Day after batch 1 finished their demo day resulted in some serious withdrawal symptoms for us at the Accelerator. It is not hard to imagine that having 45+ enthusiastic, energized and talented people will have a significant effect on your ability to stay young.
I learned from Rajesh and Prajwal at Amplyfy that everything can be hacked in under 12 hours. They’d scoff at the “develop it over the weekend” concept. “You don’t need an entire weekend” was their premise. Any idea I’d put forth would result in a 15 min “technical feasibility” discussion, which would result in a < 12 hour solution. It was done, not just discussed. Naresh would use every contact in his address book to get a meeting with any customer he desired. Keval just kept them all calm. While the others would hack, Keval would focus on the scale. Big things are destined for this team.
Melchi and Aditya from CloudInfra would start any project with a “lets solve the underlying problem” – usually that meant a mathematical formula which would have to be solved: to get anything from customer traction and SEO to lead generation and product roadmap. Aditya had the unique ability to also hack and make solutions for every problem we had. In fact he was the only one who helped us with a unique solution to our intermittent wifi issues. He actually put his own router in place.
Jiten from Ciphergraph was always on the move. Aggressive timelines were made even more aggressive with him. He has the unique ability to breakup a 1 hour meeting into a 11 minute product roadmap discussion, a 15 minute investor deck rant and a 19 minute sales pitch review.
Healthify taught me how I should build and hire awesome people and keep them engaged. They had the youngest team in the entire batch and still managed to get loads of stuff done right. They ate lunch every afternoon as a team, worked out together as a team and even sang as a team.
Prafull and Piplayan, founders of Hire Rabbit, are the masters of doing awesome with very little money. The ultimate bootstrappers, they got mentioned in all the top blogs and reviewed by many influencers with a shoestring budget and chutzpah. Most of their marketing was very high quality and I’d expect them to have paid significant sums of money for it, but they would end up telling me it cost them < Rs. 5000 by leveraging resources on Odesk.com
The NowFloats team were masters at execution with measured planning. Give them any system and they’d know how to work it. They used the customer and partner development effort and resources the best and had the best traction to prove it as well. They were best at figuring out how to get anything done in a system that prefers the status quo.
Nandan from Gameizon is the most patient and passionate person I worked with in this batch. He taught me more about how passion for solving a problem will help you focus on not giving up. Even though he had many hurdles ahead of him, the fact that he loved the game of cricket and wanted to solve a real problem that exists with gaming and cricket made him the most endearing.
Pratyush is the master of hustle. Having been through this problem before, PlusTxt was his second attempt to solve the problems that were prevalent with messaging the last time he did this. Thanks to his ability to strike up a conversation fairly easily with most people, he knows anyone and everyone in the ecosystem. Some days I’d get a sense that even if he did not have a product he’d get thousands of downloads based on his ability to hustle.
Deba and Kapil of Sparsha kept it simple. They are the best listeners of any of the folks I know. They taught me active listening, the ability to keep asking questions for which I rarely had good answers. They were also the most humble people I know. They had the most going for them of all the companies, but kept focusing on what they still needed to do.
Vinny and Devesh taught me that its always better to be in it to enjoy the game. Whiteshark faced more hurdles and opposition to their idea than anyone else did in the batch. They pivoted, changed, modified and kept going. They just loved the game that startups offered to founders. They’d be found in the accelerator until 5 pm DAILY brainstorming, talking, thinking and developing.
Bhaskar of World Without met taught me to take everything in my stride. Ever smiling, even when things were not peachy, he could be summarized in one sentence “this too shall pass”. Product has blocking bug, lets fix it by tomorrow, this too shall pass. Investor was more interested in B2B not B2C companies, no problems, lets talk to the next investor, this too shall pass.
I am more convinced that there is a serious need for awesome coworking space in India where such excellent teams could work together and make everyone around them younger.