This writeup is on our home page so you could know us from the point of our origin. A lot has changed since then. However, our core is still what it was in 2011, when we were just a thought:
It was 2006. I was 20 then, preparing to drop out of college. I had wished to build a status quo changing business in India. A business that could be spoken about in the same breath as Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Apple. I had the idea, the plan, the undying will, the passion, plenty in funding too but, I yet could not build it. Actually there is nothing new about this story, it may have happened to a lot of us in India and elsewhere. I couldn’t build my idea, my social media platform (2007), for 5 reasons -
1. Culture (2008)- : Delayed funding — I got funded 2 years after I originally had the idea and the UI design on chart papers. 2 years because there was barely any culture of funding an Idea, its thinker/doer and its design so that it could be made into a business. India just didn’t think businesses could be built straight out of ideas, designs and plans listed on some sheet of papers by some weirdo.
2. Culture (2009) -: Team — Most of the people I found on this journey were actually not ready for a startup as their ideas about life beyond college was something else. For most of them it was a job that paid a handsome salary. Great startups never lay their foundation with such teams. My team was a team of great people in a misplaced job. Probably, that is why my startup could never be great. I blew up over Rs. 20,00,000/- in salaries in the first 5 months of my first company. It was bound to fail.
3. Culture (2000–2006) — My teenhood — All the people who called the shots for me (my parents and their peers) did not have the ability to understand what such whims are made of. They did not have the ability to understand crazy. They only understood good scores in schools which I got, then beautifully celebrated educational degrees, which I never got. And that meant, domestic rebelion. That’s never easy.
4. Culture (2009) -: Hence, no one to go to to talk about whims. It kind of made me a bit lonely but at the same time it revealed me to myself, or at least I had hoped so.
5. Culture (2010–11) -: And its true that even if I had managed to build the prototype for my social network in 2006, I would have not been able to scale it up like the way they scale up companies in Silicon Valley. I would have failed anyway in not being able to compete or collaborate with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google like companies. The reason for that would also have been the CULTURE in India.
I finally found a problem I truly want to attempt to solve in India for many — The culture in India (2011)
It was this problem that was not helping me pander to my whim even when I had the right idea and the right design at the right time, to build a status quo changing business in India. Although in this context what I had is not as important as what I didn’t have. I didn’t have the right team of vendors, nobody to advise and not the right team of colleagues either for the given idea in case. The problem was that these are not the resources you could find in India with the kind of ease you could find them in at Silicon Valley. In Silicon Valley, you could find your first co-founder or investor in the same coffee shop across another table where you were casually discussing your idea with a friend. They just overheard you and liked what you said. In India that could take sometimes years. In most cases what you will find in India will lead you to mediocrity. Why? Because people here are satisfied with it. Their cart is still moving. And that is not the cart I want to be on.
Having said that, I’d like to admit that India is changing. I have been very actively observing the new wave of startup ecosystem development through out the world and NOW India seems to be playing a key role from within its geographical boundaries. In 2006 when I started I was getting to read only about Silicon Valley California because that was all there was to read about on startups. Today I am reading as much about Silicon Valley as I am reading about India. I know India is changing anyway, I just want to help catalyse that change leading to a smarter culture and hence, smarter actions.
The last 3 years I have spent about the Indian equivalent of $120,000 in doing all that it could take me to position myself right with the right set of imagination, ideas, ideologies, knowledge, experience and finally people, to be able to start my journey of impacting the culture in India to enable great creations right from bedrooms, bathrooms, dorms and garages so that one day we could also innovate like they do. And, while on that journey I hope I could collaborate with these teams of extraordinary doers to realise my dream of giving India its very own company with anyone such group of doers, a company that could be spoken in the same breath as Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Google.
