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Roundtable Recap – June 13: Sharpen Your Concepts Before You Commit

Posted on Thursday, Jun 13th 2013

Today’s roundtable had a higher percentage of concept-stage entrepreneurs than usual.

First up was Salil Agrawal from Bangalore, India, pitching Query, a Q&A forum concept, supposedly for solving problems. Now the Q&A market is cluttered as hell, and I see absolutely no case for entering the market at this stage.

Then Manikandan Saravanan from Chennai, India, pitched Slamly, a social media app that fuses the ideas of SurveyMonkey for brands, and a consumer Q&A concept. Mani hopes that consumers seeking ‘person opinions’ about products and choices would use the app to ask around, and every so often, brand questions can be inserted into the stream.

Again, I am not convinced about the concept.

Next, Rehana Shrestha from Woodbridge, Virginia, pitched Nurturize, a very high level concept for offering educational activities to students. The learning technology market is extremely cluttered as well these days, and without a fine-grained positioning, something as broad as what she presented has no chance.

All three concepts need serious sharpening and validation work before I would feel comfortable recommending that you spend invaluable years of your life on developing them as businesses.

Last up, we had Manish Shara from Jaipur, India, pitching Offermandi, the best company of the day. Manish has already launched an online comparison shopping portal in Jaipur, his hometown, for mobile and tablet products. The twist is, the portal generates leads for physical retailers, not ecommerce shops. Most of Jaipur’s retailers are not selling online as yet, but are open to using online marketing channels.

Manish has 100 retailers using his service, and 10% of those are already paying customers. Within the next couple of months, Manish will have a sense of whether and how much the rest are willing to pay. If a couple of hundred retailers pay, say, $30-$50 a month in subscription fee, at least one monetization strategy for the business gets validated.

Then comes the question of market sizing. How many retailers would be willing to subscribe to such a service? At what price-point? And what does it take to scale the business? One of the challenges of the business is its highly manual nature. Nonetheless, there is at least a small business at the core of this idea.

You can listen to the recording of today’s 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 at 8 a.m. PDT on:

Thursday, June 20, Register Here.

Thursday, July 11, Register Here.

Thursday, July 18, Register Here.

Thursday, July 25, Register Here.

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