Popeye the Sailorman! Do you remember the famous cartoon character? A lot of us in the ’80s were formed by Popeye’s adventures and he also introduced us to the world of a Sailor, Ships, boats, and the seas.
Why do I bring this up? A sailor on their own boat is analogous to an entrepreneur who sets eyes on a far-away destination across the seas to find a new land of opportunities.
Christopher Columbus was one of the earliest explorers who discovered the Americas in his voyages from Europe. All he had was an Audacious goal and vision of exploring the unknown across the world. Every entrepreneur starts off being just a Sailor and his/her boat (solution). Slowly over time, he/she hires a crew to help him/her go on a long journey on his/her Foundership as a Captain.
Foundership is a long voyage for a founder on which he/she must set sail in order to discover the promised land or the land of opportunities.
It is not uncommon for Captains of seafaring ships to encounter the unexpected in rough seas, where the unknowns can be mysterious sea monsters, pirates, rough weather etc.
Therefore, the seaman or the Captain always relies on communicating and receiving data from the nearest shore teams on weather, storms, and any other useful information that will help navigate better.
Additionally, the lighthouse also helps them determine direction and milestones along their journey as they near different shores along their voyage.
Foundership is built on the basic principle that once the Captain of the ship is out in the sea, he/she needs Navigational Support to make it to the promised land.
Each lighthouse they see on their journey lets them know where they are, as well as what to do next. Our Network of Mentors are like the Lighthouses, which come across the Captain at different times during their journey to help them navigate rough/smooth waters.
Every ship, its Captain, and crew have a unique story to tell, and their ability to reach the shores of their destination depends on the support they receive from the nearest navigational teams.
Foundership’s mission is to enable Founders to navigate their voyage. For our Founders, Foundership is constantly communicating and accelerating their voyage!
We are founders ourselves; some of us were such old fools that we are here since 2007, much before India woke up to ‘Startup Trend’. 📈
We built companies for more than a decade and went through the real grinding of lack of ecosystem and support to having being part of building it too! Hundreds of entrepreneurs wholeheartedly set India’s startup ecosystem to what it is today!
However, some things never change in entrepreneurship:
- Building a startup to success continues to be challenging
- Being an entrepreneur is the most lonely job
- There is a world of opportunities and there is severe competition from anywhere in the world
- Hiring the right team members at a very early stage is next to impossible (unless you are a second-time founder)
- Getting right mentors who can work with you (not just talk)
- only 5% of startups get funded
- and many such challenges
These challenges motivated us to think of a solution to scale India’s startup success further! Each of the founding partners at Foundership Accelerator experienced such challenges, for example:
Bimlesh ran a bootcamp to help founders perfect their sales pitch, investors pitch and more. Bimlesh knows how critical it is to have a super pitch! (Btw, Bimlesh had launched Pharmeazy.com — India’s first connected healthcare, connecting Pharmacies, Patients, Doctors and Pharma Distributors) with 80% pincode coverage in Bangalore.
Santosh ran a probono mentoring program called Grittiest, for founders from Tier 2 & 3 cities in India soon after he moved on from active roles at Explara (Btw, Santosh had launched Explara.com — India’s First Event Ticketing & Management Platform) scaled to 50k events & $11m gross revenue.
With these unique experiences in starting up and scaling revenue, users, people, and platforms, Santosh and Bimlesh got together to think and feel, which would increase the odds of success in our startups deeply.
We noticed that executing the founder’s ideas or strategies played a huge role in moving startups forward. ✌️
We could see how we could apply pinpointed interventions to execute defined hypotheses of startups that would lead to exponential returns in the startup lifecycle. Next, we have seen funding life cycles, exit negotiations, and built teams that last a decade. Each of us brings experience, ideas & wisdom to help our founders make better decisions in executing and scaling startups.
Some of the key decisions of founders are:
- should I build a revenue first company
- or a customer-centric company
- or scale the company to an exit or IPO, with either customer capital or venture capital?
Of course, we all know lots of success stories in startups and how they pivoted to success, from Airbnb to Uber to Ola to IXIGO to Paytm to Flipkart. We have seen the stories of various high-profile founders and how they might have raised 100 million but still trying to find their feet in terms of customers and markets.
You are no longer alone fighting in your startup journey, and you have the support of founders who are there to help you grow and scale, onwards and upwards.
Bon voyage and Sail ahoy!
This post is re-published from Foundership official blog post.