Or at least I hope so. Only time will tell. Whether that happens or not, what has already happened is that I am convinced I could not have seeded a better idea for an environment where an idea of mine can be put into such an inspired mechanism that it may translate the idea into a company. To tell you the truth, that has been my key inspiration for building Preseed; because I have too many ideas that are worth an effort, the root of each has been a problem I have experienced and the solution to it has the potential to improve at least my own life if not the whole world’s. Each such idea has ‘simplicity’ at their heart giving them a fair chance to scale up fast making relatively larger impact felt. Simplicity in terms of its entire experience; from its value proposition, visuals to its complete model of operation on ideas from web-enabled products to rural supply chains. There can be no better system for me than preseed to preserve those ideas. It’s in these ideas that feed my soul. And it is in this ‘’organized mechanism’ that I find people to work with me on what feeds my soul.
I call this organised mechanism — Preseed.
A traditional startup incubator — A startup incubator that incubates a startup company of 2 to more people that has achieved some real traction in their product. This means that a traditional incubator invests about Rs. X lakhs in that startup and houses that startup for 3 months under their own roof to open an environment of co-learning among all entrepreneurs with its other portfolio startups under that same roof.
How it works — It takes 5–10% ownership in that startup for doing so. Such incubators are basically, funds. They take investments from other investors and invest their money per batch of 10 or more such companies.
We are outside of this scene - For we build upon our own startups from scratch as we have already corroborated by building startups indicated on Preseeded. We think the idea ourselves and then, we inspire our fellow beings to join us as entrepreneurs on our idea, we give them our own mind made up of years of conscious research and imagination. We don’t invest money, design or code. We, however, put in the maximum hustle on connecting the dots of tech and design. They say ideas are dime a dozen. Good ideas are rare. Good ideas are ideas that truly have the potential to drive people towards freedom, every other idea is not a good idea. So we didn’t channel our energy into becoming a fund. We instead decided to be the company that is the creator of a web product which in turn nurtures and not merely an incubator.
There are no restrictions. There may be challenges. But there are no restrictions. The mind is boundless. And so are we. We don't consider your idea for incubation unless it is a thought that solves our own itch in an original new found way.
I would like to redefine the geek as someone who is on an obsessive intellectual pursuit. The new age geek however, needs to be, in both intellectual and spiritual pursuit. That is the kind of geek we are developing at Preseed. We have only just gotten started.
We nurture dot makers
We love the fact that you are writing codes and designing upon your ideas right from your bedrooms and dormitories. We also love that not having the money or other resources to build upon your dream doesn’t stop you from doing so. We love it all so much that we decided to help you.
What are dots?
To convey a meaning when you write the first word, you put a dot first. Then you run your pen to grow that dot into a word that has some meaning. And all these different words together form a story. Every time an author nurtures that dot, he ends up with a story, that may sell. So, dot is the point of initiation where a word, a story, a line or an organisation, everything originates from. Pen Dot:Word :: Preseed Dot:Startup
Our Name — When a tree was a seed it looked like a dot! And before a seed, it was, a Preseed.
Who are dot makers?
Everyone is willing to put the dot forth. Everyone who has a ‘pure will’ to start. You may or may not have an idea to start with, but if you strongly believe you want to start someday, then you are the dot maker we are looking for.
To nurture dot makers, or simply put, to empower those who wish to ‘create’ rather than just follow. I refined this line later to say ‘those who have the will to do something out of the ordinary’ and then yet again, ‘those who have the will to do something truthful.
What will we really do?
(On a quaint mountain top, in the Himalayas)
The kind of questions, the answers to which can deliver catharsis. So long as you and us dialogue, this service will get established, seamlessly. From day 1.
Answers won’t just be for talk sake, but for the sake of the market you want to solve a problem for.
Founders, so you focus on your product, we take care of protecting you and your company as a legal entity which is in an arrangement with you/your team/product from day 1, until the day you are funded.
You are looking at the product inside out. We look at it, outside in. From that place, your story needs to be told. It should be ‘seductive’. There is too much noise. If you don’t sell crisp and sharp with right articluations, your sales pitch is not done.
What is the instant experience your audience will have when they think of you? The bottom line is, something that is first, clearly understood in the minds of that audience, and established in the solution realm of their problem.
