers, their channel will offer a significant go-to-market opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to bring B-to-C products to market. Please note, that while the Scholarships are for UK entrepreneurs only, the channel opportunity is more broadly available to 1M/1M entrepreneurs. More here.
Also, BlueSnap and Elance are offering 12 scholarships to entrepreneurs working on digital commerce and subscription businesses. The deadline for applications is May 11. More here.
Today, the first presenter, Steven Lucero from London, England pitched PopUpShopUp, a platform for managing pop-up events around the world, mostly in major cities that are sponsored by various brands. Steven expects brands to pay either a flat fee, or a per-attendee fee for pulling together sizable pop-up events. However, as it stands, his assumptions have not been validated yet. I shared my concerns about the scalability of a business model that requires selling £5000 events to brands on an ongoing basis, and then managing these events (including physical management). While selling an audience for pop-up events is their primary value proposition, Steven needs to think through the business model alternatives, as well as validate what the customers have appetite for.
Next, Uma Sundaram from Alpharetta, Georgia, pitched Active NMS, a self-correcting network management technology. Uma has been trying to raise money for almost three years, but has not succeeded. Unfortunately, the assumption that concepts can be funded simply doesn't hold true anymore. Also, given how crowded the network management space is and how little customer engagement she has, I am not surprised that Uma has not been successful with investors yet. There is serious competitive analysis, positioning and market sizing that needs to be done ASAP on this idea. Meanwhile, I suggested that Uma use NineSigma to explore if she can get some projects in her domain of expertise.
Then, Pramod Kumar from Kerala, India, pitched Inteleserv, a service for helping consumers learn how to use their smart phones. Pramod wants to create a crowdsourced knowledgebase of how phones, apps, carriers, etc., interact and help consumers get a great deal more leverage from their phones. The app that he is proposing is not easy to build because the content effort is quite significant. There are serious costs involved, and it is not clear to me how Pramod would build enough of a knowledgebase on the new models of smartphones and continue to service the customers from Kerala. The carrier interactions are simply not available to test.
You can listen to the recording of this roundtable here.
As always, I would very much like to hear about your business, so let me invite you to come and pitch at one of our free 1M/1M public roundtables. We will be holding future roundtables on:
Thursday, May 10, 8 a.m. PDT, Register Here.
Thursday, May 31, 8 a.m. PDT, Register Here.
If you want a deeper relationship with me, you are very welcome to join the 1M/1M premium program. If you have any questions about the program, please, first study the website, especially What to expect from the 1M/1M premium program and the FAQs. If you have additional questions, please email me, and I would be very happy to respond. Please note that I work exclusively with 1M/1M entrepreneurs.
I also invite you to join the 1M/1M mailing list for the ease and convenience of getting updates. This way we can stay in touch, and it will help you to decide if 1M/1M is a program for you.
Sramana Mitra is the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative, an educational, business development and incubation program that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, she writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. From 2008 to 2010, Mitra was a columnist for Forbes. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. Sramana has a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.