[D’Dialogue] Indian Startups Must Focus On Solving Real Problem, Says Pankaj Jain From 500Startups [INTERVIEW]

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India has grown about 7.8x times, as compared to the US economy which has grown just about 3.6x, since 1985, according to the recent India Startup Report. And we can credit most of this growth to the enterprising ecosystem that flourishes in India. It was traders back then and today its startups, driving the transactions up and keeping the world interested.

The irony of every rapidly growing economy is the same. More easy money; less experiential learning. A while ago, there was a flux of trend based investments. Every capitalist wanted one Ace in their chest and the only reference was the Silicon Valley. So Indian startups copied ideas from the west and money flowed into those that were in the same sphere as the proven. Today, the scene is different and tough. We have incubators and accelerators that help refine ideas into marketable initiatives. And 500Startups has carved their presence in gold already with success stories such as Wildfire, Twilio and SendGrid and being named the most active investor in mobile by CB Insights.

Pankan Jain 500 Startups

500Startups has been involved in the Indian market for two years now, and has invested in about 19 companies in India since 2011. Thousands of companies come to get accelerated there, however only 2 to 2.5% globally, get chosen to get incubated through their Accelerator program. Preference is to those companies that come through reference, either through their funded companies or through the mentors and co-investors they associate closely.


With Bangalore making it into Intuit’s top 20 startup cities worldwide and Indian ventures like InMobi having clocked over $1.4 Billion in valuation, the startup ecosystem has become even more exiting to be in. With plans to invest $44 Million in benefiting about 200 initiatives over the next year, content creation, education, eCommerce logistics and support, SAAS and mobile based products(including casual gaming), interest Pankaj Jain -Venture Partner, 500Startups and his team the most.

“Indians love to talk and communicate to each other and communication types of mobile apps are becoming popular” and “if statups are solving real problems, acquiring users is not going to be a challenge for them”. said Pankaj while speaking to Dazeinfo. And we all know, there is no way that can be refuted.

What is more exciting is the three things that you would need to be chosen by 500Startups to get incubated.

  • Having Traction – having an idea or product is not enough – it needs to be accepted by your target audience.
  • Having a Team – single founder early-stage companies are inherently risky to invest in.
  • Practice Communicating Quickly, Clearly and Efficiently  – Inspire people around you by being Articulate about what you are trying to do and what you need their attention for.

And to be able to get money, guidance and connections to grow faster than on your own, there isn’t an easier way than this. And all you need to achieve your dream is People who love you, People who will work with you and People who will invest in you. So, if you have all it takes, write to us and we will match you up with these guys.

If the above interest you, the complete interview of Pankaj Jain is embedded below:


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