The big take away, we promise to deliver a certain number of early adopters to your products. If we don’t, we will be willing to lose 20% of our equity in your startup. And if we deliver to satisfaction, we seek a raise in our holding by the same number in your startup. By the way, your website creation, maintenance and it’s content will be on us.
We facilitate investments in your startup and take a commission of 5% on each such deal
Yoga, eat, sleep, work, sleep, repeat. You work, we will take care of the rest for you from our spaces at Rs. 1000 per day per person.
The best way to demonstrate what you do is to demonstrate by a video - your product, your team and your early user feedback, such that, not just the investor but also your early market feels that you are beautiful just as your work is. We will create this video for you for an additional 1% equity. This if nailed, will mean, you will be heard and understood by one and all.
All of above and any meaningful advise we may have for you, will be conveyed, proactively, forever.
We hustle with you all the way to facilitate investments for your startup, and we take some commission for brokering that deal. But that is the last and least of what we will do. That is merely a by product of what needs to be done on you, for you, that you get investment itself in the first place.
Dealflow is not about floating some deal to an investor like a broker. It is about being able to tell your story better than you can. I mean you can blow your own trumpet, but understand the difference between you blowing your own trumpet. Furthermore, understand the difference between anyone else blowing your trumpet and us blowing your trumpet. Dealflow is about story telling of your brand to be. It is not just for the investors but also for your teams. It is that which creates a possibility of ‘inspiration’ for your business. Inspiration because when we evangelise, we don’t just sell, we inspire.
Your measure of on boarding us, must be, in your ability to gauge if we can be the best story tellers you can have, such that, even in your absence your story is not only told, but also heard with awe and inspiration. At this stage of your startup, your story will sell better than your status quo.
We do for our portfolio statrtups everything to make them investment ready including the project management and marketing to on-board atleast 1% of the total users we think your product can capture in the next one year from the day of our relationship. We execute this within three months of our handshake.
Our spaces are offered at no cost to our portfolio startups permanently.
We understand that the Preseed stage of any startup is made up of its early team over dialogues made up of roles, responsibilities and associated rewards. We take this among you all into contracts, so all of you are bounded with each other over clarity. Legal also includes Incorporation, IP and legal/statutory audits.
We spend countless hours in conversations with you, recording those conversations, editing them wherever necessary to send it to the network of our mentors to hear it to improve it and then training you to internalise it as not just your story but now a collective story of you and Preseed team together in context to your business. It is in this story that the face value of your team gets the face value of our team too. It is in this story that you ultimately raise money, repeatedly. It’s not a one time act. It is in this story that we on-board people for your team whenever we find one. It is in this story that our team and your team get synchronised, (or any team, because we tell it so) as if one.
For doing so, we take an upfront minimum equity. This is the only reason why we would invest our time and energy on your startup. Even listening to your story, your pains, your business or your dream, will cost us time and money; with effect from now. We will charge for it upfront.
Step 1 - Please dig the termsheets on our medium essays to understand the terms.
Step 2 - Copy and paste them, sign them and send to us.
Our contracts are non negotiable in nature. They are standards we follow with every startup.
For any further query, call Amit on 98382 03920
What we intend do for you, over a long term, say a 5 year long relationship, is rambled below. We will not be involved in the day to day operations of your business by any means please. We will do the thinking towards the acts of your day to day just as you would expect from a proactive and preventive head of business strategy. Preseed Yoga service is your most significant decision for your business, for our advise and connections, can change the game -
Karma means action; an action can either bind or liberate you. If action is in pursuit of happiness, it binds and if it is an expression of happiness it liberates. Only if your action is an expression of your joy it is worthwhile otherwise it is just an exploitation.Dharma:
There are certain rhythm which governs the functioning of life and existence. These rhythm can be called as laws or Dharma. Dharma exist at every sphere of life. If an action or Karma follows the appropriate rhythm or Dharma then it is correct in existential terms otherwise it is destructive.Sewa:
Being available is seva. Like the Sun, the wind, fruits etc. The most fundamental law or Dharma of existence is Seva. Seva appropriates life and gives a meaning to it.
" When Karma, Dharma and Seva falls in the same line then the whole effort is called as Karma yoga. At some point the whole economics of India was designed on this line and evidences prove that it is the most successful and holistic. We endeavour to revive it. "
We don’t deal with investors who look to negotiate on our terms already established with our startups towards the benefits of Preseed Ventures Pvt. Ltd. If they do so, we will consider it a breach of our understanding with the investors and will look to call of the deal. Investors, please download this agreement.
We are setting up a space in Delhi for our two startups, Preseed Ventures Pvt. Ltd. and Preseed Ed K12 Pvt. Ltd.
Later we will scale it to a space where we will hold talks from across topics like science, yoga, technology and businesses with early stage entrepreneurs and students who would like to startup.
Additionally from whatever you have read at nishchal.preseed.in I am building Preseed Ecell. Here E stands for Education and Entrepreneurship. For all that should have been taught to children before they turn 18. Because what they learn becomes the future of our country. We want to run it as a modern ashram for students and entrepreneurs. One day we hope to serve India by making Preseed Ecell become home to deserving students and innovators.
Hence, Preseed Ecell is a ‘soulful student and entrepreneur’ nurturing environment, but, with tough love and extraordinary care for humanity at large.
We have researched for years about the kind of content we would like to place in front of you. The kind that will teach you fundamentally about not just how to build a great startup, but also what problems to think about and how to think it well.
Here we educate you on the new age way of building a tech startup through marketing.
A school in delhi to educate those entrepreneurial spirited students who are forced to chase a recognised education degree by their parents instead of building something. So we decided to give them a degree that can further their cause, without them having to rebel against their parents.
Delhi Startup School: This is what we are going to call it.
Guiding Principle -: All it takes is, being forever ready to reach out to anyone in the world through the internet.
Over the last 10 years in Delhi I have come to realise that the culture of entrepreneurship, even though is on the rise, still doesn’t educate on the essence of simplicity, bootstrapping and quick launch.
Anyway, that being the broader life skill we wan’t be able to conclusively impart by running a programme -:
‘Marketing Precedes Coding’
(Do read the article linked with this heading). Some of the points of training students in this specific field is that -:
1. Hackers can be found because hackers have enough tools on the web to learn hacking from like on mentioned on this kippt list and enough platforms to shoot their queries to, to feed on their curiosity. Moreover there are many programmes to train people in programing.
2. Designers are those who are artists in their soul anyway. They will figure their route to becoming designers anyway. They too have too many schools, programmes and online tools to begin with.
3. Hustler — This guy is the guy who is enterprising enough to go out there on the ground and connect the dots. One of his main jobs is to be able to market the idea that he is going out there to create. We want to train this guy over how marketing is done in this new age way even prior to the product is built.
4. Above all, this is the chance for graduates to get in tune with the world their colleges never taught them about. The world of building startups.
So clearly this programme is for those who are specifically interested in learning digital marketing for the purpose of product launches. For these guys truly understand the importance of being able to launch their future idea even if there was little to no money to doing so.
We will essentially teach you about distribution of web and mobile apps through educating you over -:
1. How were some of the most extraordinary companies built?
2. What does the contemporary startup ecosystem of the world look like after the creation of products like Angellist?
3. What is a good idea?
4. The tools that empower us in building a company.
5. Above all, the new age ways of marketing because the web has become extremely social, thus, changing the landscape of past ways of marketing still being taught in a lot of MBA Schools.
6. Above all we will teach you how to use the internet to learn.
We will train you over a period of 1 year and give you a degree in Masters in Entrepreneurship. We will put you through real job scenarios to give you good insights into what it takes to really build something from technology to design.
Above all we would impart in you the culture Preseed is being built upon. In doing so every member of the Preseed team will come forward to teaching you a thing or two. Hence, every one from the Preseed Team is a mentor here. These are the men you could learn from apart from our own set of educators hand picked from the industry.
Yes, we will give you a UGC recognized degree in Masters in Entrepreneurship too. However, if you are really coming to us so that you could startup your own business really really soon, you will never have to need your degree certificate.
The fees of the Programme is Rs. 1, 50, 000 per year.
I hope -:
I hope you understand we are training you not only for your job as a marketer at a good tech startup, but to help you build one yourself someday.
I hope you also realise that if you are neither a designer nor a hacker and you still want to be able to be a co founder in a tech startup right from it’s day 1, you need to be the guy who can prelaunch it for customer validation the moment your product’s 1st version is ready. This is the gap you will fill in the team of 2 people, one hacker and one designer, building a product.
However if you are designer or a hacker, and yet wish to learn to distribute tech products on the web, please join in. You will learn a lot beyond your current skills.
Guiding Principle -: All it takes is, being forever ready to reach out to anyone in the world through the internet.
Course Structure -:
Product Mockup Development
Web Communication Design
Art of making a slide deck
Art of detailing a project
Education about early stage incubations and investments.
It takes a certain hippie like liberated perspective to build businesses with simplicity as the guiding principle. That perspective leads us to two core values in our products, usability and lean -
After vision this is where we spend most of our time. We keep it to what's needed and where it's needed. Nothing that is not needed will ever find its way into our products.
Design is more important than engineering in the consumer web space. One of the problems we see in this space in India is not of that of engineering. In fact India produces strong engineers. It's a problem of design, for India seriously lacks consumer web 'design' sensibilities. The reason stands - lack of geeks here marrying some seriously cool people. We hope that someday we are able to teach that to India through our products.
"Usability and the utility, not the visual design, determine the success or failure of a web-app. Since the visitor of the page is the only person who clicks the mouse and therefore decides everything, user-centric design has become a standard approach for successful and profit-oriented web design. After all, if users can’t use a feature, it might as well not exist." - Vitaly Friedman
We take it a step further. Lean is how we live, let alone build stuff. We 'build, measure, learn, repeat'and never raise funds without setting it right.
Bootstrapping has its own entrepreneurial lessons that cannot be learnt without self experiencing them. We iterate, customer validate and reiterate. If we fail, we also fail fast, we re-iterate even faster and all of that, at minimum cost implications. In short we make sure we customer validate the products before we look to move to the next steps of development. Shit gets done in least amounts of not only money but also time.
"If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late." - Reid Hoffman
The 4 pillars of any business endeavor that we like to advise and connect towards, are:
Brand positioning, Ideation, User Experience, Need - Value - Gap analysis, thought experimentations, design advice. Even pivots for better market fit if need be.
Client's ability to deliver their products and services efficiently with sustenance and scale. Next round investment readiness.
Influence thought and hence, internal as well external ecosystem through intangible contributions. As a result an innovative culture will be infused across your company. The culture then becomes the magnet.
Includes all types of communication. Internal - Far greater productivity using just the right set of tools on your mobile. We know about nearly all of them, that can increase your productivity. External - Branding, Packaging, Design, Marketing etc.
The key modus operandi of Preseed Ecell is - a passionate conversations between Nishchal, his team and soulful humans like you, who stand for real good. To say the least - here we discuss how an organization should be built tastefully, slowly and consciously keeping contemporary technology, communication and design sensibilities right at the top. You should rather dig this essay well for we are assuring you that nowhere in India would you find the kind of environment of education and truth you will experience in Preseed Ecell
All the work at Preseed Ecell is aimed at, covering the evolution of an idea through all the stages, into a successful organization, so long as you are standing for genuine good for humanity and not some facade in the name of problem-solving and money.
Read about startup stages in this essay. Expect us to help you, systematically, across all stages, one stage at a time.
Note-: The goal of Preseed Ecell is not just to steer you to success. The goal is to empower you to believe that you could ‘DO’ before you thought you could. The success may or may not be the reward. The journey is the definite reward. As a by-product of this journey you get a chance to experience the power of ‘imagination and freedom’.